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BLT Steak, a New York-Based, Upscale Steakhouse Chain on 16th and I Street - the Current Chef is Michael Bonk


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Went to his "fish shack" when I was up in NYC over New Year's. The quality of the food and the freshness of the seafood was quite good for the price point. I didn't get to dine upstairs at the more high-end BLT Fish, but I'm guessing that things would have been equally as good after perusing their menu. The "shack" was also where I ran into Iron Chef Flay. his wife, and their daughter...they seemed nice enough and waited over an hour for a table just like everyone else! It'll be interesting to see what goodness BLT brings to DC.

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Hmmmm. Hard to get too excited about another celebrity chef opening another branch of another steakhouse. 

'Less, maybe, it's the new Ray's.

Though, now that my daughter's a teenager I consider Landrum less a celebrity than a menace.

If this is the new Ray's, then electronic skateboards are the new Segway.

(...and I'm kidding)

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I'm looking forward to it. Cello was sublime during its relatively short existance in NYC, and our own region is for the worse that his original intended venture in Northern Virginia fell through. BLT Steak is more than a decent steakhouse, suffering only from being a bit too "trendy" and hence overcrowded. As with any out-of-city-of-origin expansion, however, the downside to a BLT DC is that the chef's personal hand may be hard to detect. Might as well be optimistic, though, until proven otherwise.

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I hope these folks have not planned on relying on the lobbying trade too much.

You think the high-dollar steakhouses are gonna have it hard? Spare a thought for the small, family loafer-buckle manufacturing concerns.

Edited by Stretch
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Do we know it is going to be a steak place?  I ask because as was mentioned above, in addition to BLT Steak (which was actually the original) there is BLT Fish and BLT Prime.

From Laurent himself, BLT Steak will be opening at the 16th & I location in August or September. Should be a great addition to DC
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From Laurent himself, BLT Steak will be opening at the 16th & I location in August or September. Should be a great addition to DC

New York Post reports that all the BLT restaurants-- Steak, Fish, and Burger-- are among the first restaurants to get REAL Kobe beef now that the embargo has been lifted. Will DC's restaurant share the wealth?

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Apparantly, its on the menu at Posh.

That's interesting. But If only three restaurants have been able to get it in New York, I find it surprising that the real thing is on the menu at Posh. Who knows? Maybe they're Waygu connoiseurs and know their Japanese cows from American ones.

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That's interesting. But If only three restaurants have been able to get it in New York, I find it surprising that the real thing is on the menu at Posh. Who knows? Maybe they're Waygu connoiseurs and know their Japanese cows from American ones.
If they are charging $10/oz with a 3/oz minimum and advertising it on the menu as "Wagyu Kobe" it had better be the real deal. I'm not about to spend that kind of money to set myself up as a plaintiff in a consumer fraud suit. From the Posh menu:

Grilled Wangyu Kobe Beef Filet

Velvety texture and rich marbling infuses every

bite of our cut to order Kobe filet with supreme

flavor. This melt in your mouth beef only

comes from those who honor the sophisticated

breeding practices and feeding methods that

originated in the Kobe region of Japan. Allow

yourself the luxury of searing the filet to your

liking over a lava rock hibachi. Served with a

creamy roe based taramasalata along with a

tomato cucumber salad. Garnished with a side

of honey worchestershire dipping sauce.

Offered at 10.00 an ounce

A minimum of a 3 ounce filet.

Or allow us the privilege of grilling it for you

and bringing your selection to your table (a six

ounce filet minimum.)

But frankly, if I was going to spend that kind of money, I think I would prefer a strip rather than a filet.

ETA:"Among the first" does not translsate into "the first." I've never tried real "Kobe" beef and cannot say whether it is worth the cost. It seems extravagent to me.

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A careful read of the description of the Posh beef is in order. Nowhere does it state that the beef is actually Kobe beef, imported from Japan.

