100 Best Restaurants 2011: Bourbon Steak

No. 28

Only the top 40 restaurants were ranked in 2011's Best Restaurants list.

Despite the name, the slabs of meat aren’t the main attraction at this Georgetown destination, one of San Francisco–based chef Michael Mina’s 18 restaurants around the country. Think of it as a seasonally minded American restaurant—with big-ticket prices.

Mina’s local deputy, David Varley, expresses his big personality in a mix of Asian-influenced creations (excellent yellowtail sashimi with uni aïoli), nods to Mina’s Egyptian background (an interesting beef tartare with pita), and steakhouse staples (creamed spinach). The lounge and dining-room menus include such whimsical dishes as Korean-fried chicken wings, a play on bagels and lox, and General Tso’s broccoli.

The dining room, with its leather-topped tables, feels as luxurious as the complimentary truffle-showered rolls and the $65 lobster pot pie, cut open tableside. But here, too, there’s a relaxed vibe: Rihanna and TLC are on the restaurant’s playlist. For a less extravagant meal, try the lunch deal: $21 for a burger, onion rings or fries, and a brownie.

Also good: Chestnut soup with foie gras; wedge salad; tuna tartare with chili and mint; crispy-skinned bass with lemon curd and smoky eggplant; burgers in the lounge, especially the prime-steak version with Cabot cheddar and the kimchee-topped salmon; pain perdu, a breakfast-for-dessert treat; coconut candy bar; passionfruit panna cotta.

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

>> See all of 2011's 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.