Courthouse Restaurants

Ray’s the Steaks

2300 Wilson Blvd.
Arlington, VA 22201
703-841-7297

Steak


 

$$$
$29.99
 

★★½

Average Value

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★★½

Average Value

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Summary
Washington Post
Washingtonian
Don Rockwell
 
Michael Landrum's original steakhouse is in a larger location than when it first opened, but it still features the same dry-aged steaks and value prices. Sides here are complementary and unlimited and wine markups are extremely low, making Ray's an even better value. There's also a bistro space adjacent to the main dining room, which offers many of the same cuts at a lower "retro" price.
Summary
Washington Post
Washingtonian
Don Rockwell
 
2.5 Stars (5/20/2012)
Tom Sietsema notes that "Ray's The Steaks offers reliable sizzle" with "its wide variety of cuts, family-style side dishes, carefully chosen wines and easygoing service." See Full Review…»
Summary
Washington Post
Washingtonian
Don Rockwell
 
No. 41 (2/8/2016) — 100 Very Best Restaurants 2016
"The robust rope of hanger steak at this no-frills steakhouse was the single best steak we’ve had all year. It’s telling that Ray’s puts just as much effort into its cheapest cut as it does into its most expensive, an exceptional 60-day dry-aged côte de boeuf. In business speak, Ray’s is a disruptor, except that 14 years after it sought to break the mold of the bloated, overpriced steakhouse, nobody else has followed. No matter—that just makes Ray’s more singular. In a genre in which spinach and mashed potatoes are costly sides, owner Michael Landrum offers them free of charge. …" See Full Review…»
Summary
Washington Post
Washingtonian
Don Rockwell
 
Italic — Recommended
"The best tasting steaks in the DC area for the money, next door is Retro-Ray's, a variation but basically the same thing."

Me Jana

2300 Wilson Boulevard
Arlington, VA 22201
703-465-4440

Lebanese


 

$$$
$23.55
 

★★½

Average Value

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★★½

Average Value

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Summary
Washington Post
Washingtonian
Don Rockwell
 
Me Jana is one of the area's best Lebanese restaurants, and one where nearly every dish is a winner, from the puffy homemade pitas to the raw kibbeh. It can get a little pricey if you're not careful, but is manageable with careful ordering. There's also a nice selection of Mediterranean wines and beers to wash everything down.
Summary
Washington Post
Washingtonian
Don Rockwell
 
2.5 Stars (5/13/2015) — 2015 Spring Dining Guide
"Within minutes on a Saturday afternoon my table is crowded with seared cheese sweetened with sliced pears and dates, nubby falafel arranged on tahini sauce and smoky eggplant puree, which I scoop up with pita that’s hot from the oven and presented with crushed herbs, thick yogurt and shiny olives. The mezze, including doughy spinach pies, are dropped off by a server who acts as if we’re the only customers in the place, when in fact the front of the house is filling up with what looks like a family reunion." See Full Review…»
Summary
Washington Post
Washingtonian
Don Rockwell
 
Unrated (4/18/2008)
Washingtonian's review from shortly after Me Jana opened is badly outdated. See Full Review…»
Summary
Washington Post
Washingtonian
Don Rockwell
 
Italic — Recommended
"Perhaps our area's best Lebanese restaurant, nothing is spectacular, but everything is good, homemade bread, decent wines, nice patio." See 7/2/2011 Review…»

Tupelo Honey Café

1616 N Troy St.
Arlington, VA 22201
703-253-8140

Southern


 

$$
$22.42
 

★★

Average Value

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★★

Average Value

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Summary
Washington Post
Washingtonian
Don Rockwell
 
This Southern chain from Executive Chef Brian Sonoskus recently opened its first DC area location. It specializes in modern interpretations of traditional Southern fare with hints of New Orleans and Latin America.
Summary
Washington Post
Washingtonian
Don Rockwell
 
Unrated (6/27/2015)
"… An import from Asheville, N.C., and a shout-out to liquid gold from the Southeast, the restaurant is No. 10 in a collection and the first Tupelo in Virginia. The theme flows throughout the expansive yellow-and-blue interior. … Three-to-a-plate tacos? They sound better suited to a Mexican menu, at least until I try them. No Mexican kitchen worth its cilantro would serve such lame flour tortillas piled with sweet crumbled meatloaf (you read that right) and a somewhat redeeming slaw ignited with sliced jalapeño. … Nothing else would compel me to return or suggests I’m eating below the Mason-Dixon line. …" See Full Review…»
Summary
Washington Post
Washingtonian
Don Rockwell
 