Regardless, I'm still going to Rays for my beef fix. A fool and his money are soon parted. (Or, more pertinently to current events, as Will Rogers once said, "A fool and his money are soon elected.") :)

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Wagyu, as opposed to Waygu or Wangyu is Japanese for “Japanese cattle.” Wa = Japan, Gyu = Beef, Wang = Chinese surname “Yellow Penis”.

There are 4 breeds of cattle from which Kobe beef is raised. Cattle raised anywhere else is called Kobe Style or Wagyu but not solely Kobe. It is an appellation of origin much like the French AOC, Italian DOP, champagne/sparkling white wine nomenclature law things.

Highly unlikely that you or anyone else is getting the “real deal”in the US save for a few exclusive joints since Kobe beef must be raised and slaughtered in Hyogo Prefecture by Japanese goldfish tenders in sandals to be called such, and doubtful that the meth-driven poet laureates who composed the menu at Posh cold find a Japanese purveyor, or their asses.

A careful read of the description of the Posh beef is in order. Nowhere does it state that the beef is actually Kobe beef, imported from Japan.
Indeed; no shit.

True Kobe sells for $500-$50,000.

CP Steak used to offer a 10oz. Waygu sirloin for $76.

BLT Steak NYC Wagyu skirt retails, $44. Kobe: $28/oz.

Wang Chung LP’s can be haggled for $0.75-$1.50.

Your “Kobe Style Wagyever” most likely comes from Virginia, Idaho, Texas or the Pacific northwest.

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But for it to be "Kobe" beef," by definition it must come from Japan.

Yeah, and every other restaurant that has a menu that states Kobe gets it from Japan then too. Wasn't there an article or something about this? I don't think there is much regulation that prohibits this type of mislabeling, or am I wrong?

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Yeah, and every other restaurant that has a menu that states Kobe gets it from Japan then too. Wasn't there an article or something about this? I don't think there is much regulation that prohibits this type of mislabeling, or am I wrong?
Mislabling is fraud and if a consumer is duped into paying a higher price by a false designation, it is probably a crime.
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Mislabling is fraud and if a consumer is duped into paying a higher price by a false designation, it is probably a crime.

But is it mislabeling when all they say is that the beef only comes from those who honor the specific breeding practice.

This melt in your mouth beef only

comes from those who honor the sophisticated

breeding practices and feeding methods that

originated in the Kobe region of Japan.

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I was researching this after eating at The French Laundry and having the beef described as Kobe. This is the farm they use for the beef: Snake River. If you say American-style Kobe beef does that make a difference? Or is it diluting the designation?

Meanwhile, back on topic, will check out BLT tonight ...

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From the latest "The List: Are You On It:

Speaking of the new BLT in downtown DC, we were there for the big opening bash. General Manager Adam Williamowsky and his gracious staff hosted an evening of excellence, marked by superlative cocktails, champagnes, wines, the signature popovers (see Chef's Column) and, oh yes, melt-in-your-mouth Kobe beef!
While the beef served that the opening party was quite good, it wasn't Kobe, not at $26 per OUNCE! Wasn't Wagyu either, not for a crowd that large.
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So...who has been? I'm heading there tonight and am curious about menu suggestions. Hanger steak caught my eye, as did braised short ribs. I saw a bacon appetizer on the online menu too. :P However, I'm unclear as to whether the DC BLT Steak has the same menu as NYC.

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So...who has been? I'm heading there tonight and am curious about menu suggestions. Hanger steak caught my eye, as did braised short ribs. I saw a bacon appetizer on the online menu too. :P However, I'm unclear as to whether the DC BLT Steak has the same menu as NYC.

Siestema had a short, inconclusive blurb on it in the Wednesday WPost; middling reaction to the steak; drooled over the spinach; warned about overeating the popovers. Mrs. dcdavidm and I have reservations for Friday evening and will report back. We truly enjoyed the late Cello several times when Mrs dcdavidm spent a year working in NYC. BLT Steak was delicious but overwhelmingly crowded when we were there last year, which made the meal less than enjoyable. Looking forward to seeing how the franchise works in DC.

