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BLT Steak, a New York-base Steakhouse Chain on 16th and I Street - Chef Jeremy Shelton Takes Over for Jon Mathieson

New York Chain Downtown Steakhouse ESquared Hospitality

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#51 DanielK

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Posted 07 December 2006 - 04:38 PM

... I had the rib-eye and it was good, not great...

This seems to be a recurring theme. Not a good sign for a steakhouse, IMO.

#52 bonaire

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Posted 14 December 2006 - 11:31 AM

Went to BLT last night. I was part of a group dinner, so I didn't get the full experience (service, etc), but wanted to comment on a few menu items. Our group dinner was family style (for those who may do a group dinner in the future) and it was a good way to get to taste a lot of items.

First, the bread they served was huge asiago cheese popovers. They were fantastic. Highlight of my night, in fact. :P I assume they're part of the regular menu as I think I saw a few people with them in the main dining room. The cheese flavor was very light, and the inside of the popover was a great warm, slightly chewy bread. The crusty outside was great too -- still very tasty, and not too hard or tasteless.

For appetizers, I tasted the caesar salad (not too overloaded with dressing but nothing that truly wowed me) and the tuna tartare (absolutely delicious, high grade tuna and some wasabi-infused soy sauce).

For dinner, they offered steak, lamb and swordfish. I barely touched these, as I was so stuffed from the popover and appetizers and I knew I had to prepare for dessert. I'll check it out next time, though.

Dessert was a blueberry lemon meringue, a peanut butter mousse with chocolate top and carrot cake. Each had an ice cream associated with it with a complementary flavor (lemon, banana and ginger, I believe).

The peanut butter was my favorite but it is SERIOUSLY rich and I'm not sure I could finish a whole dessert there. The ice cream is a necessity just to cut the richness a bit. The blueberry lemon meringue was great, very tart, and had homemade marshmallows on top. It might need a touch of sweetness just so as to not overwhelm you with pucker. I didn't try the carrot cake, but it looked fantastic and was not your typical carrot cake -- no heavy icing and it was sitting in a puddle of some sort of sauce.

Overall, very good food. I'd go just for the popovers and tuna tartare. I'll need to try to steak next time (duh).

One more thing -- the front of the house was in a flurry because Sietsema was apparently there last night. One of the FOH folks pointed him out to me (I'm not in the biz so I have no clue). Totally NOT what I expected. :D

#53 crackers

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Posted 15 December 2006 - 12:48 AM

One more thing -- the front of the house was in a flurry because Sietsema was apparently there last night. One of the FOH folks pointed him out to me (I'm not in the biz so I have no clue).

It should have been no surprise to anybody, front or back, that Sietsema was there one month to the day after it opened.
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#54 Mark Slater

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Posted 15 December 2006 - 01:12 AM

I had lunch there last Monday. It was my second visit. Everything we had was out of this world. The seafood platter was outrageously generous and impeccable. The Taylor Bay scallops ceviche is dynamite. The crab claws the best I've had in town. Very large shrimp, lots of oysters, including Kumamotos, were great. The popovers are delicious. Be careful: they are addictive and will fill you up! We ordered the double porterhouse steak, which was amazing. The strip side was the most deeply flavored steak I've ever had in Washington. We asked for sauce bearnaise and green peppercorn sauce. The sides are killer. Creamy spinach is better than any I've had recently. I am an onion ring addict. These were perfect. I ended up carrying a few pounds of food home! The service was friendly and very attentive. The idea of dessert seemed ridiculous after such a large lunch, but we sampled some ice creams, which we loved. I don't normally eat this much food, but everything I had, I enjoyed. One caveat: it is not cheap.

#55 bonaire

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Posted 15 December 2006 - 11:08 AM

How do you know what FOH is if you are not in the biz?

Because I read donrockwell.com!!! :P

#56 Jacques Gastreaux

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Posted 21 December 2006 - 02:32 PM

I had lunch at the BLT bar this afternoon and a prodigious lunch it was. I was a little disappointed when told that they had no lemonade (I mean come on, any bartender worth his/her salt should be able to whip up something in the nature of lemonade without too much thought) and made do with just plaim old tap water. The field green salad was what you would expect at a place of this sort with a nice mustard vinagrette dressing. The salad was accompanied by the popovers that looked like misshapen WWII German handgrenades. I was nearlly full from the salad and a popover when my hangar steak arrived in its own cast iron serving vessel. The hangar steak was cooked to a perfect medium rare and had the nice chewy texture and beefy flavor that is characteristic of the cut. It came with its own bowl of peppercorn sauce. The fries also were nice and crunchy (no soggy fries here).

My peeve was that I had to pay $9 for a small/medium cone of frites to go with my $24 hangar steak. For $9, I expected a bowl of frites large enough for me and my two dining companions to share. If I had ordered the $16 hamburger, I would have gotten the same amount of frites as part of the price. I'll admit that I could not tell if the frites were of the commercial frozen variety or house made, which might justify a higher price. They were good and crunchy.

