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A meaty homage to Michel Richard?

One by one, we’re running through the 50 restaurants that made the cut on this year’s Young & Hungry Dining Guide. If you have visited the day’s featured restaurant, let us know what you think. If you’re planning to visit for the first time, tell us about your meal when you return.

Unlike some fine-dining restaurants that aim for the conspicuous-consumption set, Eventide has carved out a different niche for itself: It’s Arlington’s eccentric foodie destination. Eventide combines Komi’s OCD-like attention to detail with the chic intensity of the Source’s downstairs lounge. What’s more, chef Miles Vaden strikes me as a toque who will never be satisfied with his work. His menu reads (and tastes) like a man who pushes things about as far as you can in the typically conservative Clarendon dining scene. His bison carpaccio already assumes an air of Michel Richard; like a red-meat version of Richard’s famous “Mosaic,” Vaden plates thin circles of crimson-bright bison meat on a square of white china so that the dish looks like some monochromatic Pop-Art piece. The appetizer’s flavors and textures, however, are altogether original—the crunch of citrus-marinated jicama, the bite of ancho-chocolate mole, the salty umami of Parmesan, the plodding meatiness of the bison. While not as jaw-dropping as the carpaccio, other dishes on Vaden’s menu display enough invention and technique to justify any wild-eyed optimism you may have about this restaurant. Hell, even the upstairs dining room at Eventide, a former meeting hall for the Odd Fellows fraternal organization, strikes an odd, engaging tone. The ceiling is high, and the walls have an exposed, terra-cotta austerity about them. The long elegant drapes and the intimidating emptiness all around you—above your head and between the widely spaced tables—complete the image: You feel like you’re dining in some cool medieval castle.

Eventide, 3165 Wilson Blvd., Arlington, (703) 276-3165

Photo by Darrow Montgomery