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Bourbon Steak, Four Seasons Hotel, Georgetown - Chef Joe Palma Replaces John Critchley


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So the Michael Mina place is just going to be another branch of his (pricey) steak chain Bourbon Steak ($22 for an American Kobe burger with duck fat fries in Miami ($25 if you click on another Miami menu link) though only $18 in Detroit). It doesn't sound that exciting. And does the lack of chat on this mean that others agree? Has anyone been to one?

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So the Michael Mina place is just going to be another branch of his (pricey) steak chain Bourbon Steak ($22 for an American Kobe burger with duck fat fries in Miami ($25 if you click on another Miami menu link) though only $18 in Detroit). It doesn't sound that exciting. And does the lack of chat on this mean that others agree? Has anyone been to one?

The Arizona Republic just gave his location there 4.5 stars. Frankly, it doesn't sound like anything special. I'll just keep putting my name down at Ray's like everyone else.

http://www.azcentral.com/ent/dining/articl...729bourbon.html

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Skirt Steak 12 oz; Whole-fried organic chicken for two, truffled mac & cheese; Porterhouse 30oz; Consuming raw or undercooked meats, poultry, seafood, shellfish or eggs may increase your risks of foodbourne illness...
Such palpitating news is a flabbergasting gamble in my otherwise anemic investments into obesity, heart disease, stupid soulless franchises and colonoscopies handicapped by reasonable amounts of protein and cookery within sensible restraint. Eat up! :lol:
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The DC Chefs piece on Mina/Bourbon notes that the steaks will be cooked thusly: "First, they're poached in clarified butter, thyme and shallots at 118 degrees for between 20 minutes and two hours. Then they're seared on a wood and charcoal grill at 1,000 degrees .... [then] grilled to the degree of doneness requested, then dressed with fleur de sel."

I'd eat that.

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Ok, I just made a reservation for 6 people. The lady taking my reservation asked for my CC info which always irks me but I understand they want to make sure their tables are full. Then she e-mails me a "Large Party Confirmation Form" they want me to sign this and fax it back to them in the next 48 hours. How ridiculous is this? Do I really have to fill out a form now every time I want to go out with my friend?

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Ok, I just made a reservation for 6 people. The lady taking my reservation asked for my CC info which always irks me but I understand they want to make sure their tables are full. Then she e-mails me a "Large Party Confirmation Form" they want me to sign this and fax it back to them in the next 48 hours. How ridiculous is this? Do I really have to fill out a form now every time I want to go out with my friend?

Did you have to get it notarized too? So a party of six requires special planning? Crowd control? :P

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Did you have to get it notarized too? So a party of six requires special planning? Crowd control? :P

I was wondering around the restaurant a few days ago, and was pleasantly greeted by a rather statuesque hostess. There was quite a buzz. She had informed me that dinner service would commence tomorrow evening, and lunch service is to to follow on December 29th. I will be making a reservation for lunch. Background check and credentials may not be required at that time.

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Since their official opening on December 19, I’ve managed to swing through Bourbon Steak a few times (twice for dinner, once for cocktails, and once for a bar snack). Here’s a run-through for those that might be interested.

First impressions:

At the moment, you’ll still have to find your way to Bourbon Steak (at the Four Seasons Hotel) through the temporary lobby entrance. The hotel’s lobby should be restored within a few weeks which will make the entrance to the restaurant a main focal point once you get past the reception desk. The Four Seasons staff is always friendly and welcoming but I do wish the restaurant had its own entrance.

Architecturally, I think the restaurant was well done – noticeably updated and more modern than the hotel décor, but not at all out of place. The furnishings consist of deep chocolate colors, soft grays, leather ceiling, warm lights, and comfortable seating (!). The private dining room (which can be divided into two sections depending on the size of your party) is one of the most beautiful in town and has windows on two sides.

Speaking of beautiful – there is no shortage of (in the words of my dining companion) “ascetically pleasing people” working there. There are many “suits” running the floor during this opening phase but I suspect many of them will head back to other Michael Mina outlets soon. When they leave, I hope they take the music soundtrack with them. “Free Bird” and “Janie’s Got a Gun” is just not my idea of dinner music.

