100 Best Restaurants 2009: Charlie Palmer Steak
No. 41: Charlie Palmer Steak
Reviewed By Todd Kliman, Ann Limpert, Cynthia Hacinli, Rina Rapuano, Eve Zibart
Comments () | Published February 1, 2009
100 Best Restaurants (2010)

Charlie Palmer Steak
Address: 101 Constitution Ave. NW, Washington, DC 20001
Phone: 202-547-8100
Neighborhood: Capitol Hill
Cuisines: Steaks, Modern, American
Opening Hours: Open Monday through Friday 11:30 AM to 2:30 PM and 5:30 to 10 PM, and Saturday 5 to 10:30 PM. Closed Sunday.
Nearby Metro Stops: Union Station, Archives-Navy Memorial
Price Range: Very expensive
Dress: Business Attire
Noise Level: Intimate
Reservations: Recommended
Best Dishes Foie gras; Kona kampachi; head-on prawns; rack of lamb; porterhouse for two; Alaskan halibut with crab-and-asparagus risotto; side dishes of Parmesan gnocchi and potato purée; a tasting of six sorbets and frozen custards; a trio of crèmes brûlées.
Price Details: Lunch appetizers, $11 to $21; entrees, $13 to $41. Dinner appetizers, $8 to $58; entrees, $23 to $68.

Cuisine: Culinary titan Charlie Palmer espouses a brawny aesthetic—precious arrangements and portion control be damned. But this steakhouse, one of 11 restaurants in his empire, isn’t all dry-aged, salt-crusted slabs of beef and trays of shellfish on ice. Palmer and his protégé, chef Matt Hill, give equal time to tuna tartare, roast chicken, and other bistro-leaning dishes.

Mood: It’s hard to find a more majestic space to dine in, particularly at night—the glass along the front wall allows for glimpses of the glowing Capitol dome. And there’s prime people-watching, from politicos in the bar to fat cats springing for bottles of cellared Cabernets in the dining room.

Best for: An expense-account lunch or dinner.

Best dishes: Seared foie gras with apples; coriander-crusted Kona kampachi; fresh oysters on the half shell; bone-in, cowboy-cut rib eye; porterhouse for two; side dishes of Parmesan-tomato gnocchi, sautéed hen-of-the-woods mushrooms, and potato purée.

Insider tips: The lunch deal—three courses for $25—is among the best in town.

Service: •••

Open Monday through Friday for lunch and dinner, Saturday for dinner. Very expensive.

See all of 2009's 100 Best Restaurants

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Posted at 12:00 AM/ET, 02/01/2009 RSS | Print | Permalink | Washingtonian.com Restaurant Reviews