Summary: Steak frites are great but a little on the pricey side.
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#57 bonaire

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Posted 27 December 2006 - 04:53 PM

Went back to BLT with the family today for a quick lunch at the bar. Oddly, we stuck to seafood. One of their specials today was a tuna melt -- diced ahi tuna with a mustard/mayo dressing, topped with gruyere cheese. Was quite good -- not overly sauced, fresh tuna --, although a little difficult to eat -- was kind of hard to cut through the bread. Two of us also had the tuna tartare, which I really am beginning to crave now on occasion. The soy-lime sauce is perfect -- not overly salty and has just enough wasabi in it to give it a kick. The potato crisps (I think they're potato) that the tuna comes with are a little too delicate to hold the tuna, though, so I've been just crushing them up and adding them to the mix.

One item I don't think I'll order again is the parmesan gnocchi. They're a side dish. They come in a small cast iron pan and they are COVERED with parmesan cheese. And when I say covered, I mean there is at least a cup and a half of freshly shaved parmesan cheese on top of this little cast iron pan. I had to scoop the majority of it off, and even then, it was too much -- you had no idea that you were eating gnocchi. Literally, the tower of parmesan was as high as my glass of pop. It felt like the gnocchi had a good texture -- I just couldn't tell under the Mt. Everest of parmesan! My dad and his wife loved their side of hen of the woods -- they were gone before my sister and I could get our hands on any!

The service was excellent -- we had a bartender named Karen who was fantastic about explaining the menu, the wine list, etc. I'll definitely start heading here more often -- a popover and the tuna tartare can be a meal unto itself.

Oh, one last item -- I started with the lump crab cocktail. Maryland crab with a yummy dijon mustard sauce of some kind. Tart without overwhelming the taste of the crab.

Will work my way through the beef next time!

#58 lackadaisi

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Posted 29 December 2006 - 03:58 PM

Jeff and I finally went for lunch today, and although I'm glad I tried it, I probably won't be back anytime soon.

I was quite excited at first. I really like the look of the place: casual, but not cheap. And, I loved the popovers; they were equally cheesy, yolky, and crusty. As my diet doesn't start until the 1st, I added a bit of the butter to it after a while, and somehow it got even better. Unable to heed the warnings above, I ate the whole thing quite happily. The presentation was very nice, too, with the recipe presented on a little card so you can make it at home later.

After being quizzed on who ordered which appetizer, I received my crab cake. The crab inside was some of the best I have had all year, but not worth the trouble it took to find it. The cake was mostly filler covered by a hard crust of even more breading. It was served on a pile strongly seasoned celeriac strips, with a very tart "mache salad" that was much more frisee than mache. I guess that some people that order the dish really don't like crab, because it was served with a thick tarter sauce and lemon wedge that would fully -and irreparably - hide the meat if used. I felt like I was playing where's waldo with the crab. After dissecting the cake, I found a few large lumps of crab meat. When picked out piece by piece, it was wonderful. So sad for such good crab to be so disguised. . . . And, odd that nobody commented as they removed my almost full plate from the table.

Jeff's tuna tartare, on the other hand, was excellent! The avocado and soy-lime dressing perfectly complemented the tuna, which was itself of unsurpassed quality. It was presented with airy potato crisps, which were to be used to scoop the tuna. Although too fragile to scoop, when placed on a fork with the tuna or eaten right after a bite of tuna, the crisps added a wonderful textural contrast. All in all, it was a great dish.

For our entrees, Jeff chose the New York Strip, and I the "BLT" American Kobe and Fois Gras.

Jeff's steak was fine; it was cooked exactly to medium rare, as requested. The bernaise sauce was good. But, we kept thinking of Ray's.

I took a bite of the sandwich served to me, and it didn't seem right at all; it was all pickle. Upon further inspection, I realized that it wasn't the BLT at all; maybe it was the cuban. Once pointed out to the server, it was quickly replaced with the BLT. The BLT was very good. A bit of beef, a bit of fois gras, and a tiny tiny bit of tomato, all on a toasty sandwich. I really liked it. The fries that it came with were pretty good too, and I really enjoyed dipping them in the steak sauce served with them. (The parmesan fries that had been served with the first sandwich really needed a dip too, maybe just ketchup - but maybe they typically come with something).

On the side, we ordered creamed spinach and maple sweet potatoes. The spinach was great, and the sweet potatoes were really good. But, kinda small portions for how much they cost.

The service was fine for a place as casual as BLT Steak tries to be, but not good enough for the prices it charges. There was a definite hawkish feeling. When unoccupied, as they frequently were (because I think we may be the only people in town today), the servers and bussers all congregated in the center of the dining room chatting and staring in a conspiratory way. When they disbanded, they would pace back and forth, staring at the tables. While we were finishing our entrees, I counted one busser passing by our table EIGHT times in less than a minute, always staring at our table and so close that he occassionally touched the chair across from me (and there is plenty of room between the tables). It made me nervous.

Lunch was $171 for two, including two appetizers, two entrees, two sides, one ice tea, two coffees, tax, and tip. I find this comparable to the amount typically spent on a lunch of this type for three people. I was not convinced that this was worth the extra money.

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#59 bonaire

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Posted 29 December 2006 - 04:09 PM

Lunch was $171 for two, including two appetizers, two entrees, two sides, one ice tea, two coffees, tax, and tip. I find this comparable to the amount typically spent on a lunch of this type for three people. I was not convinced that this was worth the extra money.

The place is fairly expensive -- more so than one would expect. You're right that the decor (especially the wall menu) makes you think it will be at least slightly more casually priced than what it is. Still, those popovers keep me goin' back...

