Charlie Palmer Steak
101 Constitution Ave. NW
Washington, DC 20001
Neighborhood: Capitol Hill
Cuisines: Steaks, Modern, American
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.
Wheelchair Accessible: Yes
Nearby Metro Stops: Union Station, Archives-Navy Memorial-Penn Quarter
Price Range: Very expensive
Noise Level: Intimate
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.
Lunch appetizers, $11 to $21; entrees, $13 to $41. Dinner appetizers, $8 to $58; entrees, $23 to $68.
Special Features: Wheelchair Accessible, Valet Parking Available
Cuisine: Seeing the $14 truffled baked potatoes, a $72 seafood platter for two, and a $100 Japanese Miyazaki Kobe strip steak, you might ask: Is anybody here not using a corporate card? But there are just as many less-showoffy treats—lovely salads, terrific roasts—on executive chef Bryan Voltaggio’s forward-thinking American menu.
Mood: Washington had long been a steakhouse town when New York–based chef Charlie Palmer set up shop here nearly five years ago. But with clean lines, brushed steel, and mocha leather, the urbane power-dining room and lounge seems a class apart from the traditional brass-and-bourbon boys’ clubs. Still, it feels wholly DC thanks to its postcard view of the Capitol, C-Span–tuned flat-screens, and—hey, is that Nancy Pelosi? Probably.
Best for: Impressing a client, power players, out-of-towners hoping to catch a glimpse of an ’08 candidate.
Best dishes: Yellowfin-tuna tartare with soy and lime; roasted foie gras with blood orange and ginger; oysters on the half shell with crisp crackers, spicy cocktail sauce, and horseradish cream; a tart red-endive salad sweetened with dates and honey-poached pears; meltingly delicious Miyazaki Kobe beef; roasted duck with a foie-gras-topped nectarine tarte Tatin; goat-cheese tortelloni with buttered wild mushrooms; roasted hen-of-the-woods mushrooms; hazelnut pyramid, a theatrical chocoholic fantasy that’s one of Palmer’s signatures; a trio of perfectly burnished crèmes brûlées.
Insider tips: The designer beef, whether American Angus or Wagyu, is expertly aged and prepared, but all the à la carte sides and sauces can get expensive.