Mike Berman’s Washington Watch

August 25, 2007 9:46 AM

Restaurant: BLT Steak

BLT Steak

1625 I Street NW Washington, D.C. 202-689-8999 bltsteak.com
My first visit to BLT was dinner with Carol, Virginia and Tom. My second visit was for lunch with Maya.

BLT is part of a group of restaurants that began in New York. In some ways it is another steak house, but in many ways it is different. As you enter there is a large bar straight ahead and to the left. The "L" of the bar closest to front door is a raw bar. The bar seats about a dozen folks on high back stools.

The restaurant seats 130 people at capacity. The floors are wood and the table coverings are place mats. There is a banquette that runs about the length of and parallel to the bar, just to the right of the entry way. There are seats on both sides of the banquette. There is also an L-shaped banquette on the bar side of the restaurant.

* Small starters are provided to the table, including warm, chopped liver in a small casserole with toast rounds; various finely sliced meats; pickled vegetables; humongous popovers

* Appetizers - Carol - tuna tartare / avocado / soy-lime dressing comes in a square tower; Virginia - beef steak tomatoes, grilled onion vinaigrette; Tom- field greens/mustard dressing; Mike - roasted beets/fresh goat cheese.

* Main courses - Tom and Virginia split a sirloin for two; Carol - soft shell crabs; Mike - black sea bass.

* Sides for the table - french fries, onion rings, creamy spinach.

* Dessert: Mike - Demike lemon sorbet; Virginia - chocolate tort.

The service was excellent. As the evening wore on (we arrived at 7:00 pm) it got quite noisy, like so many large restaurants. Subsequently, I went to BLT for lunch with Maya.

Maya had tuna, followed by peanut butter chocolate mousse with banana ice cream. I started with a Caesar salad. There was plenty of crisp lettuce and about the right amount of dressing, without added cheese, of course. That was followed by appetizer- sized portions of a shrimp cocktail and a crab meat cocktail. I also had a side of spinach and 1 scoop of pistachio ice cream. It had a nice creamy texture without that frozen quality.

The men's room is new and fresh like the restaurant. The decor is black and white. To the right, as you come through the heavy, dark wood door, are 3 prints at eye level. To the left is a black marble counter top with 2 white ceramic sinks. Over the sinks there is a large black framed mirror. Continuing on the left are 2 wall-hanging urinals, with partial black shiny dividers between them.

Directly ahead as you enter is a completely enclosed, accessible commode area. What makes this particular area unique is that it also has a washbasin and mirror.

The floor is covered in large black tiles. The wall behind the urinals and in the commode area is covered by medium sized white tiles, to about 4 feet tall. The rest of the walls are painted a not-too-shiny white. The ceiling is covered with large, absorbent material white tiles.

Reservations are generally necessary.

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