One more item -- they have a bunch of tables in the bar area (separated from the regular dining room by a small wall) but I was told that was for dining room customers, not bar patrons. They have very comfortable bar stools, but they're limited. I hate standing in a bar -- I hope they think about opening some of those tables up to bar patrons at some point.

#60 acquamatta

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Posted 15 February 2007 - 07:30 PM

Greetings all,

I don't know if any of you had yet dined at the above but I went last night and it was not as I had hoped. While there were plenty of tables open we were kept waiting for 15+ minutes for our table. Our server was excellent as was the amuse of chicken liver with grilled bread and our salads. Had we stopped there the meal would have been perfect. The oysters were meek. Our steaks, which we were told were prime, definitely were not. My rib eye was cooked to mid rare but was tough and chewy. The hanger steak was far better. The wine list was broad and well represented but very very pricey. As we were leaving, we went to give our coat check claim to the young lady at the host(ess)/manager stand who happened to be on the phone (no biggie, I'm sure for a legit reason) while her two associates were too busy chatting with each other to be bothered with us. Sometimes it's the little things that make a difference.

I guess the hunt for DC's best steak house is still on.

Cheers!

#61 Mark Slater

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Posted 11 June 2007 - 10:12 PM

I had a SENSATIONAL dinner at BLT tonight. Raw bar sampler, absolutely perfectly cooked Dover sole, a most delicious rib cap steak. The onion rings were awesome, as usual. I love this place.

#62 DonRocks

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Posted 12 June 2007 - 09:26 AM

I had a SENSATIONAL dinner at BLT tonight. Raw bar sampler, absolutely perfectly cooked Dover sole, a most delicious rib cap steak. The onion rings were awesome, as usual. I love this place.

I'm almost afraid to ask, but how much was the Dover sole?

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#63 alan7147

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Posted 12 June 2007 - 09:45 AM

I'm almost afraid to ask, but how much was the Dover sole?

According to Sietsema's Feb 2007 review it is $45.

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#64 Mark Slater

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Posted 12 June 2007 - 09:50 AM

I'm almost afraid to ask, but how much was the Dover sole?

$45 confirmed.

#65 Sthitch

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Posted 22 July 2007 - 09:03 AM

Underwhelming food and dysfunctional wine service is how I would summarize my first visit to BLT Steak. The food was not bad, but at that price point I would expect it to be better, much better. It all started out well, with a wonderful chicken liver amuse, probably the best chicken liver dish I have ever had. But from there it quickly went down hill. The double cut bacon appetizer was rather boring. The bacon was flavorful, but the cooking method left the bacon so limp that it was calling for a little Ceallis. The garlic topping did nothing to enhance the flavor of the bacon, and in some ways I found it to be a distraction.

The steaks were flavorful, but the rib eye was undercooked, medium rare came out very rare with a burnt crust. The strip steak was cooked to be perfectly medium rare, but again the crust was burnt. I like a beautiful crust on a steak, but when they come out black something has gone wrong, it adds an unpleasant bitterness to the meat that is neither needed, nor appreciated. The accompanying sauces were of little value, the horseradish sauce was whipped cream with flavorless horseradish mixed in, and the cheese sauce could have come right out of a can. The sides were the highlight of the entrees, the onion rings were very good, but they did not come close to knocking off Capital Grille’s version as my favorite in the city. The tater tots were very good, I actually would have preferred that they not have the layer of cheese in them, but that is because I thought that it took away from the creamy goodness of well seasoned potatoes.

The desserts were a bit of a hit and miss. The Cassis Lemon Meringue pie was devoid of lemon flavor, and over-powered by the bitterness of the currants, with none of the flavor. On the other hand the Peanut Butter Mouse with Banana Ice Cream was a winner. The mouse had a delightful creamy texture, and brimmed over with peanut flavor, while the ice cream had the perfect amount of banana to balance with the mouse.

The disappointing food was only made worse by the amateurish and dysfunctional wine service. We had hoped to start our meal with a half bottle of rose Champagne, so I ordered just that. After ordering it, I noticed the Sommelier tend to another table where he spent ten minutes helping the jean clad middle aged metrosexual want-to-be pick an over-oaked California Chardonnay and an acceptable, but rather boring Oregon Pinot Noir, all the time wondering if we had to wait for him to finish to get out champagne. He brought out the wines for the other table, and had to be pulled away to let us know that they were out of the Champagne that we ordered, and asked if we would like to go with the non-rose. My wife really wanted Champagne so I said yes. Right after he left the table the appetizer showed-up. He went to get the bottle, and we saw him emerge from the wine room with it, and instead of coming to our table with it, he set it somewhere else and went back to the other table. Another ten minutes had passed and still not Champagne, so I called over our waiter and he said, “It is not finished chilling, the Sommelier told you that we did not have a cold bottle.” Actually, no, the sommelier did not tell us that, or else we would have simply asked for two glasses of Champagne, when he discovered that the bottle was not cold he put it somewhere to chill, but did not bother to talk to us. We cancelled the bottle, and asked for the wine that we ordered for our entrées.