Before Dinner:

One of my favorite things about the restaurant is its thorough and creative cocktail menu – extensive but not overwhelming since the drinks are organized by category. It’s easy to navigate depending on what you are in the mood for. However, I suggest you sit at the bar rather than in the lounge seating as the wait staff can be a little over attentive and eager to serve/refill/ask how your drink is. If you’re not in the mood for a mixed drink, the wine list is also very impressive and well organized offering everything from special occasion, to pricey, to “interesting”, to hard to get, to good-value wines. They have some lovely half bottles but I was most impressed by some of the Michael Mina labels (not something I’d usually want to try) which are served by the glass. The list also includes a page of whites and one of reds recommended by the sommelier which have introduced some new favorites. And, the wine staff is extremely approachable and ready to offer right-budget recommendations. I was pleasantly surprised when the sommelier un-snobbishly offered to decant a bottle of red that would have definitely fit in the “value-priced” category.

The Main Event:

What is there not to love about a restaurant that brings you “Duck Fat Fries” as an amuse bouche? Three different types are accompanied with three difference sauces for the table. Try as I might, I’ve yet to be able to resist them. The paprika ones are not my favorite but my recent dining companions disagreed.

For starters, there is a nice selection of shellfish options – including a shellfish platter to share or a platter or oysters/clams. I haven’t made my way through all of the appetizers yet but the standouts to me are the braised oxtail and the Kobe beef tartare, which is usually made table side (although last night it came from the kitchen preassembled). I’ve also tried the black truffle tortellini (nice variation on comfort food), the crab beignets (lite on crab, heavy on beignet), foie gras terrine (beautiful presentation), and the hamachi sashimi (a little too much sesame flavor for my taste).

The sides are fairly traditional and what you might expect from a steak-centric restaurant – baked potato with the fixins, potato puree, and creamed spinach with fried onion on top. The highlights for me have been the truffled mac and cheese (although at a recent visit we found broccoli added into the mac which just seems wrong) and the shaved brussel sprouts with pancetta.

For the main course, so far I’ve stuck to the meats but that’s not to say there aren’t plenty of fish and poultry options which also look good. Highly recommend the short ribs, and the 60-day dry aged cut special (if they have it). I have not been disappointed by any other beef cuts – especially with the option to add grilled foie gras as an accompaniment. Why add fois gras to a decadent, butter-poached then grilled piece of meat? Because you can.

I’m not a dessert person so I’m still hoping that they’ll add a cheese option to future variations of the menu. However, my fellow diners have tried the Macallan/Butterscotch dessert, the coconut candy bar and the bitter chocolate cake with rave reviews. If you skip dessert, there’s still a nice selection of after dinner drinks to keep you company.

Service:

Service has not disappointed in the least – very attentive and helpful without being overly fussy or effusive. They really tune in to the individual and personalize the service. In fact, you may recognize many of the waiters from other fine DC dining rooms (Maestro, CityZen, etc.). And, in classic Maitre d’Hotel style, the managers regularly check in to make sure all’s well. A nice touch I hope they don’t lose over time.

I wholeheartedly recommend Bourbon Steak and don’t want to end on a negative note but, I too ran into the same situation ppsailor01 had with the “Large Party Agreement Form” for 6 people and am extremely put off by it. I understand the restaurant’s motivation to guarantee groups but think it should be a tactic reserved for parties of 12 or more – or when booking out the pdr. At the very least, if you insist on requiring credit card information for a booking of 6 or more, just take my cc info over the phone – don’t burden me with a form that I have to fill out and return. In the grand scheme of things, it’s not a big deal (although the cancellation fee of $25 PER PERSON if canceled within 24 hours is…) but it did make me think twice before I extended the dinner invitation to the 3rd couple!

I hope you all find time to check out and enjoy the restaurant.

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I stopped into Bourbon Steak tonight to check out the new lobby and restaurant entrance and took a seat at the bar. There is a very interesting adult cocktail menu with good ingredients and proper mixers and garnishes. Dwayne, the Bar man, made me a perfectly crafted 4:1 Plymouth gin martini with delicious Dolin dry vermouth and Fee Brothers orange bitters. The bar menu goes later than the restaurant's. The Lobster Corn Dogs compete for what I believe is the current single best dish in the D. C. area. You heard it here. ;op

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I will admit, much to my chagrin, I did not want to like this place. I have never been or read about The Michael Mina Group and his restaurants. I only recognize his name and image from the pages of Gourmet Magazine. I can happily report that I have been to the Restaurant on a few occasions, and plan on making it my go to place. And I will agree with Mark, and mention that Dwayne adds a wonderful addition to the bar scene in DC. Where else can you go and have freshly squeezed fruit punch, while being serenaded to a Sam Cooke tune. The cocktails are incredilbe. The staff is well versed and gracious. Whats not to like? I am happy to eat my words. :P

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All of that and no mention of the signature dish of the place?

