Monday, October 15, 2007

"Three" Is The Charm

This weekend we checked out one of Clarendon's newest eateries, Restaurant 3 (

Located on the site of the old Aegean Taverna, at the corner of Garfield and Clarendon Blvd., Three is an upscale restaurant with an American menu.

It's called "3" because it's the owners' third restaurant. No, they didn't call the first two "1" and "2"--evidently their creativity ran out only with the third. The owners are also behind Clarendon nightspot Whitlow's, a terrific place for a burger if you can stand the constant din in the place (frankly, we can't--but it's not so bad for an early weekend breakfast or brunch).

Anyway, "3"--which we can already see is awkward to write about--has some good things going for it. The restaurant itself is quite nice, with heavy accents of golden wood and soft earth tones. There are three dining rooms, including one that is a bit like a sun porch, which was very inviting as the sun set on a delightful weekend evening. Unfortunately, we weren't invited into that room, to Mrs. Curmudgeon's annoyance (despite her inquiry).

The wait staff was fine--not overly intrusive, but attentive.

One thing we liked was the way they served wine by the glass. Instead of the waiter disappearing and then reappearing with a glass of wine that could be anything, he appeared at our table with the actual bottles of wine and poured our glasses on the spot. Generous pours, we might add. We thought that a nice touch.

The menu is a bit limited--four or five fish dishes, a couple steaks, one pork dish and a couple vegetarian entrees. No chicken. But then, who needs chicken, right? We tried the filet mignon, which was quite good and cooked perfectly to our order. The other dishes in our party looked good, too, especially the seared tuna. We had a side of asiago grits, which were as rich as one might expect.

The dessert menu was a bit of disappointment. Living up to the restaurant's name, there were only three dessert selections, and they were pretty mundane--fudge brownie something, etc. So we passed (we had a movie to get to as well).

If you're familiar with Clarendon's restaurant scene, then we'd say "3" was not quite as good as Liberty Tavern, a bit pricier than Boulevard Woodgrill, and not quite as lively as Harry's Taproom, all Clarendon favorites. Also, definitely not a place to go with the kids, unless they have very sophisticated tastes for which you're willing to pay.

But I'm pretty sure we'll return to "3" before too long, and we recommend you give it a try.

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