We made it all of the way through our appetizer without a drop of wine, quite an accomplishment. But then the service went from the dysfunctional miscommunications that ruined the Champagne experience, to just plain amateurish. The sommelier did not return to our table to apologize for the previous miscommunication, actually he would not even look at our table after that, so our bottle of red was handled by someone else. This person opened the bottle poured a small amount and tasted it. Generally I prefer this type of wine service, however, when they do smell and taste and a corked bottle is still delivered to the table I have to wonder what the point is. And that is what happened last night. The bottle arrived and while the “dank basement smell” was rather slight, couple that with a fruitless wine (where there should have been plenty of fruit) screams taint. I sent it back and the second bottle was much better.

Will I go back? For $200 a person, I do not expect to be treated like I did by a key member of the staff, the management team was indifferent to the issues, and frankly much better food, unless someone else is paying I really doubt that I will ever step foot in that restaurant again.

#66 DLB

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Posted 22 July 2007 - 02:53 PM

I have been to BLT at least four times, and I have never spent $200 (that's more than the tasting menu at Komi) per person, that being said, the wine list is really overpriced, and I think the fish dishes really outshine the steaks. This past week we had an excellent tomato salad with watermelon and feta, the corn and bacon side dish was also good. I agree with you about the wine service. The wine guy just brought the bottle, showed it to me, opened it, poured and left. He did all this without saying one word.

#67 jparrott

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Posted 23 July 2007 - 01:30 PM

an excellent tomato salad with watermelon and feta, the corn and bacon side dish was also good.

These sound like Cafe Atlantico dishes, both in conception and level of sophistication.

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#68 Dave Pressley

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Posted 23 July 2007 - 03:37 PM

These sound like Cafe Atlantico dishes, both in conception and level of sophistication.

I'd say neither is very original, but rather tried and true combinations. Corn and bacon have always been likely partners and the watermelon salad...well I tried Google--
http://www.google.co...G=Google Search

Let's just say that neither BLT or Atlantico get credit for inventing this one, although I'm sure their versions are quite good!

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#69 cleveland park

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Posted 07 August 2007 - 01:51 PM

I'm going on Thursday for lunch and due to budget constraints keeping myself to restaurant week options. I keep looking but can't find them anywhere. I wouldn't like to show up there and not get a taste of their daily menu as restaurant week was meant to be treated. Has anyone been here for restaurant week?

#70 cleveland park

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Posted 13 August 2007 - 11:01 AM

Ok so I went on thursday and ate off the restaurant week menu. I'll start off with the food. There were 2 choices per course. 1st course there was a choice b/w Gazpacho and panzanella, I got the panzanella. It was good, not amazing but good, it had very clean flavors and the cheese went very well with the dish. The 2nd course offered cod/hangar steak. I ordered the hangar steak rare and it was excellent. I used to think why go to a steakhouse when you can make your own steak at home, but I see that the difference in the quality of meats that the steakhouses (or at least BLT) find is superior to what we can get at grocery stores. Unfortunately the steak did not come with sides, so I ordered french fries which were very good in flavor and came with a mayo based dipping sauce on the side. For desert there were 2 options as well but they were out of one of them, the original choices were berry tart w/ icecream/passion fruit creme brulee, but they were out of the tart. Creme Brulee was creme brulee nothing that you wouldnt get elsewhere, which I believe is a good thing since if it was bad i'd be bitching about it. I guess its one of those overplayed dishes, but since i had to get a desert and only had a choice.....

Got a bottle of wine, nothing remarkable it was a 2004 chianti, just wanted something to cheap to go with my food.

Service: Now I am not a difficult guest at a restaurant and have worked at jaleo for many years (not anymore), so I always tip over 20% and don't like to complain. But the service left much to be desired, the way they talked down to me is just not right and the way they dropped the plates on our table unacceptable. We were not done with our first course and they were putting our steaks on the table but not only that. They were moving my plate while I was eating and putting it to the side and b/c I was too passive they took my plate away w/o finishing. I wish I could have talked to a manager, but it wouldnt have made a difference b/c they were encouraging this behavior by acting the same way with us. I am obviously not part of their regular clientelle but the food is good and I would have gone back there but the treatment i got sucked and really made me feel like i was not welcome. I still gave 20%, can't bring myself to give less yet but this type of service was ridiculous.

#71 mnnchas

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Posted 13 August 2007 - 03:08 PM

Service: Now I am not a difficult guest at a restaurant and have worked at jaleo for many years (not anymore), so I always tip over 20% and don't like to complain. But the service left much to be desired, the way they talked down to me is just not right and the way they dropped the plates on our table unacceptable. We were not done with our first course and they were putting our steaks on the table but not only that. They were moving my plate while I was eating and putting it to the side and b/c I was too passive they took my plate away w/o finishing. I wish I could have talked to a manager, but it wouldnt have made a difference b/c they were encouraging this behavior by acting the same way with us. I am obviously not part of their regular clientelle but the food is good and I would have gone back there but the treatment i got sucked and really made me feel like i was not welcome. I still gave 20%, can't bring myself to give less yet but this type of service was ridiculous.

Well, if it makes you feel better, plenty of people like me will read this and cross BLT off of their "go to" list.

#72 Dave Pressley

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Posted 13 August 2007 - 03:53 PM

Well, if it makes you feel better, plenty of people like me will read this and cross BLT off of their "go to" list.