I had a steak and a bourbon old fashioned there a few weeks ago. Both very good. The cooking method makes it a little tricky to get a great crust, but their interpretation of "rare" is rare enough that if you want more crust, go ahead and order it MR.

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All of that and no mention of the signature dish of the place?

Sorry, I've been negligent!

I went to Bourbon Steak's lounge for the third time last night, and got the signature dish: a Gimlet ($14). It's actually running neck-and-neck between that and the Corpse Reviver #2 ($14). When you go, ask for Duane (the only bartender with glasses I believe). Duane came from McCormick and Schmick's at 9th & F Streets, and can shake a Gimlet like few other people I've seen - the drink is just so ALIVE when it's set in front of you, almost as if it's moving inside the glass, and the textural aspect of it is thrilling.

Gimlet, man, Gimlet. That's the drink of the moment.

And if you order it with Vodka instead of Gin, I'll show up at your house at 2 AM wearing a clown outfit.

Cheers,

Rocks.

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At the moment, you’ll still have to find your way to Bourbon Steak (at the Four Seasons Hotel) through the temporary lobby entrance. The hotel’s lobby should be restored within a few weeks which will make the entrance to the restaurant a main focal point once you get past the reception desk.
So did the Four Seasons put the restaurant where the lobby bar used to be -- on the main floor with the couches and a sort of garden feel? If so, that's a shame.
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So did the Four Seasons put the restaurant where the lobby bar used to be -- on the main floor with the couches and a sort of garden feel? If so, that's a shame.

It's on the main floor, and in fact the new entrance is open as of last week. More importantly, you no longer have to walk to Siberia to find a restroom, as there's now one right outside the restaurant. The restaurant itself is quite handsome, and has nothing resembling a garden feel.

Cheers,

Rocks.

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So did the Four Seasons put the restaurant where the lobby bar used to be -- on the main floor with the couches and a sort of garden feel? If so, that's a shame.
I was wondering the same thing. That's where they used to serve tea.
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So, there is a separate lounge/bar area? I saw the bar menu online. Does anyone know if you can also order from the regular dinner menu in the bar?

The bar is very comfortable. Don't miss the lobster corn dogs. Study the drink menu carefully before you order. There are lots of interesting drinks on it (and I don't mean Pomatinis and Apple Frou Frou drinks).

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The bar is very comfortable. Don't miss the lobster corn dogs. Study the drink menu carefully before you order. There are lots of interesting drinks on it (and I don't mean Pomatinis and Apple Frou Frou drinks).

Yeah, try taking a bunch of drunk out-of-town clients there between parties on 1/19/2009. Not fun at all.

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Please elaborate.

I stopped in on the way home tonight at 11:30 for a stiff drink. The bar was jammed, so I left.

I went on Sat night. The visit for me was "unexpected", meaning I didnt expect:

-The Four Seasons renovation to be very cool

-The bar scene was close to the one at Cafe Milano in the early days in a good way

- Old school mixology

- The restaurant build out is incredible (note the leather panels on the bar ceiling.... BLING) and what a nod to dc, for an "outta towner" ( although Im sure Four Seasons paid for most of it) to go long and deep with our dining scene,

-Wolff Blitzer, Dick Rubin, and Rahm Emanuel dining in tables next to me ( The Palm must have been empty on Sat night:)

-Almost all of the servers and bartenders ( except for a few dc'rs) have all been recruited here from NYC or Vegas. Since when do NYC'rs move to DC for a "cool/Hip job?

Is it the best food in DC? You be the judge.

Treat yourself and hang out at the bar. It will make you feel good and take you to another place much calmer and cooler then day to day dc politics.

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Not fun, but I did get to hang with Rick James.
Isn't Rick James dead?
The superfreak is dead.
Good catch, indeed he is, but there was an imposter there who was a dead ringer for him who had a crowd around him who actually thought he was the real Rick James. It was hilarious.
Maybe it was the dude from"Coming to America", in the Soul Glo commercials!
Amazingly enough, that was a very young Eriq La Salle, 6 years before he appeared on ER.

