Sunday, March 6, 2011

Bourbon Steak: Hello...and Goodbye Chili Dog

Bourbon Steak's Red Apron Half Smoke with Venison Chili

Metrocurean's February Delicious Deal led us to Bourbon Steak to try out new chef Adam Sobel's bar menu.  At the princely sum of $7--beyond a bargain at a restaurant whose entrees hover around $50--the off-menu "smoke and stout" special included a local Red Apron dry-aged beef and pork half smoke and Dale's Pale Ale (they were out of stout).  Before you drop everything and run to Bourbon's lounge in droves, this special ended in February.  However, I spoke to the folks at Bourbon late last week, and they informed me that they are thinking about making the special available again--or even adding the half smoke to the lounge menu--no decisions have yet been made.  In the meantime, I am not below begging, so Bourbon, please, please, please consider adding this delicious dog to your menu.

But our Saturday night was not just half smoke filled. Upon arriving, both the lounge and restaurant were absolutely jammed, but we managed to snag a bar table among the sea of beautiful people and cougars.  The style factor here was higher than most DC restaurants -- except for maybe the W -- so I was glad I opted for heals and a dress over Uggs and jeans.  The service was attentive and incredibly efficient. 

We started with lobster corn dogs, a staple on the lounge menu.  For $15 you get six mini lobster filled fried dough balls on sticks.  I was impressed with the amount of lobster and thought this take on comfort food was a fun and easy to maneuver bar snack.  We paired these little guys with classic cocktails -- a Hemingway for me (rum, grapefruit, and maraschino cherry) and a gin and (house made) tonic for B; both were textbook.

Now onto those dogs.  There were actually two half smoke choices.  I opted for the venison chili version with charred jalapeno and cheddar cheese sauce.  The chili would be delicious on its own, but was well matched with the cheese sauce and crispy baguette which both countered the heat and soaked up the juices.  B had the so-called NY Cart Style with sauerkraut, spicy ketchup, and onions.  This more traditional presentation was equally as delicious and elevated street food to high art.

We also shared a requisite order of Bourbon's famous duck-fat fries.  A crispy, indulgent trio (complimentary in the dining room) of herbed, Old Bay, and cheddar fries were paired with homemade ketchup, cheez-whiz, and barbecue sauces.

Our experience at Bourbon (great service, creative cuisine) will certainly lead us back for a splurge dinner in the near future.  Delicious, stylish, and trendy all in one -- how often do you find that in DC?!

And if you are so inspired and can't wait until Bourbon decides whether to add the chili dog to the menu, We Love DC details Sobel's recipe for the venison chili: top a Red Apron half smoke and you have yourself a hearty meal!

Bourbon Steak Dc on Urbanspoon

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