While popular, Clarendon’s vibe skews fratty over chic. With several newcomers, including Wilson Hardware Kitchen & Bar, Clarendon’s newest spot, that seems to be changing, and this Arlington girl appreciates it.
Located in a former hardware store, this restaurant blends industrial and contemporary, with exposed brick, beautiful murals, and iron accents. The small patio proved quite popular, even later in the evening. A Thievery Corporation heavy soundtrack adds a funky, upbeat sound.
I was graciously invited to try a few of their cocktails and shareables. I’d been looking forward to Wilson Hardware’s opening, but had not yet had the chance to check it out, so was very excited to be a part of this. The cocktails favor fruity flavors, but I found both my Aisle 2915 (rye whiskey, meletti, pineapple, lemon, ginger) and the Screw Him (vodka, lychee, hibiscus, lemon, champagne, marjoram) to be well-balanced and not overly sweet. I also appreciate the wordplay with the cocktail names.
A variety of options from their Shareables menu were passed, including panzerotti, Brussels sprouts, sliders, toast with crab dip, and corn fritters. My favorite was the crispy panzerotti, which are Calzone-like and filled with gorgonzola, mozzarella, and fontina; they are hard not to love. The quite tasty hardware fritters are made with corn and filled with cheese. And while I’ve had some really great Brussels sprouts lately, their bacon/garlic/parsley version was perfectly done. While I didn’t try the crab dip or the sliders, they were both popular. I’m looking forward to returning for dinner, and brunch, which should be added shortly.
Everything I tried was great, as was the service. As this neighborhood changes, I have no doubt Wilson Hardware will do well.