Ambar is one of our favorite spots for a group dinner in Arlington. The food is from the Balkans, and you can expect a mix of Mediterranean and Eastern European, with flatbreads and croquettes and also lamb pate and crispy smelt. You’ll inevitably have trouble narrowing down your order, so our advice is to go for the “Balkan Experience,” which gets you unlimited small plates for $35. After your fourth bowl of tzatziki, have a post-dinner drink at Baba, Ambar’s cocktail bar nextdoor. They also serve a limited food menu if you’re looking for a quicker bite.
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Texas Jack’s in Arlington is a bit fancier and more buttoned up than your typical BBQ joint, but the food is very good.
In the middle of Clarendon, Cava Mezze is a solid spot for a Mediterranean group dinner or brunch.
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Agora is often overlooked for trendier spots in Dupont, but the Mediterranean food here is pretty good. Use it for a last-minute meal.
Tail Up Goat
Wear elastic-waisted pants when you go to Tail Up Goat in Adams Morgan, and make sure to get involved with the pastas and lamb ribs.
When you're feeling guilty about all the pizza you've had recently, head to Shouk in Mt. Vernon for healthy-ish salads and pita sandwiches.
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The phenomenal tapas and fun times here might be the best example of what Jose Andres has done for DC eating.
Lyon Hall can solve most of your eating dilemmas in Arlington. The German food and multiple levels work for a date, group drink, or catch-up dinner.
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