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“Pretty good food; but service issues interferred” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Carlyle

Ranked #1 of 834 Restaurants in Arlington
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $10 - $30
Cuisines: American
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Bar scene, Families with children, Romantic, Business meetings, Special occasions, Large groups, Local cuisine
Dining options: Brunch, Dinner, Late Night, Lunch, Accepts American Express, Accepts Discover, Accepts Mastercard, Accepts Visa, Free Off-Street Parking, Full Bar, Highchairs Available, Outdoor Seating, Parking Available, Reservations, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Street Parking, Television, Waitstaff, Wheelchair Accessible
Description: High energy, American bistro with seasonal outside dining and year round classic fare. A perennial brunch favorite.
Washington, DC
Level Contributor
633 reviews
442 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 201 helpful votes
“Pretty good food; but service issues interferred”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 10, 2013

We've eaten here several times over the years, and the food has generally been good. This visit was no exception. Salads were fresh, creative, and tasty. Main courses were good. The nonflour chocolate waffle dessert was outstanding. The four star rating is based on the food, and that's what counts the most. The bread, which was baked locally and hyped, was oddly not that good. But that's minor.

The service was sloppy and, oddly, excessive. The staff made a mistake (twice!) in meeting a stated allergy need. It wasn't that unusual a request, and two mistakes were inexcusable. Oddly, it didn't seem to be the result of the team approach to service, as each of the three or four servers knew of the special request.

Everyone was apologetic for the mistake, and the problem was fixed. But we must have had 15 or more interactions with waiters and the maitre d'. Even simple things like refilling iced tea took multiple interactions. "Want more iced tea?" and then "We're brewing it fresh; up in a minute". Better service would have produced the tea without comment. All the interactions were disruptive and wearying. It was a case of trying way too hard. Not the worst thing in the world, but unwelcome nevertheless.

In the end, we got a free dessert AND a gift card for our next visit. The dessert was sufficient pennance/compensation. The gift card (which we took and will use) was a bit over the top. And another interaction with the staff, although it's hard to complain about it.

We consider this meal to be a "bad sample" for service. A series of missteps cascaded into excess. Separately, service was a bit slow to get started, but once it did, it never stopped.

If you are a prospective dinner, I suggest you consider our experience an aberration and eat here because the food is good. And the promise of correction for flaws is generally a plus too. We just got too much of a good thing.

  • Visited March 2013
    • 3 of 5 stars
    • 4 of 5 stars
    • 2 of 5 stars
    • 4 of 5 stars
Thank jxx9595
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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761 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Washington DC, District of Columbia
Level Contributor
6 reviews
3 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 10, 2013

this resatuarnt, and all those of the Great American Restaurant Company are excelllet. The sercive is great, and the food options are always delicious. go for the lobster potstickers! although there is sometimes a wait, it is worth it! if you have not been to this restaurnat, I hightly reccomned it for a great dinner experience.

Visited February 2013
Thank julia28970
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Virginia Beach, Virginia, United States
Level Contributor
13 reviews
9 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“no happy hour?”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed March 8, 2013

really? who doesn't have happy hour? very dissapointed. nice atmosphere and the dinners being served around us looked delicious, but we went elsewhere for happy hour. Really? who doesn't have happy hour?

Visited March 2013
1 Thank Amarrett0530
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mullica Hill, New Jersey
Level Contributor
134 reviews
84 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 69 helpful votes
“We couldn't have picked a better place!!!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 1, 2013 via mobile

We came from out of town. We spent the night in the area. We used trip advisor and found this place. No wonder why everyone loves it. Great great service, timely food, and wonderful taste and portion sizes. Loved it!!!!

    • 5 of 5 stars
    • 5 of 5 stars
    • 5 of 5 stars
    • 5 of 5 stars
Thank johnny5ski
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Beltsville, Maryland
Level Contributor
33 reviews
25 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
“Good time”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 26, 2013

Went here for a friend's birthday brunch. Service was great and the server knew it was for a birthday. His recommendations were spot-on. Most of us had the brioche French toast and it was wonderful. Big portions but not so big that you couldn't finish. Good atmosphere. And worth me coming all the way from Maryland.

Visited February 2013
1 Thank divasoul
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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