I'm pretty sure this board is here so that we can all share our opinions, positive and negative, with other people that are interested in finding out more about restaurants before they go. I'm sure the intent isn't to discourage others from experiencing what any restaurant has to offer based on one person's trip.

You should try it yourself and form your own opinion. :angry:

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#73 cleveland park

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Posted 13 August 2007 - 03:59 PM

I'm not trying to discourage others from going, in fact the steaks are great but I just needed to vent b/c I was made to feel like I didn't deserve to be there and I have never felt like that before. I am not one to complain about service or even care about it. As long as the food is good i will be back, but this time was different.

#74 DLB

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Posted 13 August 2007 - 04:26 PM

I'm pretty sure this board is here so that we can all share our opinions, positive and negative, with other people that are interested in finding out more about restaurants before they go. I'm sure the intent isn't to discourage others from experiencing what any restaurant has to offer based on one person's trip.

You should try it yourself and form your own opinion. :angry:

I have been to BLT several times and service is not their strong point; at those prices you should expect more.

#75 mnnchas

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Posted 13 August 2007 - 06:38 PM

I'm pretty sure this board is here so that we can all share our opinions, positive and negative, with other people that are interested in finding out more about restaurants before they go. I'm sure the intent isn't to discourage others from experiencing what any restaurant has to offer based on one person's trip.

You should try it yourself and form your own opinion. :angry:

You're probably right, but I've had severs "talk down" to me once or twice before, and it feels pretty crappy, especially when you're paying for the experience. If a sever was surly and then proceeded to push my plate around - while I was still eating - I probably would not be as well behaved as the other poster B)

#76 Dave Pressley

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Posted 14 August 2007 - 09:14 AM

You're probably right, but I've had severs "talk down" to me once or twice before, and it feels pretty crappy, especially when you're paying for the experience. If a sever was surly and then proceeded to push my plate around - while I was still eating - I probably would not be as well behaved as the other poster :angry:

I hear you loud and clear. Been there too! I think I'm going to BLT later this week now to see how the service is (and I never really need much prodding to eat steak anyway.) I'll report back!

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#77 wahoooob

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Posted 26 August 2007 - 07:44 PM

Anyone have any feedback on the $16 burger and fries? Good/soso/or eat elsewhere?

#78 jiveturk21

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Posted 11 February 2008 - 11:08 AM

Not taking my wallet into account, BLT Steak is a pretty great restaurant.

I like the space and the lively bar, but it is definitely not for people that have a tough time with their hearing. There was only two of us at dinner, so that made the conversation with the background noise easier, it might be tough with a table of four or more though, I can't imagine having to talk across the table to someone in this dining room. The crowd was a mixture of young and old, lots of people that seemed to be truly enjoying their Saturday night out and lots of eye candy for people who are interested in that sort of thing.

The service, in a word, was great. They were there when you needed them, but absent when you didn't. Good recommendations by the server and the wine guy, especially the wine recommendations which did not venture outside of the price range that we asked for, which surprisingly, is tough to find these days.

The drinks that we had at the bar beforehand, I believe that it was called the Mexican Rose, was wonderful, it went down easy and definitely packed a punch. And the wine at dinner, something good from Spain which I don't remember at all, was solid and reasonably priced, at least for the wine list that they have here.

The food, no question about it, was top notch. The bread and the pate served together was perfect, the pate had the chicken liver flavor that we were looking for, but not overpowering enough to offend diners that may not be on board with the notion. Next out, the popovers were wonderful and HUGE, the butter wasn't necessary, but it definitely was first rate and served at the right temperature, again, something that is tough to find these days. We both had a special steak, a flat iron with a duck egg. It was a pretty large piece of meat, cooked to a perfect medium rare and the flavor was wonderful. I ate some of the steak without the duck egg, enough to determine that the beef itself was amazing, and with the duck egg, to determine that I liked the idea of very upscale steak and eggs. The macaroni and cheese with truffles was a great dish as well, but we were very disappointed with the blue cheese tater tots, which were nothing more than deep fried mashed potatoes, and not very good ones at that. For dessert we split the chocolate chestnut sundae, just a perfect end to a great meal.

Overall, great space, cool crowd, attentive service, well executed creative cocktails and near perfect food. All around, BLT Steak is a wonderful restaurant, a place that I would always go to for my steak fix.

The only downside...the prices are pretty astronomical. For me, I don't mind, I feel like I got a great value for the money because I loved everything, other than those damn tater tots, but I can completely understand why people would seriously balk at coming here because of the prices. The Mexican Rose, like I stated, was great, but $14 is pretty steep for the size of the drink. The steak was wonderful, but $48 each can stop almost anyone in their tracks. $8 for the tater tots was $9 too much and the macaroni and cheese, while nearly perfect, was a bit pricey at $16. Like I said, I don't remember which Spanish wine we drank, but the markup on other wines that I recognized were a bit outrageous to me.

So, take BLT Steak for what it is, a top notch restaurant that everyone would enjoy, but one in which not that many people have the resources to ever walk through the doors.

#79 DPop

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Posted 11 February 2008 - 12:04 PM

The crowd was a mixture of young and old, lots of people that seemed to be truly enjoying their Saturday night out and lots of eye candy for people who are interested in that sort of thing.

