100 Best Restaurants 2010: Bourbon Steak

No. 35: Bourbon Steak

Cuisine: This Four Seasons hot spot is only nominally a steakhouse. The force behind it is San Francisco’s Michael Mina, known for his flair with fish. Accordingly, the tuna tartare is more memorable than the porterhouse. Beware the prices: Care for a $75 snifter of single malt after that $85 lobster pot pie?

Mood: The chocolate-leather-clad dining room exudes a sort of modern elegance. But the place has a sense of humor, too—a gratis trio of McDonald’s-inspired fries (fried in duck fat and served with house-made ketchup) welcomes every table.

Best for: Dinner on the boss’s dime; splurging on date night; cocktails and appetizers in the lounge.

Best dishes: Spice-poached-shrimp cocktail; chilled lobster with yuzu; classic wedge salad; tuna tartare, which sets itself apart with sesame oil and Asian pear; 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-old Macallan; caramel apple; coconut candy bar.

Insider tips: Pace, pace, pace. After those fries comes the bread course: a skillet of buttery truffle rolls. Do too much nibbling at the outset and you might not make it through the appetizer—which would be a shame because the desserts are some of the area’s best.

Service: ••½

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

See all of 2010's 100 Best Restaurants

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 Petworth.