Modern American / $$ / 442 Maple Ave. E., Vienna
With two well-pedigreed head chefs, a fairly priced menu, an open-kitchen to gawk at the gorgeous dishes, a classy, casual and fun atmosphere and, of course, wonderful food, Clarity is certainly one of the best restaurants to open this year.
Dishes change with frequency, so don’t get attached to the mini pork shanks posing as Buffalo wings with a snappy crust, creeping heat and juicy meat or to the cured salmon playing off pork belly for a dish that is both bright and savory. Can the steak tartare-bone marrow duo please return? Meatless matters, too, with thoughtful salads mixing ancient grains, greens and a variety of fruits and vegetables in varying stages of raw, cooked and dried. With an in-house whole-animal butchery program, check out whatever cut is on special and hope it’s the harissa-rubbed lamb plated on a wood plank and served with minimal fuss: pickled vegetables, watercress and yogurt. It seems like everyone in Vienna tries to grab a seat at Clarity, no matter the day of the week; reserve your spot stat.