With a slew of interesting new restaurants in town, why go to a pricey steakhouse situated in a hotel in Georgetown? And why in heaven’s name should we go when half of my party of six doesn’t even eat meat? Fair question.
The answer? Bourbon Steak in the Four Seasons Hotel in Georgetown offers quality, consistency, and sinfully good fries that they don’t even charge you for. You don’t really need to drink bourbon or eat steak to enjoy a meal here. In fact my favorite parts of dinner have nothing at all to do with alcohol or red meat. I am more partial to the surroundings, which applies to the food as well as the atmosphere. At many restaurants, the devil can be in the details, but at Bourbon Steak it’s the details that leave us smiling.
The decor is dark and swanky, with an understated elegance. It’s one of those nights where us girls are a little more dressed up than usual. We’re not alone. Cocktail dresses are not out of place at Bourbon Steak.
Initially, we aren’t thrilled with a prolonged wait for our drinks to arrive. But when they do, along with those crisp hot fries coated in a thin layer of duck fat, all frustrations are forgotten. There are rosemary herb fries with spicy ketchup, onion-dusted fries with sour cream, and smoked paprika fries with barbecue sauce. Oh my. What a wonderful way to start a meal. So much better than bread.
Oh wait…there’s bread too. Warm black truffle dinner rolls have an exquisite aroma and are sinfully good. I am rendered powerless against their charm.
I don’t eat sardines, but have to admit that these look beautifully prepared. I’ll take the word of others on this one. I find the smell alone to be hellish.
I’ve had my share of steak lately after dinners at Le Diplomate and Del Campo. I try to limit my red meat intake, but I can’t steer away from it here. Chef/restauranteur Michael Mina’s menu at Bourbon Steak is obviously meaty. As the winner of DC’s 2012 American Lamb Jam tour, Executive Chef John Critchley clearly has a way with lamb, and I’m happy to indulge. Border Springs Farm grassfed lamb is prepared simply, allowing the meat to stand on its own merits. It does, although my preference for more creative cuisine leaves me a touch wistful.
Our non meat-eaters enjoy Virginia rockfish with pine nut, chermoula, and sea beans with flavors that are slightly sweet with a touch of heat. It’s not a rave-about kind of dish, but it is enough to justify the visit for the pescetarians among us.
Bourbon Steak’s farm fresh side dishes provide a creative touch. Silver queen corn with lime, cotija cheese, and huitalacoche (corn fungus!), stand out as my favorite.
Crunchy profiteroles with salty caramel ice cream, nutella, and hazelnuts doesn’t float my boat as a way to end the meal. Michael’s root beer float with sassafras ice cream, and root beer sorbet is a refreshingly good alternative.
Bourbon Steak is a heavenly option for true carnivores. For others, it’s the fries and the bread that help make this a memorable dining experience. And if like me, you overindulge on the extras, just say “the devil made me do it.”
Bourbon Steak, 2800 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Washington, DC