[back on topic, please.]

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Senator Mark Warner, General David Petreaus, Richard Holbrooke, my wife, and I dined at Bourbon Steak last night.* I can't *ahem* remember exactly what the others ordered, but my wife and I were really pleased with our experience there. We took a cue from Sietsema's review and focused on things other than the steak, and weren't disappointed. We overindulged in oysters, a delicious pork pate, and the fried sweetbreads to start, all of which were great, particularly the pate (a special last night). My wife had the lobster pot pie, delicious and a really cool presentation -- they open the pie at your table, and essentially reconstruct a whole lobster on your plate from the meat in the dish. But at $85 we never would have done this if we hadn't been using the gift card a very generous client gave. My crispy-skinned sea bass was maybe 60 seconds overcooked, but the flavors were spot on.

I thought I would love the free black truffle butter bread they brought out, but found it tough and doughy, though the flavors were nice. But seriously, and particularly in combination with the fries that came out first, this is too heavy a way to start a dinner of otherwise really well-thought through and composed - if not always light - dishes.

*Technically a true statement. :rolleyes:

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My wife had the lobster pot pie, delicious and a really cool presentation -- they open the pie at your table, and essentially reconstruct a whole lobster on your plate from the meat in the dish.

I had this dish at Michael Mina's in Bellagio. Same presentation but the lobster was definitely overcooked. I'd like to try it again but it would be nice to know that the kitchen is capable of doing the lobster pot pie properly before I drop $85 (it was only $70-75 when I had it, but still the single most expensive dish I've ever had).

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I had this dish at Michael Mina's in Bellagio. Same presentation but the lobster was definitely overcooked. I'd like to try it again but it would be nice to know that the kitchen is capable of doing the lobster pot pie properly before I drop $85 (it was only $70-75 when I had it, but still the single most expensive dish I've ever had).

The lobster as well as the root vegetables in the pie were perfectly cooked, not an easy task, I imagine. I was impressed.

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Senator Mark Warner, General David Petreaus, Richard Holbrooke, my wife, and I dined at Bourbon Steak last night.*

I had dinner with General Petraeus last week myself - this guy gets around. (Also barely missed Sheryl Crow and Linda Carter.) :rolleyes:

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Few people were dining at Bourbon last night (less than half full from 6 to 7:30 p.m. on Sat. night). The lack of people and conversation made the music much more noticeable, so much so that the table next to us complained about the selection of music. Our waitress responded that the music was handpicked by someone (who selects all the music for all the Mina restaurants) and she's powerless in that regard. It was indeed an ecletic selection of music.

As for the food, there are lots to choose from other than steak. We had the vichyssoise with a little bit of smoked salmon and the spring garlic soup with bits of confit duck to start. They were followed by a filet mignon, crispy sweetbreads, braised oxtail, and foie gras. I thought about ordering the lobster pot pie but my memory of that failed dish in Vegas suppressed the urge. To round out the meal, we also ordered sides of Chinese broccoli and truffle mac 'n cheese.

The steak was great, as good as any steak in the area (but a pricier alternative to Ray's). The sweetbreads were also top notch. The downers were the oxtail (way too salty) and the Chinese broccoli (overcooked, resulting in a chewy texture).

We couldn't finish the steak and the mac 'n cheese so we asked them to be boxed. Lo and behold, the mac 'n cheese spontaneously multiplied while in the box. We are still enthralled by this scientific feat.

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Few people were dining at Bourbon last night (less than half full from 6 to 7:30 p.m. on Sat. night). The lack of people and conversation made the music much more noticeable, so much so that the table next to us complained about the selection of music. Our waitress responded that the music was handpicked by someone (who selects all the music for all the Mina restaurants) and she's powerless in that regards. It was indeed an ecletic selection of music.

As for the food, there are lots to choose from other than steak. We had the vichyssoise with a little bit of smoked salmon and the spring garlic soup with bits of confit duck to start. They were followed by a filet mignon, crispy sweetbreads, braised oxtail, and foie gras. I thought about ordering the lobster pot pie but my memory of that failed dish in Vegas suppressed the urge. To round out the meal, we also ordered sides of Chinese broccoli and truffle mac 'n cheese.

The steak was great, as good as any steak in the area (but a pricier alternative to Ray's). The sweetbreads were also top notch. The downers were the oxtail (way too salty) and the Chinese broccoli (overcooked, resulting in a chewy texture).

