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Not sure exactly where to put this....and polls are not common on this site, but it strikes me that with the closing of Gypsy Soul, we could use use some sense of the community as to the best restaurants in the Virginia suburbs right now....

(A Maryland list would be helpful as well, but that's not happening in this thread....)

I'm going to set aside Inn at Little Washington as being in it own category, because it's not in the immediate suburbs. I'm looking for mostly Loudon, Fairfax, Arlington and Alexandria here.

My Top 10 list?

Clarity

Trummer's on Main

Restaurant Eve

Willow

2941

(Whatever kitchen Peter Chang is in today)

L'Auberge Chez Francois

Vermilion

Ray's the Steaks

Villa Mozart

And then there's Maple Avenue Restaurant, Liberty Tavern, Water and Wall, Amoo's, soon-to-be-potentially-awesome Neyla, Nostos, Brine, Me Jana, and my personal Springfield fave Monty's -- not a bad 'honorable mention' list....

I would be interested in any other opinions....and I think it's not a bad idea for a community like this one to have a few "top whatever" lists from time to time.

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I've never lived in Northern Virginia and don't have a breadth of knowledge about the restaurants in Loudoun, Fairfax, Arlington, and Alexandria, but I really enjoyed dinner at Mokomandy in Sterling a couple of years ago -- hopefully it hasn't gone downhill since then. I'm not sure if it belongs on this list, but I wanted to throw it out there.

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I dined at two of Kibbee Nayee's top 10 just this past weekend -- Villa Mozart on Friday and 2941 on Saturday, and I can enthusiastically endorse both. I've been to Villa Mozart countless times, and have already gushed over it on its own thread. I've dined at 2941 far less frequently, but twice now in a few weeks, and I find it very impressive. It may be more casual than formerly, but the service is generally superb, and not at all what I would call informal. The kitchen seems to be firing on all cylinders. My dinner on Saturday started with spaghetti nero with lobster, which was lovely, and then a honking great plate of softshell crabs done in a sort of tempura slash perfection manner. On this most recent visit, I and my companions were tremendously impressed by the charming and enthusiastic sommelier, a surprisingly young chap, given his obvious expertise, who turned us on to the best Cava I have ever drunk.

I don't dine in Nothern Virginia enough to suggest my own top 10 list, but these are my top 2. (I haven't dined at Restaurant Eve in an appallingly long time; it would undoubtedly be on my top 3, otherwise.)

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In no particular order

1. Restaurant Eve

2. 2941 (had our wedding reception there!)

3. Willow

4. PassionFish

5. Pupatella

6. Maple Avenue Restaurant

7. Rays the Steaks

8. Pizzeria Orso

9. Four Sisters

10. Rabieng

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Are Orso and Vermilion on y'all's lists based on cooking by the current chefs? I'm curious, because I liked both very much under the former chefs, but heard negative things about the replacements and haven't been back.

I'd definitely have Willow, Rays the Steaks, Water & Wall, Restaurant Eve (though I haven't been in a long time), and Me Jana.

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I've dined at 2941 far less frequently, but twice now in a few weeks, and I find it very impressive. It may be more casual than formerly, but the service is generally superb, and not at all what I would call informal. The kitchen seems to be firing on all cylinders.

Could not agree more. A few years ago, my boss instituted casual Friday's. I showed up in khahis, a nice pair of loafers and a nice collared shirt. He showed up in his usual suit and tie. I asked him why he did not dress for casual Friday, and he raised his arms so that his shirtsleeves were exposed from his jacket and said, "I am casual...I'm not wearing French cuffs."

2941 is the same kind of "casual" and I really think we should update the thread title.

ETA - Save for a few Lickety Splits, I have not eaten at Eve in years. I eat at 2941 more frequently, as it is the best restaurant closest to my house.2941 isn't better than what I remember Eve serving, but it's as good.

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@Genevieve, I've eaten at Pizzeria Orso around 10 times in the last 3 months (really!), and I can state with complete confidence that the food (pizza and non-pizza alike) is excellent. If there was any drop-off after the change, it's been corrected. Strangely, it's the service that is inconsistent.

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Thank you! That's good to hear.  I will head back. (My other concern right after the change had been that it seemed like the most interesting items had been taken off the menu and it was looking dull to me, but their latest menu looks significantly more appealing.)

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@Genevieve, I've eaten at Pizzeria Orso around 10 times in the last 3 months (really!), and I can state with complete confidence that the food (pizza and non-pizza alike) is excellent. If there was any drop-off after the change, it's been corrected. Strangely, it's the service that is inconsistent.

I haven't been quite as many times, and only for lunch, but my experience has been the same. Actually, the service hasn't really changed, it was extremely inconsistent before the change. Also, at one lunch I did spot Chef Chemel on premises, so I think he's had a more active role of late. We've enjoyed the food there so much recently, that we decided to give 2941 a try for dinner tonight, for the first time.

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At the risk of never being able to get in there again, if Clarity is not currently in your top ten, it is time for you to see if it should be.

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I was a fan of the old Pizzeria Orso, but still a fan of the new one.  Some dishes (fried calamari, spaghetti and meatballs) are even better than before.

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Seems like Bangkok Golden (the original Thip Kao) should make any top 10 list.

Have you been there recently?

I haven't, but each of my previous three or four visits were less special than the one before. The best visit was soon after Tom's review and every time after that was less good or special or unique. I hope they get the spark back but with Thip Kao vying for the chef's attention, I wonder if the slide has continued?

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It's unfortunately been a while since my last visit, but from all I can tell, Hong Kong Palace should be on the list in some sort of capacity (Asian, casual, moderate price, etc).

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No particular order (numbering is arbitrary):

1. Brabo

2. Del Ray Cafe

3. Yamazato

4. Vermilion

5. Light Horse

6. Hong Kong Palace

7. RT's

8.Gypsy Soul (gone but definitely NOT forgotten)

9. Rays (in all of it's many permutations)

10. Willow

(and at times) Rustico just because.

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No particular order (numbering is arbitrary):

1. Brabo

2. Del Ray Cafe

3. Yamazato

4. Vermilion

5. Light Horse

6. Hong Kong Palace

7. RT's

8.Gypsy Soul (gone but definitely NOT forgotten)

9. Rays (in all of it's many permutations)

10. Willow

(and at times) Rustico just because.

Finally, someone to back me up on the RT's love.

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No particular order (numbering is arbitrary):

1. Brabo

2. Del Ray Cafe

3. Yamazato

4. Vermilion

5. Light Horse

6. Hong Kong Palace

7. RT's

8.Gypsy Soul (gone but definitely NOT forgotten)

9. Rays (in all of it's many permutations)

10. Willow

(and at times) Rustico just because.

I was going for a general consensus on best restuarants in the close-in Virginia suburbs, but what you list are some of my personal faves, like Yamazoto and RT's. I happen to prefer your list to the one I came up with....

Finally, someone to back me up on the RT's love.

Definitely, and I'll throw in Blue Iguana which is a cousin. Again, between you and Escoffier, I'm torn between a "best" list and a "favorite" list....

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I was going for a general consensus on best restuarants in the close-in Virginia suburbs,

I like this idea too.

Places like the Inn at Little Washington, Patowmack Farm and the Ashby Inn (not mentioned here) seem more like destination places to me that would require more planning and more of a commitment and maybe need their own thread.

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We had a fantastic meal at villa mozart after finding out about it on this thread, thanks!

Favorites i don't think were mentioned:

Green Pig

Sea Pearl

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