BLT Steak: Best Beef on the Menu

BLT Steak Wagyu

If this isn’t the sexiest slab you’ve ever seen, you’re lying. In fact, look at it in black and white:

BLT Steak B&W Wagyu

BLT Steak has five different varieties of richly marbled, drool-worthy wagyu starting with the holy grail of beef: A5 Japanese Wagyu. There’s also American Wagyu Ribeye, American Wagyu Strip Pave, American Wagyu Top Cap and American Wagyu Skirt. The Best Beef on the Menu (BBM)? Step aside A5 and make room for Top Cap. There’s something special about the spinalis dorsi that’s unique, gamey, tender and buttery. It stood out from the herd.

BLT Steak Scallop

Stopping at steak would be a crime, however. So let’s look beyond the beef. BLT Steak’s brand spanking new, uber talented executive chef, Jeremy Shelton, brings a lot of technique to DC all the way from Miami. He builds layer upon layer of flavor in his dishes and his raw scallop rivals Komi’s (sorry Johnny!). A colossal scallop is dressed in the most elegant attire – shaved truffles and green apple slivers. But, the real burst of flavor comes from the yuzu butter, which packs a punch. We’re always appreciative of Japanese influences.

BLT Steak Rabbit

Another can’t miss dish is the rabbit. Though not yet displayed on the menu, this stunner is as shiny as General Tso’s chicken and super soulful. Sometimes it saddens me to see a protein plated with its favorite foods (carrots and other shaved veggies), but I got over it quickly. After the first bite in fact. I never knew rabbit had the capability to fall apart like a good short rib.

You’re in for an impressive evening at BLT Steak regardless of whether you go for the beef or stray to other corners of the menu. Click here for more photos.

American Wagyu Top Cap not the Best Beef on the Menu? Share your favorites in the comments section.

Veritas Wine Bar: A Deal on Fun Finds (CLOSED)

VERITAS IS NOW CLOSED. STAY TUNED FOR A NEW COCKTAIL BAR THIS FALL.

Veritas Wine Bar Ganeta Rose   Veritas Wine Bar Sexual Chocolate

Our Mission: Complete a six-person takeover of a corner of Veritas Wine Bar in Dupont Circle and determine the Best Wine on the Menu. But there’s more. We weren’t looking for a face-melting Cabernet or a seductive Bordeaux blend. Instead, we were seeking fun, off-the-beaten path wines with great value. Read on because you can get a dollar off the winning wine on your next visit to Veritas …

Wine bars in DC are few and far between. That’s why we’re extra grateful that we found a true gem that we want to return to time and time again. Because you climb down a few stairs to enter, instead of up, Veritas reminds us a little of the romantic wine “cuevas” you find in Spain.

What else sets Veritas apart from other vinotherapy spots in DC? They have 70 wines by the glass, a great mix of old world and new world styles, unpretentious wine-tenders, and unfussy snacks that are simple, gourmet, fresh and pair perfectly with what you’re drinking. We enjoyed delicious charcuterie, cheese selections with a lot of personality and freshly caught crab served three different ways. Oh, and the best chocolate truffles we’ve ever tasted.

Veritas Charcuterie     Veritas Wine Bar Truffles

When it comes to wine, we sampled:

  • Gañeta Rose from the Basque region of Spain (2012)
  • Geil Scheurebe Kabinett from Germany (2011) that tasted like its cousin, German Riesling
  • Vasse Felix Chardonnay from Margaret River region of Australia (2011) that even “anything but Chardonnay (ABC)” people enjoyed
  • SLO Down Wine’s Sexual Chocolate composed of Zinfandel, Syrah and Petit Sirah from California (2011) which was bold but also enjoyable for every day drinking
  • Coriole Vineyards Sangiovese/Shiraz blend from Australia (2010) that had a big nose of plum and spice
  • Cuvée Del Maule Cauquenes from Chile (2010). This very special wine carries the phrase “Earthquake Harvest.” Immediately after the grapes were picked in 2010, a massive earthquake struck Chile, leaving winemakers to carry out their craft without modernity. No water, no power, no irrigation. In the end, they threw all of the grapes together creating an “everything but the kitchen sink” blend comprised of Cabernet Sauvignon, Carigan, Carmenere, Pais, Merlot and Zinfandel. Kudos to surviving a true make-it-work moment, because this wine was powerfully earth-driven and delicious.

Veritas Wine Bar Wine    Veritas Wine Bar Wine

When the time came to fulfill our mission, we flirted with the success of choosing just one wine, but simply couldn’t pick from our two favorites. So instead, we feature the Best WINES on the Menu: The perfectly balanced, refreshing Gañeta Rose from Basque Country and Sexual Chocolate from SLO Down wines.

Napa Valley’s SLO Down Wines actually began as a bootleg operation and they’re not afraid to say it. A couple of college guys started making wine “knowing it would be used for late night drinking and that the French are annoying,” says the bottle label. The bottle label also recommend that “This be drank immediately, and shared with girls.” They even have entertaining, (Not Safe for Work) videos to enjoy.

Because we love these two wines so much, you can get $1.00 off each glass of the Gañeta Rose or Sexual Chocolate on your next visit to Veritas. Simply mention that you saw this post on Best Thing on the Menu and the secret code: BTM. This offer comes to an end August 31st or until these delicious wines run dry.

Other ways to enjoy Veritas include a wine tasting with Mario Montecelli from Trinchero Vineyards in Napa Valley (July 25) as well as an upcoming class on the wines of Australia (July 27/28). Both events are held at Veritas in Dupont Circle.

Special thanks to Veritas General Manager and Sommelier Jamie Smith for his wisdom and generosity!

Urbana: Short Rib Cannelloni and Leeks

Urbana Cannelloni

Southern France and Northern Italy meet for a unique date in a foodie dungeon in Dupont Circle at Urbana Restaurant and Wine Bar. We knew we loved the luxurious lounge that locals have been happy to hunker down in for years, but what took us by big surprise was the food.

Urbana has truly upped the ante when it comes to refined flavor and artful presentation. The Best Thing on the Menu: Cannelloni – Rolled Pasta with Red Wine Braised Beef Short Rib, Leeks and Truffled Pecorino is a knock out. The shape of the oversized leeks are a play on the shape of the tubular cannelloni and their pickled, tangy flavor goes perfectly with earthy, tender short ribs.

The leg of lamb was a close second, as were many of the other dishes we sampled. We’d love to see Urbana creep up to the upper echelons of cuisine and ratings in DC because they are most worthy.

Urbana has been celebrated as one of DC’s best bars for treating regulars like royalty (see DC Eater article). It’s not too often that you find a hotel bar (Kimpton Hotel Palomar) and restaurant as beloved or frequented by locals. Urbana has also been named as one of DC’s hottest restaurant bar scenes. So, next time you’re ready to dine in Dupont, take a turn down the other side of P Street for some great eats.

Cannelloni not your BTM? Post your favorites in the comments section.