100 Very Best Restaurants 2015: No. 100 Bourbon Steak Lounge

Critic’s Rating:

Cost:

A barrel-aged whiskey cocktail at Bourbon Steak Lounge. Photograph by Daniel Swartz, courtesy Bourbon Steak Lounge.

Michael Mina’s big-ticket dining room in the Four Seasons Hotel has had a place on this list for the last six years. But of late, we’ve had too many overcooked $59 steaks and lackluster appetizers to recommend it. What we can still get behind: the cocktails and snacks in the less buttoned-down lounge.

You’ll have to wade through a passel of socialites to get to the bar, but the rewards are many, thanks to Duane Sylvestre, who is as sure-handed with vintage fizzes as he is with creations like the Chameleon, a coupe holding gin, chamomile honey, and egg whites. On the haute junk-food menu, there are addictive skinny fries and some of DC’s best burgers. If there’s a crossover hit from the dining room roster (which you can still order from), it’s the crab hushpuppies with jalapeño.

Don’t miss:

  • Prime-beef and lamb burgers
  • Tuna tartare
  • Gin and tonic

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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.

Anna Spiegel
Food Editor

Anna Spiegel covers the dining and drinking scene in her native DC. Prior to joining Washingtonian in 2010, she attended the French Culinary Institute and Columbia University’s MFA program in New York, and held various cooking and writing positions in NYC and in St. John, US Virgin Islands.