100 Best Restaurants 2011: BLT Steak

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

In March, New York–based chef Laurent Tourondel announced he would no longer be involved in his restaurant empire. But this boisterous law-firm favorite lives on under chef Victor Albisu.

Like many steakhouses, the place is all about living large. Meals start with appetite-busting popovers and a pot of silken chicken-liver spread with crusty country bread. Onion rings are stacked into towering peaks, and a double-cut slab of bacon counts as an appetizer. But dishes such as a precisely chopped tuna tartare with soy and lime and a billowing passionfruit crepe soufflé show a finesse that’s less common in expense-account steakhouse circles.

The only recent pitfalls have been the steaks. The flavor of a $55 Wagyu skirt steak—a cut known for taste over tenderness—was overshadowed by liberally strewn thyme and garlic, and a rib eye had little savor to begin with. It’s not much consolation, but by the time the main course arrives, you’ll likely be full anyway.

Also good: Oysters on the half shell; roasted-beet salad; potato gratin; grilled branzino with lemon and fennel; carrot cake.

Open Monday through Friday for lunch and dinner, Saturday 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 Logan Circle.