Either/Or: Michael Mina

Bourbon Steak chef likes Arenas but disses the Skins.

Michael Mina hopes to please Washingtonians with his new restaurant, Bourbon Steak. The San Francisco chef can start by boning up on Skins lore and learning what a half-smoke is.

San Francisco chef Michael Mina is the latest Michelin-star restaurateur whose empire has found an empty kitchen in a high-end hotel: Later this month, he plans to open the 160-seat Bourbon Steak, his 15th restaurant, in the revamped Georgetown Four Seasons. He sat down to answer our either/or questionnaire.

Gilbert Arenas or Alex Ovechkin?

Definitely Arenas. He used to be a [Golden State] Warrior, so I used to watch him all the time.

Half-smoke or crab cake?

What’s a half-smoke?

Virginia Viognier or California Chardonnay?

California Chardonnay. It’s more familiar.

Wet-aged or dry-aged steak?

Dry-aged. With the technique I like to use to cook steaks—butter poaching—the dry-aged works better.

Power breakfast or power lunch?

Power lunch. I’m not a big breakfast eater.



’80s-era Redskins or ’80s-era 49ers?

49ers from the ’80s. No competition there.

Foie gras or no foie gras?

Foie gras—I really enjoy it. There are some real foie producers out there who are working with ways to not force-feed the ducks, so I think there’s some good coming out of it.

Excellence of ingredients or precision of technique?

You need both—it can’t be one or the other.

East Coast rap or West Coast rap?

How does “neither” strike you?

This article appeared in the December, 2008 issue of The Washingtonian. 

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