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I was there last night. We had a reservation, but in the end opted to eat at the bar. The bar staff is friendly and informative, and the nibbles (popcorn, olives, mixed nuts) were tasty. I liked the clubby room, however it was pretty loud. A group of about 12 guys at a centrally-located tables made it really loud at various points. We thought we spotted the former doorman from IndeBleu at the hosts' station.

In the end, I rate it as a rather average steakhouse, at least for now. The steaks were fine, but I have had much better beef elsewhere, particularly at RTC and RTS (and for less $$). Backing up a bit, we received an amuse of chicken liver pate with olive oil served with warm toasted bread. Very nice, excellent flavor. But then...out came the gruyere popovers, complete with a tiny recipe for popovers attached. That's a lot of bread. The popovers are served with nicely fatty European butter and a huge sea salt dispenser.

Like I said, our steaks were fine. So "fine" that I regret ordering the hangar steak instead of the short ribs. :P I don't think I have ever had a bad hangar steak so I was surprised by this one. It had more visible fat (and I don't mean marbled) than I have seen on a hangar before, and there was also a good deal of sinew. The sharp steak knife was needed, and the dollop of herb butter served atop my not-sizzling-hot steak just wouldn't melt. The skillet it came in, on the other hand, was hands-off-hot. Weird. My date had the ribeye which was enormous and came with a marrow bone. He attacked the marrow with gusto and left a lot of steak on the plate (which he took home so it's not really an indictment of the steak).

I liked our sides - potato gratin and onion rings served in a giant stack. We skipped other veggies this go-round. Too stuffed for dessert.

With two drinks apiece, the total cost with tip was just shy of $200.

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I looked over their menu online. Definitely more expensive than RTC but that's to be expected for the downtown location.

I was especially interested in the claim that their steaks are grilled at 1700 degrees (I'll assume Farenheit!). Is this truly out of the ordinary?? Anyone know what Michael is using at RTC/RTS? Their steaks have a sear that is second to none.

The temperature gauge on my Weber kettle grill gets buried when I really get it going so I'm going to assume I'm cooking my steak somewhere around 700F. I'd kill to have a grill that gets to 1700F. Where do I find one? And do I have to flameproof my house? :P

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I didn't see the list. When I sat down, I chatted with the bartender about selections by the glass and he offered tastes of several. I chose a light, refreshing Greek white wine consisting of three varietals I don't intend to try to spell. :P

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One more thing: BLT Steak was, last night, guilty of putting multiple unannounced items in the gigantic spinach salad. Only spinach, maytag blue and bacon were noted on the menu, however the enormous (I can't stress enough how large these salads are) salad contained giant croutons (bad for the no gluten folks), mushrooms-on-roids (bad for Chef Wabeck), sliced red onion and hard cooked egg. I was fine with all of the above, but the allergy discussion made me consider it.

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I was there last night. We had a reservation, but in the end opted to eat at the bar. The bar staff is friendly and informative, and the nibbles (popcorn, olives, mixed nuts) were tasty. I liked the clubby room, however it was pretty loud. A group of about 12 guys at a centrally-located tables made it really loud at various points. We thought we spotted the former doorman from IndeBleu at the hosts' station.

In the end, I rate it as a rather average steakhouse, at least for now. The steaks were fine, but I have had much better beef elsewhere, particularly at RTC and RTS (and for less $$). Backing up a bit, we received an amuse of chicken liver pate with olive oil served with warm toasted bread. Very nice, excellent flavor. But then...out came the gruyere popovers, complete with a tiny recipe for popovers attached. That's a lot of bread. The popovers are served with nicely fatty European butter and a huge sea salt dispenser.