I can't imagine that too many people would be interested in that sort of thing..... :mellow:

#80 ReconJohn0321

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Posted 03 March 2009 - 10:34 AM

I had lunch yesterday at BLT on "Eye" street and 16th in NW and was pleasantly surprised by the quality of the fare. I have had lunch there several times and each time had been underwhelmed. Yesterday, I had the flank steak with Gratin Potatoes and a nice glass of Los Carneros Merlot which were all out of this world. The flank steak by itself was perfectly cooked, wonderfully seasoned and simply delectable. If you work down town and need a great lunch with excellent service and a great price, you cannot go wrong with BLT.
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#81 Walrus

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Posted 09 May 2009 - 11:02 PM

Had a great time here tonight -- ended up completely, totally, absolutely stuffed and very happy. After a few little tastes -- some charcuterie, chicken liver, and lovely little cheese toasts -- we started with oysters from the raw bar for Tripewriter and with the burrata for me -- a HUGE piece of lovely, creamy cheese with a multitude of tomatoes in a vinaigrette. We also enjoyed the amazing tuna tartare, with crispy shallots and an avocado base -- devilishly delightful. Accompanying these starters were the famed popovers -- so huge, so crispy, creamy...yum. For mains, Tripewriter had the Kobe skirt, which he allllllmost finished, and I had the sole. The sole was wonderful -- perfectly cooked, even though it was a long, thin, delicate piece of fish. It would have been tremendously easy to overcook, but it was lovely -- slightly crispy on one side, delicate, but -- particularly with the caper/lemon butter sauce -- intense. For sides, we split the blue cheese "tater tots" (fluffy, creamy, and just blue enough to make me happy without being so blue as to overwhelm me); the potato gratin; some excellent asparagus, which I dipped in the butter/lemon/caper sauce -- yum; and green beans with crispy garlic. For dessert, I had the rhubarb crumble, with a fabulous, buttery biscuit crumble, and Tripewriter had sorbets and a chocolate/peanut butter mousse cake with banana ice cream. We were getting full after the starters, were stuffed by the end of the mains, and just about died by the end of dessert -- plus, Tripewriter has lunch for a couple days next week -- but it was all good food in a lively location with excellent company :D. I am ashamed to admit that I don't remember which wines I had, but the red we shared with our mains was lovely -- I have to admit, although I really liked it on first taste, I was...curious...to see how it would fit with the fish, but it was superb. Now to go sleep and recover :blink:

#82 Choirgirl21

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Posted 14 October 2009 - 11:25 AM

Went last night to celebrate a friend's birthday. I have to admit, once I realized what the prices were going to be, I was terrified. I've had really expensive meals that I was happy to spend the money on (Charleston, Restaurant Eve) and I've had others where I left totally disappointed (Gary Danko comes to mind). I can now add BLT steak to the list of places that have not disappointed me. Started off sharing the grilled bacon and tuna tartare apps with a friend, and paired the tuna with the sauvignon blanc by the glass from the Loire Valley. The bacon was good, but the tuna was outstanding and paired perfectly with the wine. My entree was the hanger steak - I was leaning toward it because I was trying to be cost-conscious, but when the server mentioned it was LT's favorite cut of meat, I was sold. It did not disappoint - thick, meaty and cooked to the most perfect medium rare. Sides shared were the blue cheese tater tots (mixed reviews but I really liked them, although in a simple fried food kind of way - they reminded me just a bit of an upscale version of the fried mac 'n cheese at TGI Fridays; I mean that in a good way), jalapeno mashed potatoes (less spice than people were expecting), and the roasted tomato mushrooms over polenta and roasted brussel sprouts, both from the specials menu. I think the general consensus was that the sides didn't wow, but they were all good. Certainly the meat was the star. Bites were shared of everyone's steaks, which included the waygu skirt, the ribeye, a flank that was a special, and the short ribs. The skirt and ribeye stand out, but again everything was really good.

I think the most common criticism I had read of BLT was of the service. Not for us, our server was informative, knowledgeable, and friendly. He also sent the sommelier over to make recommendations on bottles for our entrees without us asking despite being knowledgeable about the pairings by the glass, which I appreciated. Service in general was ideal, unobtrusive but everything was always taken care of, and I thought the timing on when our various courses arrived was good as well.

Oh, desserts. I nearly forgot we had them - a trio of pumpkin from the specials menu. The pumpkin creme brulee was the favorite of the table, as well as mine (and I NEVER order it b/c I generally find it boring), the pumpkin ice cream was quite delicious, the cake was only so so. The other dessert was the chocolate PB mousse, which Walrus mentioned and which I won't even bother to review b/c that is the last dessert I would ever order.

I will definitely happily go back, and with a little more time to prepare myself for the costs and knowing what I know now, I would feel confident opting for one of the pricier steak options.

Sorry, one final comment (blah blah blah...), in a shocking twist of events, I actually took leftovers home b/c I could not finish my meal and I didn't even eat my whole popover (most, but not all) so I do think the portions are quite generous.

