The Liberty Tavern
Modern American / $$ / 3195 Wilson Blvd., Arlington
Just like its sister restaurant, Lyon Hall, The Liberty Tavern is a party. It offers some of the best people-watching on Wilson Boulevard; there are always really pretty people jogging while the rest of us are drinking beer and feeling proud of the restraint it took to order the half-portions of housemade pasta, like the cone-shaped campanello in a light mix with braised rabbit, Swiss chard and bread crumbs. There’s also a main floor area, which is part bar-part lounge and ripe for ordering from the snack side of the menu, like the pizza with white cheddar, smoked prosciutto and sweet, crunchy Granny Smith apples with a crust that is crackly but still soft and nicely salted. Upstairs is a more traditional dining room, but you can enjoy the housemade bread and salty, smooth butter anywhere.