Like I said, our steaks were fine. So "fine" that I regret ordering the hangar steak instead of the short ribs. :P I don't think I have ever had a bad hangar steak so I was surprised by this one. It had more visible fat (and I don't mean marbled) than I have seen on a hangar before, and there was also a good deal of sinew. The sharp steak knife was needed, and the dollop of herb butter served atop my not-sizzling-hot steak just wouldn't melt. The skillet it came in, on the other hand, was hands-off-hot. Weird. My date had the ribeye which was enormous and came with a marrow bone. He attacked the marrow with gusto and left a lot of steak on the plate (which he took home so it's not really an indictment of the steak).

I liked our sides - potato gratin and onion rings served in a giant stack. We skipped other veggies this go-round. Too stuffed for dessert.

With two drinks apiece, the total cost with tip was just shy of $200.

Regarding your hangar steak. The reason for the sinew was just poor cleaning. I always teach my cooks to clean it properly. It takes a little time but I don't want my customers have a bad piece of meat!

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I had a very enjoyable dinner at BLT last week. We sat at the bar and had quite a bit to eat. Oysters and clams were great quality, I loved the chicken liver paté, the charcuterie was excellent. With dinner, the creamed spinach and onion rings were outstanding. I had a very good swordfish. We had a great chat with Jen, the sommelier and drank very well. I'm looking forward to going back.

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We went to BLT Steak last night and went away satisfied, if somewhat poorer. We arrived on time for our reservation, and quickly were seated in a comfortable banquet four-top, which we appreciated. The décor is quite attractive and relaxing. I agree with JLK, however, on the high noise level. Unlike our experience with BLT/NY, though, it was more of a background din than high-decibel, distinct conversations; also unlike BLT/NY, the tables are widely spaced, the pace is more refined and relaxed, and there is no sense of customers and staff breathing down your neck.

I had a brief moment of concern when upon ordering a pre-dinner drink I had to explain how to make a negroni, and some of the front staff were still in learning mode (not a complaint; just an observation on a newly opened restaurant), but overall the service that really counted—our waiter David and sommelier Jen—was terrific. Jen recommended several wines to go with our veal and seafood dishes, and when I mentioned my target price point quickly came up with a fine complement to our proposed food—a 2004 Vincent Girardin Santenay Cote de Beaune. (In conversation we discovered that Jen had worked at several NYC restaurants that we enjoyed, and David had worked at restaurants in my hometown of Buffalo.) What appeared to be a manager-type came around during the meal to check on both the food and the service.

Alas, the charcuterie was absent, but the jar of warm, aromatic chicken liver pate was comforting, and the popovers were addicting.

We started by sharing a Caesar salad that, while not made tableside, tasted authentic, even to the faint hint of anchovy in the dressing. Mrs. Dcdavidm had the veal chop, which was excellent: a high quality piece of meat expertly cooked. I had the striped bass from the daily menu, which also was nicely done: a generous serving, lightly breaded, and served over a bed of minutely sliced onion and bell pepper and diced chorizo, all moistened with a rich broth and surrounded by cockles that genuinely tasted of the sea. The melding of flavors was excellent, though the dish struck me as ever so slightly oversalted. The only disappointment was a side order of parmesan gnocchi, which was so rich in cream and cheese that the flavor of the potato was lost.

We finished by sharing a “crepe soufflé,” which was different than I had envisioned, but which capped the meal perfectly. It consisted of a crepe, folded over on itself to surround a light, eggy, custardy concoction, all dressed with a tingling passionfruit sauce.

We certainly enjoyed ourselves and went away satisfied—much more so than from BLT/NY. Since the pricing makes it a high-end restaurant, we definitely would return but probably would not make a habit of going there often. We’d be more tempted, however, to frequently stop off at the bar early for a Caesar salad and a glass of wine or late for dessert and a glass of wine.

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Went to BLT last night and had a good meal and a great bottle of wine. Jen is wonderful!

I cannot say enough about the pate and the gruyere popovers. I had the rib-eye and it was good, not great. But it was cooked properly, med rare, and served in a hot cast iron plate. The mac and cheese was average and the creamed spinach was above average. the black cofee was good as well. Forgot to ask what they were brewing. I will go back!

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