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#83 rakekay

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Posted 24 February 2010 - 07:29 PM

I took my husband, a steak lover, to BLT Steak last weekend for a birthday dinner. To put it in a word, we were disappointed. I knew what the prices were in advance and was prepared to pay them. And, had the food been good, I would have been happy to pay them. Had we left after the appetizers, we would have thought it was a fabulous restaurant (he had the lobster salad cobb style; I had the tuna tartare. Both were amazing. And, of course, the popovers were excellent.) But then our steaks arrived. I'm not much of a steak fan, so I ordered the hanger steak since it was the smallest (and cheapest) on the menu. Hubby ordered the "BLT Cut bone-in sirloin." I ordered medium; he ordered medium rare. Mine came rare; his came medium well. We both ate about 1/3 of our steaks and decided that was enough. Needless to say, it was about $90 of wasted steak. Next time we'll go to Ray's.

#84 DanielK

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Posted 24 February 2010 - 09:46 PM

I ordered medium; he ordered medium rare. Mine came rare; his came medium well.

I almost never send anything back in a restaurant.

Except a steak.

Why didn't you?

#85 ulrath

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Posted 15 July 2010 - 12:40 PM

Taking a group here on Saturday for a pre-bachelor party dinner. Any dishes we should avoid? Anything we should try? What I am reading here is that the non-steak dishes may be better than the steak dishes and that the side dishes are excellent.

#86 Bob Wells

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Posted 19 July 2010 - 07:46 AM

Taking a group here on Saturday for a pre-bachelor party dinner. Any dishes we should avoid? Anything we should try? What I am reading here is that the non-steak dishes may be better than the steak dishes and that the side dishes are excellent.


The swordfish I got a couple of weeks ago was very good albeit absurdly priced at $36, but that's probably not an issue for your dinner.

As for the sides, you should order the "jalapeno mash" just to see what it looks like.

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#87 goodeats

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Posted 10 May 2012 - 08:24 AM

Um, why was BLT Steak hires chef Jon Mathieson newspiece missed? Has anyone been lately?
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#88 NovaLawyer

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Posted 14 May 2012 - 10:26 AM

Um, why was BLT Steak hires chef Jon Mathieson newspiece missed? Has anyone been lately?


I was there shortly after he was hired but did not notice any differences from the menu I had tried before his arrival. This is an excellent up-scale steakhouse (up-scale in both price and quality), perhaps the best in DC in my opinion. One way I try to save a bit of dosh on the tab is to go by at Happy Hour, have a couple $5 cocktails at the bar, perhaps one of their $5 appetizers (always very good), and then sit down at the table to buy yourself a single entree: a great big hunk of roasted cow flesh. Saves probably $25 a head off what you'd pay if you had the whole meal at the table.

#89 DonRocks

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Posted 30 September 2013 - 06:15 PM

Jon Mathieson is no longer at BLT Steak.

 

Big-name out-of-town chefs can make big splashes, but ... once the water settles, there usually isn't much left in the pool.

 

Ducasse ...

Westermann ...

Tourondel ...

Ripert ...

Lee ...

 

So easy to put your name on a sign, isn't it?

 

Puck ...

Vongerichten ...

Smith ...

Flay ...

Palmer ...

 

To be continued.

 

Yawn.

 

It does provide boot-licking fodder for cozy-up "restaurant critics," however.


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#90 ktmoomau

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Posted 01 October 2013 - 04:24 PM

Speaking of BLT Steak.  I was meeting a friend for a Pre CUA-CSL Alumni reception that didn't start till 7:00.  There were drinks and food there, but I wasn't sure what food they would have so we went to BLT during their $5 happy hour beforehand.  I managed to grab a table, but man it was busy.  It was like 6:20 and happy hour ended at 6:30, we ordered some drinks and an order of skewers and sliders.  The waiter was really nice, especially when we weren't spending much money (We tipped well, over 20%).  I was really impressed by him, he was a class act. It is bits of kindness like that which make me want to come back to a place.  And the sliders were really good.  Friend had the skewers and said they had a really good flavor, but I think my slides on looks alone looked better.  


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#91 ol_ironstomach

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Posted 02 October 2013 - 02:22 AM

Well, that sucks.  Mathieson was knocking out some terrific veal cheek bites at the 86 Summer / 86 Bucks fundraiser on BLT's rooftop two weeks ago, one of our top two favorite items there, and his kitchen was sending up tray after tray of passed apps (I was partial to the chicken liver) as well as some positively gargantuan popovers.


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#92 DonRocks

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Posted 15 October 2013 - 02:34 PM

Jon Mathieson is no longer at BLT Steak.

 

Jon Mathieson is now the Executive Chef for the Washington Redskins at their headquarters in Ashburn.


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#93 jandres374

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Posted 16 October 2013 - 10:02 AM

Jon Mathieson is no longer at BLT Steak.

 

As first reported by Tim Carman on Monday. Ha. http://www.washingto...he-redskins.php



#94 RWBooneJr.

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Posted 16 October 2013 - 11:21 AM

Jon Mathieson is now the Executive Chef for the Washington Redskins at their headquarters in Ashburn.

 

As first reported by the Jessica Voelker this morning.

 

In fairness, Eater had it yesterday, citing Don as the source.

 

The funniest thing about the "food news" business is that it's news at all.  This doesn't stop me from following it, but sometimes you need to stop and appreciate the ridiculousness of it all.



#95 DonRocks

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Posted 16 October 2013 - 11:47 AM

As first reported by the Jessica Voelker this morning.

 

In fairness, Eater had it yesterday, citing Don as the source.