We couldn't finish the steak and the mac 'n cheese so we asked them to be boxed. Lo and behold, the mac 'n cheese spontaneously multiplied while in the box. We are still enthralled by this scientific feat.

Eric, I remember the lobster pot pie at something like $50 at Aqua five or six years ago and feeling that it was a huge disappointment at the time. Bourbon steak being less than half full (despite a very good review in the Post), I believe, is a real comment on the economy. We're going there in several weeks, probably also on a Saturday. It will be interesting to see how crowded it is.

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Few people were dining at Bourbon last night (less than half full from 6 to 7:30 p.m. on Sat. night).
We're going there in several weeks, probably also on a Saturday. It will be interesting to see how crowded it is.

I went this past Tuesday, and make the mistake of thinking I could walk in at 8 PM. The restaurant was full, and so was the bar - we took a table and sipped a drink while waiting for something to open up, but fifteen minutes went by, and ... nothing. Nobody was moving from the bar, and the low-lying tables in the lounge are not my cup of tea for dining, but our delightful server went over and secured us a table in the main dining room, which opened up at about 8:30. In the general case, the crowds at Bourbon Steak have not let up since the week it opened.

As an aside, I'm beginning to think the worst days of the economy might be behind us, restaurant-wise. Perhaps it's an upward blip in an overall downward trend, I don't know, but it's clearly an upward blip at the minimum. I'm sensing consumer confidence beginning to wax, not only in the press, but also amongst both diners and staff in my little world.

Cheers,

Rocks.

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First, the highlights. The Rock was at the next table last night and he seemed like a genuinely nice guy. The service was lovely - considerate and helpful when called for, scarce when appropriate. As for the food, the fries that greet you when you sit down are good and the chocolate/caramel ice creams and coconut sorbet were delicious. The cocktails were creative and beautifully made.

The rest of the meal was fine, only one thing truly bad but nothing really memorable. For apps, I had the garlic soup with duck confit, my wife had the tuna tartare, which they mixed tableside but didn't justify the show. For main courses, my wife had the chicken which came as two slices of breast and two disks of chicken sausage. The sausage was good but the breast was truly awful - no seasoning, no crisp skin, not particularly well cooked. I had the dry-aged ribeye - my favorite cut. While it was cooked a perfect medium rare, there was something missing. It lacked that beefy succulence and was so "nutty" from its dry-aging that it tasted like blue cheese (not that I don't love bc, but it's disconcerting - like the difference between dipping a carrot in bc dip and eating bc-flavored carrots). The creamed spinach and truffle mac & cheese were decent.

Next time a lobster corn dog and a cocktal in the bar.

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I took my husband here for his birthday dinner on Saturday night and left disappointed. We are in our late 20's, and I got the feeling that we were definitely treated worse, than the other diners there because of this. Or, maybe we just got unlucky, but I could not believe how poorly we were treated for such an expensive meal.

At first we were seated at a four-person table which was fine, except we had these spotlights glaring down at us that made it hard to look at eachother and was really uncomfortable. I would say the atmosphere is not fun or romantic either. Instead of looking at my husband, I was positioned in a way that I was facing the people at the booth across from me. I asked if we could switch to a booth, as three booths were sitting there empty, but they said the booths were reserved. I made the reservations in advance and was not given an option for seating, and was surprised that many people would request booths in advance.

So, we eventually moved to a table where we were facing eachother. Our waitress came over, and I'm not sure if she was mad at us for moving tables, but she literally said less than 5 words throughout our entire meal. She would just walk over and stare at us, and I would have to initiate the talking "So, are we ready to order?" . It was really bizarre. At first I thought she hated us for moving tables, but I left thinking that something was wrong with her. We even had to ask for bread and other things that we saw the tables next to us getting. When going to an expensive dinner, I would just expect to have good service or a really nice waiter or waitress.

We got the tuna tartare, which was ok and steaks which were pretty standard. Anyway, I think I learned by lesson that Rays the Steaks is the place to go for steak. I would only return to Bourbon if on an expense account.

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I would only return to Bourbon if on an expense account.

Once again. The name of this restaurant is Bourbon Steak, which is a national concept owned by the Michael Mina folks. It is not related to the two local Bourbon restaurants, owned by local businessman Bill Thomas.

