Vive La France! We and other DC-area food bloggers stormed BLT Steak this Bastille Day to sample executive chef Victor Albisu’s seasonal dishes. Recently named DC’s top Power Spot, BLT Steak (founded by the illustrious French chef Laurent Tourondel) offers sophisticated bistro steakhouse fare. Chef Albisu is no stranger to French cuisine himself, graduating from Le Cordon Bleu School and previously cooking at L’Arpege in Paris and Marcel’s in DC.
Marie Antoinette famously declared, “Let them eat cake,” but we think she really meant popovers! Every meal at BLT Steak starts with their world-famous ones.* Crisp and shiny on the outside, soft and eggy inside, these piping hot beauties will keep you reaching into the bread basket despite your best intentions.
Appetizers at BLT Steak range from healthful salads (like tomato with arugula, basil, and whipped ricotta) to sinful smoky grilled double-cut bacon. Our favorite was the refreshingly light tuna tartare—a ruby red square of fresh tuna atop sliced avocado, topped with crispy fried onions, and dressed in a zingy soy-lime dressing.
Steaks are obviously a house specialty here. All of BLT Steak’s beef is USDA prime or certified Black Angus and naturally aged. Chef Albisu broils it at a searing 1700 degrees and finishes it with a dollop of rich herb butter. Wanna live on the edge? Then try yours “black and blue”—seared dark on the outside, cool and rare inside. Regardless of temperature, steaks are tender and juicy. Sauce options include traditional steak, three mustard, red wine, béarnaise, blue cheese, peppercorn, horseradish, BBQ, and chimichurri.
Not a beef eater? Then try some of BLT Steak’s fresh fish or shellfish. We sampled a beautiful assortment of briny East and West coast oysters on the half shell and savored a taste of the grenobloise-style Branzino. Feel like a splurge? Then order the grilled 2lb Maine lobster, bathed in a rich cognac jus. Served whole in the shell, it will make you the envy of the dining room! Sides (ordered separately and presented in cast iron cocottes) are large enough to share. Our favorites were the meaty hen of the woods mushroom mix and the spicy jalapeno mashed potatoes.
Sommelier Nicole Saladyga can help you find the perfect French wine to pair with your dish. Specializing in hard-to-find wines, she has helped BLT Steak win Wine Spectator’s Award of Excellence and Wine Enthusiast’s Award of Unique Distinction.
If you have room for dessert (not an easy task!), we highly recommend the dense, nutty carrot cake that comes beneath a scoop of ginger ice cream.
Want to see more of chef Albisu and his award-winning cuisine? Then stay tuned to GregsListDC for information on his next outdoor grilling class. And buy your tickets now for this fall’s Capital Food Fight, where chef Albisu will battle four other area chefs in an “Iron Chef”-style battle. Finally, a special shoutout to summer law associates—you only have until Labor Day to take advantage of your 10 percent discount at BLT Steak (with valid summer associate law firm ID). Le jour de gloire est arrivé!
*Try these at home—C’est si bon!
BLT Popovers (makes 12)
4 cups milk, warmed
4 cups flour
1 ½ heaping Tbsp salt
2 ¼ cups grated gruyere cheese
Place the popover pan in the oven. Heat the oven and pan to 350 degrees. Gently warm the milk over low heat and set aside. Whisk the eggs until frothy, and slowly whisk in the milk (so as not to cook the eggs). Set the mixture aside. Sift the flour with the salt. Slowly add this dry mixture and gently combine until mostly smooth.
Once combined, remove the popover pan from the oven and spray with non-stick vegetable spray. While the batter is still slightly warm or room temperature (definitely not cool), fill each popover cup three-quarters full. Top each popover with approximately 2 ½ Tbsps of the grated gruyere.
Bake at 350 for 50 minutes, rotating pan half a turn after 15 minutes of baking.
Remove from the oven, remove from the pan, and serve immediately.