Hand-cut skirt steak, capers, egg, mustard, gaufrettes

While I rarely comment on local restaurants, or go into personal stories on the blog, I thought I would call attention to a restaurant in Arlington that has impressed me more and more every time I go: Lyon Hall.

A “casual brasserie,” Chris and I went on one of our first dates here two years ago. We sat at the long table behind the bar, and he had schnitzel and I had steak frites. Last year he let me indulge in stinky cheese, which only someone who loved me would allow on an anniversary. This year, we shared the steak tartar (above) as an appetizer, and then I had sautéed brook trout with a smoked tomato butter and black venus rice, while Chris had the pork schnitzel again. While it’s not the fanciest place, we like it because the food is good, the beer list is great, and it’s got a great atmosphere, like you were in a bistro in France.

What made the night extra special for us was how our server really went above and beyond for our anniversary. Because we’d noted the special occasion on our reservation, he immediately brought over two flutes of bubbly for us to toast with. Then, after the appetizer, he came back with tastings of gnudi for both of us. Just small things that made me sure we would definitely be coming back here next year.