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“Nice surprise in Arlington” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Willow Restaurant - CLOSED

Willow Restaurant
Price range: $31 - $50
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Local cuisine, Large groups, Special occasions, Business meetings, Bar scene, Romantic
Dining options: Dinner, Late Night, Lunch, Full Bar, Parking Available, Reservations, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Waitstaff
Dining style: Casual Elegant
Cross street: Utah
Transit: Public Transit Stops Two blocks from the Ballston Metro.
Alexandria, VA
Level Contributor
20 reviews
8 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
“Nice surprise in Arlington”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 26, 2013

Willow Restaurant sits on a rather busy street but its spacious outdoor patio offers comfortable shaded seating on a sunny summer afternoon. During restaurant weekend, Willow displays its versatility with many of its regular menu items rolled into a reasonably priced three course meal. I started with a refreshing watermelon, tomato, feta cheese salad with a spike of chipotle lime dressing. My companion opted for a fragrant smelling clam and bacon flat bread. I followed with stuffed squash blossoms on a bed of julienned zucchini; she with a deconstructed salmon taco on a skewer with tortillas and guacamole on the side. We sipped our way through a lovely Chilean sauvignon blanc and polished off the meal with a chocolate layer cake and sticky toffee pudding with salt caramel ice cream. It was a relaxing way to while away an August summer day while catching up on each other's news. Service was good and we were both happy that we tried Willow.

  • Visited August 2013
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Service
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Food
Helpful?
Thank Alexandria_VASusan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

178 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    72
    63
    29
    9
    5
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Arlington
Level Contributor
141 reviews
78 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 40 helpful votes
“Good Restaurant week menu”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 24, 2013

Willow’s Restaurant Week menu provided plenty of choices—seven appetizers and eight mains. We both had the clams casino flatbread as an appetizer—thin crispy crust with savory toppings. The generous portion was nearly a meal in itself. My wife had salmon with corn ravioli and I had pork medallions with pork ravioli. Flavors were intense, although perhaps the meal was heavy on salt Shortbread with berries made a good dessert. Our waiter was busy and had to move fast, but we did not feel neglected. Room was noisy

  • Visited August 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Service
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Food
Helpful?
Thank Arlingtonfoodie31
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Falls Church, Virginia
Level Contributor
125 reviews
88 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
“Excellent food - compensates for blah service”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 15, 2013

Met at Willow with friends for lunch outside. The sign said to ask the hostess inside for seating. Went inside to find no hostess so we asked the waiter outside. He said OK sit where you want. Another waiter came and said - did the hostess seat you? Think he was hoping no more people would come. We had to ask him to take our drink order. Thank goodness the food was excellent - calamari salad and fried fish and seafood were very well done - not overwhelmed by the batter. Another had fillet mignon cooked to perfection with interesting sides.

  • Visited August 2013
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Atmosphere
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Service
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Food
Helpful?
Thank Motzof4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Tucson
Level Contributor
140 reviews
67 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 125 helpful votes
“Great Food so-so Service”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 13, 2013

Four of us ate here our last night in northern Virginia. Every dish in every course was excellent. Short rib flat bread, poached lobster, Willow spinach salad, crab cake over tempura soft shell crab, were all excellent. The wine list is small, but nice and way over priced. The server was either really inexperienced or just plain bad. Never once filled a glass of wine. Didn't come back to check on the meal. Didn't clear plates until I fussed at her...twice!

I was going to talk to the manager, but when he couldn't look up from his reception desk while saying good bye I figured it would be a waste of time. too bad. Service can kill a restaurant, even one serving such well prepared creative dishes as found at the Willow.

Visited August 2013
Helpful?
1 Thank TucsonTim
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Wash,DC
Level Contributor
11 reviews
5 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“disappointing dinner”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed July 30, 2013

For openers we were seated near the door, so we were not in the best location. The staff were busy scurrying around as it was a Saturday night, but still pleasant. The food ranged from shamefully bad to quite good. On the bad end, the rolls were tasteless, the stuffed mushrooms overcooked and heavily overseasoned and the desserts were lacking any creativity. On the flipside, the ravioli and tuna were quite good. The ceasar salad we ordered was forgotten, and presented with an apology and offer to make it complimentary after the main course was served. Not a place we'll bother trying again as there are plenty of better options in the area.

  • Visited July 2013
    • 2 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Atmosphere
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Service
    • 2 of 5 stars
      Food
Helpful?
1 Thank CathyandLarry
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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