Unrated (6/2/2015)
"… The Arlington branch is the newest for the Southern chainlet, with nine other locations in Tennessee and the Carolinas. Certain signatures travel across the board, such as fried green tomatoes, crispy buttermilk chicken, a and shrimp n’ goat cheese grits. Arlington’s 202-seat spot boasts several new additions, tailored to the DC market—so yes, happy hour and Southern small plates. …" See Full Review…»
Summary
Washington Post
Washingtonian
Don Rockwell
 
Italic — Recommended
Off to a promising start, American, Southern comfort food, excellent fried chicken (even the breast), good beer selection, patio, happy hour, a comfortable and casual place to dine. See 6/9/2015 Review…»

Earl's Sandwiches

2605 Wilson Blvd.
Arlington, VA 22201
703-248-0150

Sandwiches


 

$
$8.99
 

Cheap Eats
Exceptional Value

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Cheap Eats
Exceptional Value

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Summary
Washington Post
Washingtonian
Don Rockwell
 
The hearty sandwiches at this beloved two-store chain (the Courthouse location is the original) features slow-roasted, hand carved meats, good bread, and quality ingredients. Owner Stephen Dugan also cuts his own fries and makes great chocolate-chip cookies from scratch.
Summary
Washington Post
Washingtonian
Don Rockwell
 
Unrated (2/1/2006)
The Post's only acknowledgement of this excellent sandwich shop is this ancient editorial review of the original location. See Full Review…»
Summary
Washington Post
Washingtonian
Don Rockwell
 
Unrated (12/14/2009)
Washingtonian's outdated review of the original location notes " two-fister sandwiches overstuffed with freshly roasted meats." See Full Review…»
Summary
Washington Post
Washingtonian
Don Rockwell
 
Italic — Recommended
"Freshly roasted and sliced meats distinguish this from its compeitors, our best sandwich chain." See 11/25/2015 Review…»

Bayou Bakery

1515 N. Courthouse Rd.
Arlington, VA 22201
703-243-2410

Creole/Cajun


 

$
$10.00
 

Cheap Eats
Excellent Value

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Cheap Eats
Excellent Value

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Summary
Washington Post
Washingtonian
Don Rockwell
 
David Guas's casual New Orleans-inspired restaurant has a relatively small menu and is somewhere between a bakery and a cafe. Guas is a pastry chef by training, and the baked goods are marvelous. But don't overlook the savory dishes, which range from solid breakfast sandwiches to excellent versions of NOLA staples like a muffaletta sandwich or shrimp and grits. The Arlington location is the original, but Guas recently opened a second branch on Capitol Hill.
Summary
Washington Post
Washingtonian
Don Rockwell
 
2 Stars (5/15/2014) — 2014 Spring Dining Guide
"I don’t get to New Orleans nearly as often as I’d like, but in between visits, Bayou Bakery in Arlington is where I fly to get a taste of what I miss in the Big Easy." See Full Review…»
Summary
Washington Post
Washingtonian
Don Rockwell
 
Unrated (5/5/2016) — Cheap Eats 2016
"Some chefs credit their Michelin-starred mentors for shaping their culinary vision and style. David Guas gives biggest props to his 69-year-old aunt Boo, a cooking-school teacher who hails from Abbeville, Louisiana. Her Cajun-country influence is the reason he keeps his zesty jambalaya extra-moist—unorthodox trick: a little tomato purée—and his crawfish étouffée stays on the mild side (dress it up with hot sauce if you like). …" See Full Review…»
Summary
Washington Post
Washingtonian
Don Rockwell
 
Italic — Recommended
"Initially smothered by the press (including me), Bayou has borne out as a decent, but not great, place, best for breakfast items." See 3/3/2011 Review…»
Ratings Guide:
★★★★ Extraordinary;  ★★★ Excellent;  ★★ Good;  ★ Average
All restaurants listed rate above-average or better. DCDiningGuide.com also includes a number of unrated local favorites, casual places, and other restaurants that we recommend if you’re in the neighborhood.
Price Guide:
$$$$$ Unlimited (>$45); $$$$ Very Expensive ($35-$45); $$$ Expensive ($25-$35); $$ Moderate ($15-$25); Inexpensive (<$15)
Price is based on the average cost of a dinner entree, which generally reflects a third of the cost of a full meal. Please note, however, that appetizer and beverage prices vary widely. Tasting menus are indicated with an asterisk (*).