It’s about time Arlington started getting restaurants the likes of DC. Willow is one very notable Arlington restaurant. It has some kinks on the menu, but it has some solid offerings that will make me continue to return.

Willow has been classified as modern, continental cuisine. They’ve done a good job creating a unique menu. I’ve really enjoyed their appetizers, flatbreads, and absolutely love one dessert in particular. Their entrees have been very hit/miss for me. The menu is constantly changing, so I’ll just report on those items that seem to be constant.

The Fritto Misto appetizer plate, consisting of prosciutto fritters, fried chorizo stuffed olives, and blue cheese dates, is a fun starter, and a steal at only $7. The chorizo stuffed olives are the best! They always have a ravioli offering on the appetizers as well. Once I had one filled with goat cheese. I can’t remember the accompaniments, but I know I loved the dish. A gratin concoction always seems to be offered as an. I had one with chorizo ( and gnocchi I believe), that was delicious! Flatbreads are an absolute must, and perfect for sharing as an appetizer. My favorite is the “Willow”, topped with wild mushrooms, lemon, thyme, fontina, parmesan, and white truffle essence. The truffle flavor is very pungent and wonderful.

I’m not as enthusiastic about the main courses. Looking at the current menu, some of my previous experiences are no longer being offered. I once had a potato wrapped salmon with ricotta pancakes. I found the salmon to be flavorless and dry. I don’t think it was seasoned prior to being wrapped in the potato. The best part of the dish was the ricotta pancakes. But, the miniature rack of pork w/ house made sausage (which is still offered) is a winner. It’s very flavorful, and the accompaniments of bitter rapini (broccoli rabe) and ham hock jus, really complement the dish. I also loved the mild pork paired with the salty sausage. Another entrée of filet mignon medallions were cooked nicely, but under seasoned. I had to salt them!

The only dessert I’ve had, and will continue to order over and over again is the sticky toffee pudding cake. It is absolutely decadent. It’s an extremely moist date cake topped with ice cream and literally covered in caramel sauce. It’s the best sticky toffee pudding cake I’ve had for sure.

Willow is a fairly large restaurant, decorated with a lot of red accents (curtains, lamp shades, etc). I like the red, as I think it increases the appetite. The bar section is also big with ample seating. It’s a great area to order a selection of appetizers and wine as your dinner, and definitely more lively, than the dining room. The dining room tends to be pretty quiet, with an older crowd.

We went for my cousin’s bday once, and they really added nice touches to make her night special. They had a menu waiting for us with her name on it, and they gave her a wine glass filled with biscotti after dinner. Little gestures can go a long way, and I could see that she was very happy. Kudos to Willow!

4301 North Fairfax Drive
Arlington, VA 22203

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