 

The funniest thing about the "food news" business is that it's news at all.  This doesn't stop me from following it, but sometimes you need to stop and appreciate the ridiculousness of it all.

 

[This post has been deleted and replaced by this comment.]


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#96 Waitman

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Posted 16 October 2013 - 08:51 PM

I wonder if it's possible that Carman, who's spent a few years building up contacts of his own, might have his other sources for stuff like this than DR.com -- especially given that football teams, chefs and restaurants all employ PR people who schmooze with local journos and that everyone in the restaurant business gossips like schoolgirls. 


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#97 RWBooneJr.

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Posted 16 October 2013 - 09:47 PM

I wonder if it's possible that Carman, who's spent a few years building up contacts of his own, might have his other sources for stuff like this than DR.com -- especially given that football teams, chefs and restaurants all employ PR people who schmooze with local journos and that everyone in the restaurant business gossips like schoolgirls. 

 

Being completely oblivious to something that a significant number of people interested in the "DC food scene" have already known for about two weeks would not seem to be a strong defense for one purporting to be a professional DC food reporter, no?



#98 Waitman

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Posted 16 October 2013 - 09:50 PM

Chronology I get is that Tim broke the Redskins story Monday, -and you went with it Tuesday. If you had it but didn't go with it -- unless you were Carman's source and had an agreement -- I don't see how he can be faulted for going with the story when he got it and not crediting someone who didn't give the story to him.

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#99 RWBooneJr.

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Posted 16 October 2013 - 10:37 PM

The full and correct chronology is: Rockwell, CarmanRockwell, Frederick, and Voelker.

 

In actuality, I attribute no malicious intent to any of these parties.  I suspect that the official policy at the established publications is that you don't publish a story based on rumors unless you can confirm it with a source.  The disconnect is that something from a "blogger" (which most of these types equate Don with) constitutes a rumor and confirming that rumor equates with actual, original reporting.  The problem with this approach is that so-called "blogged" information is not a rumor in the classic sense -- it's out there; people can read it and they do.  Chalk it up to yet another example of the "mainstream media's" utter lack of comprehension regarding all things "new media."  Their problem isn't irrelevance, it's stupidity.

 

The correct way to do this is reporting that "someone my superiors don't trust is reporting . . . ."  But, whatever, the publications don't care.  It's food.  The headlines are "a cook left his job at a place you can go to" and "Redskins hire a new cook at a place you can't."  I respect the hell out of the gentleman in question and his work.  But c'mon.  Watergate it ain't.

 

Which is not to say that the big guys shouldn't give credit where credit is due.  Fair is fair. 



#100 bylinemjf

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Posted 17 October 2013 - 08:20 AM

Hey there, Don -

 

The reason the story isn't "tagged" with Don Rockwell on Eater.com is that Eater uses tags to indicate what the story is about, not to credit who wrote it (that's done through linking and through brackets). If a story is about Tom Sietsema (his dining guide, etc.), for example, I might tag it with his name, but if you notice, the posts on Eater tag the article's subject matter. It's a fairly transparent system. 

 

My publication did a "limp-wristed" job of crediting your reporting because there was no source for your claim. You didn't write "Jon Mathieson has told me he has X new job" or say where the info came from (a worker within the restaurant, someone who randomly told you, etc.). You just stated it as fact, without indicating sources. With big-deal stories like that, I need to understand what kind of reporting goes on before I acknowledge it as reporting rather than the discussion of rumors (for the first part of the story, which was even more sensitive, I waited to credit someone who spelled out where the info came from, and also worked on the story myself to try to get a confirmed report). I credit when I directly get information from other sources very consistently (and there are several links to Don Rockwell on Eater), but I have to treat publications with different standards with more caution - that's, for example, why I will not aggregate a Prince of Petworth "scuttlebutt" post without doing my own reporting and acknowledging it as rumor rather than fact. You may disagree with this system, but there is a method to it.

 

Additionally, I imagine that most journalists do not see every single post in your forum (I personally try to check it once a day, and will often catch something if it is sent out on Twitter, but I'm sure there is plenty I don't see). I don't expect everyone will read everything I write on Eater, either, which is one of many reasons I don't chase down other publications for credit. Your site's layout isn't very clear to read unless someone goes through every single restaurant thread constantly, and reporters usually are not sitting at their desks all day pouring over others' work. So sometimes they're not slighting you; they're just using their own sources to do their job, which is to report news, not publicize other media outlets. 

 

You are free to contact me directly to question any of Eater's policies or decisions, and your readers are welcome to do so as well. I have had several conversations with you via email about my company's procedures, and have always treated you with respect during those discussions. In fact, I encouraged you to send me a link when you had a particularly big scoop, which is a fairly common procedure for sites who want others to pick up their work. But the one time you did send me a list of stories that I had failed to credit, as you put it, you sent me a mix of aggregated items, reviews from users, very minor news items, items written from press releases, etc., which are not posts I would aggregate on Eater.

 

I don't think it's professional for you to be swearing about your colleagues and accusing them of serious ethical violations in a public setting (you've done it about Eater as well in the past, though you've since deleted some of those posts), but it's your forum. I don't plan to engage with you on your site any further, as I don't think it's an appropriate place to do it, but your frequent public maligning of me and my fellow writers in the industry deserved a response. Take care.

 

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