As discussed in an earlier thread, I took my parents to Tallula on Sunday night. Overall, the experience was highly positive. We were in there for a good 2 1/2 hours, starting out at the wine bar for a couple of glasses and appetizers, then moving over to the restaurant for dinner.
I could blab on for a while but I will try to be brief.
The selection of wines by the glass is very good, and the bartender (who came to our table) wsa very skilled at recommending wines based on our poorly articulated desires. Of the six glasses we had, there was only one that someone didn't like (my second glass...Graham Beck "Pinno"...strange, oily, lingering aftertaste).
We had six things off the "amuse yourself" menu...mini burger, oyster shooter, "steak and cheese", flatbread, duck mezzaluna, and risotto fritter. The mini burger was quite tasty, though not much for 3 bucks...the oyster shooter was blah...the flatbread was very good. My mom liked the steak and cheese, she didn't share. The fritter was better than I would have expected, but I don't think my dad liked it much. He liked the duck, I didn't. Something for everyone though, which was nice.
The entrees were all good according to those who ordered them. Portions were adequate but not large, which bugged my parents but was fine by me. They like the gargantuan plates of food seemingly designed for the man/woman who has been stranded in the wilderness for 10 days without a bite to eat. I had the scallops, which were basically prepared over very cheesy cheese grits and very good (I like my seafood fairly plain). My mom had red snapper...I don't like red snapper much so I didn't bother trying it, she loved it. My dad had spareribs, I thought they tasted like stew meat, but he liked them. I would not order that again. My dad had the apple strudel dessert...again, too small for him, but he said it tasted pretty good.
I thought the service was very good throughout. Our waiter seemed a bit new...but at no point did we feel rushed in any way, which is big for my folks who like to linger. Service took a little while at a table in the bar area, but considering how few people they were covering the room with, it was actually pretty impressive...and really it's more a place to linger with friends than it is to get an immediate quick drink. They definitely don't try to sell you up on the wines, which is a good sign. In the restaurant, our entrees came quite quickly.
There was a wait for a table...which didn't really matter to us...when we ordered our second round, I just went next door and let the hostess know we were there, and she seated us maybe 25-30 mins later.
Overall, I would say that the food was pretty good, the service good, the by-the-glass wine selection excellent, and the overall experience very good. A great place to spend some time sipping wine and nibbling with friends, family, or a date. I think it's a great addition to the Arlington scene, and I will go back.
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