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Once again. The name of this restaurant is Bourbon Steak, which is a national concept owned by the Michael Mina folks. It is not related to the two local Bourbon restaurants, owned by local businessman Bill Thomas.

That's obvious, given the topic of the thread.

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I asked if we could switch to a booth, as three booths were sitting there empty, but they said the booths were reserved. I made the reservations in advance and was not given an option for seating, and was surprised that many people would request booths in advance.
We often request specific seating when making reservations -- there's nothing I dislike more, in terms of seating, then to be marooned at a 2-top in the middle of the floor -- makes me feel like I'm on an iceberg...I much prefer booths!
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I took my husband here for his birthday dinner on Saturday night and left disappointed. We are in our late 20's, and I got the feeling that we were definitely treated worse, than the other diners there because of this. Or, maybe we just got unlucky, but I could not believe how poorly we were treated for such an expensive meal.

At first we were seated at a four-person table which was fine, except we had these spotlights glaring down at us that made it hard to look at eachother and was really uncomfortable. I would say the atmosphere is not fun or romantic either. Instead of looking at my husband, I was positioned in a way that I was facing the people at the booth across from me. I asked if we could switch to a booth, as three booths were sitting there empty, but they said the booths were reserved. I made the reservations in advance and was not given an option for seating, and was surprised that many people would request booths in advance.

I was there on Saturday night. My wife and I are in our late 30s. I called the day before and specifically asked for a booth because I wanted a quiet table. My wife and I rarely go out these days because we are so busy with the kids and I told that to the hostess. She gave me a booth at 630. Not only that, the waiter mentioned that he heard we do not get out often and to enjoy ourselves - not to rush. Service was very good. No one forgot the rolls or the fries. We were attended to by at least 4 different levels of staff. Twice a different host come over to check us. The food was very good. This is not a cheap place and it was a spluge. My wife had halibut which she enjoyed and I had a dry-aged rib eye. Clearly, Rays is the ultimate steak place, but we wanted more atmosphere and a chance to stroll around Georgetown.

So, totally different experience than the other poster.

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Jamie McBain is an unheralded talent in the DC bartending community. He made his way over from Portland via Sova Coffee on H Street, and has been at Bourbon Steak since late July. Tonight he whipped up some loveliness with his pear brandy sidecar (pear brandy, lemon juice, orange juice, honey and some liquor that he named twice but escapes me). The Jefferson was also lovely with Bulleit bourbon, Carpano Antica and Regan's old-fashioned bitters. A random drink of tequila, cinnamon, aztec chocolate bitters and chocolate bitters was smoky but sweet. Watch out for this guy. He's a star for sure.

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Dinner here on Saturday night was really underwhelming. Everything started off well--the reservationist was very polite and was able to accomodate our request for a booth. We were seated promptly at 6:45, given dinner menus/wine list/cocktail menus, asked about water...and then that was it, until 7:20, when a server stopped by to take a drink order. Fifteen more minutes went by before our cocktails landed on the table, and the server turned around to leave without saying another word. My date called him back to the table so that maybe we could hear specials, place our order, etc...when I asked if he was our server, he replied "ma'am, you have many servers tonight". Not exactly the answer I was looking for. After our order was taken, things started to move along at a better pace; a trio of lukewarm but tasty fries with 3 different dipping sauces, then an amuse bouche of shrimp. The truffle butter rolls came out with our entrees--we both had NY strips, split an order of truffled mac and cheese, and were given a gratis side of brussels sprouts. I really enjoyed both sides, especially the brussels sprouts. The steaks were nothing to write home about; we might be spoiled, living across the street from Ray's.

I ordered a glass of wine with the steak; when it came to the table, it had obviously been sitting on a dirty tray or bartop, because the base was sticky and dripping red wine onto the table :) Easily remedied, but it was just one more annoying thing. I had made the reservation at 6:45 assuming that two people could easily finish dinner in two hours and be on our way to the next destination. We ended up only ordering one course after that long initial wait, just so we could make it out the door in time to be somewhere else by 9:00. We decided to forego dessert for this same reason, though someone (one of our many waiters?) did stop by with a desert with a candle in it for my fiancee's birthday. Very nice of them, but we were ready to leave.

A 4-top next to us seemed to be having a great time, so I wouldn't assume that our experience was typical--they were able to get a wine recommendation from the sommelier, be served said wine, place dinner orders, and finish their lobster pot pie appetizer, all before we even got our first round of cocktails.

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