2800 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20007
Cuisines: Steaks, Modern, American
Open Monday through Thursday 11:30 AM to 2:30 PM and 6 to 10 PM, Friday 11:30 to 2:30 and 5:30 to 10:30, Saturday 5:30 to 10:30, and Sunday 6 to 10 PM.
Wheelchair Accessible: Yes
Nearby Metro Stops: Foggy Bottom-GWU
Price Range: Very expensive
Dress: Business Casual
Noise Level: Chatty
Spice-poached-shrimp cocktail; chilled lobster with yuzu; classic wedge salad; tuna tartare; creamy shrimp Louis; pan-roasted chicken with mac and cheese, a Trump-style TV dinner; garlic-and-chive pierogi; boozy butterscotch pot de crème made with 18-year
Starters $12 to $25, entrées $29 to $145.
Special Features: Wheelchair Accessible, Valet Parking Available, Party Space
This past Wednesday afternoon, a fleet of uniformed servers were getting drilled by Bourbon Steak’s general manager, Mark Politzer. Dressed in a crisp suit, the former CityZen manager rattles off a list of hard-to-pronounce menu items, and the servers dutifully repeat him. “Aioli,” Politzer booms. “Aioli!” the obedient crew echoes.
Tomorrow, Bourbon Steak will open in Georgetown’s Four Seasons hotel, and it comes with high expectations thanks to chef Michael Mina. The latest celebrity chef to swoop into DC is based in California, and his empire includes 15 other restaurants. Although this is the fourth outpost of a Bourbon Steak—the others are in Detroit, Miami, and Scottsdale—it has a distinct personality, different from both its older siblings and other Washington steakhouses.
For one, steak isn’t even the focus of the menu. Instead, many dishes show off what Mina is famous for— seafood, served in dishes such as Jonah-crab beignets, and big-eye-tuna sashimi with white soy, young coconut, and fresh aloe.
The menu also reflects Mina’s belief in a popular kitchen idiom: Fat equals flavor. The welcome fries that land on every table are cooked in duck fat. There are seven cuts of steak, ranging from an eight-ounce American Kobe ribeye to a 28-ounce porterhouse. Each is poached in herb-infused butter, olive oil, or bacon fat, cooked to a near-done temperature, then finished on a wood-burning grill. Mina says his signature method is meant to seal in moisture, not allow the steaks to soak up butter: The kitchen starts dinner with two gallons of butter, and after a full night of poaching, they claim that all but about one cup remains.