Food

100 Best Restaurants 2010: BLT Steak

No. 22: BLT Steak

Cuisine: In taking on the classic American steakhouse, chef Laurent Tourondel has Frenchified it, softening its edges and aiming to imbue it with more sophistication. Meals begin with a big Gruyère popover (he knows better than to tamper with the steakhouse belief that size trumps all), and continue with a Mason jar of chicken-liver pâté as silken as whipped butter and five times as intense. The plates of seafood and steak that follow are monstrous, and often monstrously rich, none more so than a five-ounce portion of Kobe beef.

Mood: Most nights, the room is a tastefully lit, leather-appointed stage for the important and those who long to get a glimpse of them, from media mavens to political power players. Cash is flashed, and the Bordeaux flows.

Best for: Those wanting to impress, be it a big date or an important client; curiosity seekers who have the fortitude to resist the sticker shock that comes with seeing a steak priced near three digits.

Best dishes: Grilled double-cut bacon, its insistent richness leavened a little by a condiment of chopped garlic and parsley; oysters on the half shell, cool and clean and smartly sourced; bone-in sirloin; double-cut rack of lamb; a marvelous crepe soufflé, which swells to the size of a giant turnover.

Insider tips: The best parts of the meal are the popovers and pâté, and they come free regardless of whether you order the most expensive slab of beef or a simple hanger steak.

Service: ••½

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

See all of 2010's 100 Best Restaurants

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Ann Limpert
Executive Food Editor/Critic

Ann Limpert joined Washingtonian in late 2003. She was previously an editorial assistant at Entertainment Weekly and a cook in New York restaurant kitchens, and she is a graduate of the Institute of Culinary Education. She lives in Logan Circle.