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Fearless Critic restaurant review
Upmarket restaurant

Mon–Fri 11:30am–2:30pm
Mon–Fri 5:30pm–11:30pm
Sat 5:30pm–11:30pm

Features Outdoor dining, Wi-Fi
Bar Beer, wine, liquor
Credit cards Visa, MC, AmEx
Reservations Accepted


1625 Eye St. NW
Washington, DC
(202) 689-8999
BLT Steak
One of the better of DC’s steakhouses, but the prices are still on up there

The Fearless Critics have no general objection to the expensive-steakhouse genre, but in our opinion, DC’s steakhouses, as a group, are among the most overpriced and disappointing representatives of the city’s restaurant repertoire.

This one is actually better than most—but it’s even more expensive than most, too, which means the unconscionable value proposition remains constant. We do love the interior design, which ditches the traditional leather-dark-wood-and-humidor look of the business-account steakhouse for something more trendy and more fun, with the loud buzz of a lounge-that-turns-nightclub, along with a few Vegas-celebrity-chef-outpost touches like an ever-changing wall-mounted menu and a glass wall of wine, which is quickly becoming the first-decade-of-the-21st-century’s version of the restaurant industry’s 1990s penchant for abstract expressionist wall art.

That wall, which also highlights the spectacular markups of the wine list, might feature iceberg hearts with blue cheese and thousand island, a perfectly fine version, with welcome bacon and an extremely unwelcome $14 price tag. A seafood sampler features sweet, enjoyable Jonah crab claws (most of the work is done for you); good raw oysters, which come with a welcome mignonette; and somewhat less good massive shrimp (overcooked) and clams (too briny).

The steaks, which come out in miniature cast-iron skillets, are advertised as either “USDA Prime or Certified Black Angus,” without any specification of which is which. We’re always amused by the “Black Angus” designation, which is just a marketing ploy—a patented breed, not a marbling guarantee—but whatever the grade of the $79 Porterhouse for two, it’s delicious, meeting—or even exceeding—its lofty-price-based expectations. Especially delicious are the bites with melted herb butter. The sauces (well-reduced red wine sauce and rich peppercorn sauce, for instance) are totally unnecessary.

Notwithstanding BLT’s well-loved creamed spinach, however, there is a serious problem with vegetable sides here; they‘re occasionally too tough to chew, as in a preparation of ramps.

And then there are the moments when the prices rise from high to insulting: a 12-ounce strip of Japanese Kobe beef, for example—according to our calculations—would run more than $300. For that price, we think it should come with Client #9 service under the table.

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