Critic rating
(Good)
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Neighborhood: Clarendon
Cuisine: American
Price: $$ ($15-$24)
Sound check: 70 decibels (Conversation is easy)
The upstairs dining room of Eventide remains one of Arlington’s most romantic spaces.
Our Review

By Tom Sietsema
Sunday, May 20, 2012

Then: Polished performance (2009)
Again: More subdued

I still get a little thrill entering the dining room on the second floor of Eventide, dramatically staged with 18-foot-high draperies, warehouse-size windows and lights that look like the trails from fireworks. And I continue to look forward to service with a smile and biscuits tucked into the bread basket. Eventide is perpetually dressed for Saturday night but priced like a neighborhood spot: main courses average $25, just as they did when I last examined the restaurant, crowned with a rooftop bar overlooking Clarendon.

Glistening fried artichokes dunked in curry aioli are easy to dispatch, as are seared sea scallops poised atop a relish of fennel and cucumber. Executive chef Adam Barnett, formerly of the Westend Bistro by Eric Ripert and a year into Eventide, is not the pasta maker that his predecessor was, however; Barnett's tagliatelle with seafood and saffron sauce is a nice idea on paper but a dry clump of starch in reality. And swordfish bedded on pearl couscous comes with a yogurt sauce that is pale green with basil but surprisingly faint. Come to think of it, the chickpea cake with Eventide's otherwise satisfying grilled lamb saddle could use a flavor boost, too.

In another life, the chef was a pastry cook at the Inn at Little Washington. That should be your cue to order something sweet and anticipate a frill or two. The pistachio sable cookies that escort his Meyer lemon tart are so good, I could eat a boxful.

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