This is the first in a new series of spotlights on restaurants offering special dining for theatre lovers.
Earlier this summer, BLT Prime by David Burke launched a three-course prix-fixe Pre-Theatre dinner menu to provide an exceptionally diverse and delectable dining experience.
The menu seeks to highlight the restaurant group’s popular mainstays, and a little bit more for a discerning audience. The three course selection, with each course a meal on its own, is plenty to keep guests well-fed for a night out in any of the theatres in D.C.’s downtown area.
Their famous pop-overs, available at most of their BLT and BLT Prime properties, are signature starters for which they are happy to share the recipe. The tuna tartare, served over a spicy-zesty bed of avocado is instantly recognizable as a company dish, but prepared with chilled, fresh gusto and care to start off the meal.
Of course, one of their entree selections is their 5 oz steak filet, topped with truffle butter and a creamy béarnaise, to offer a sampling of their cut selection. Their crispy skin “Salt Brick” chicken over a bacon and mushroom succotash, was an exceptional take. The sea salt seasoning, embracing the sweeter flavors of the maple-rubbed bacon, highlight executive chef’s Bill Williamson’s embrace of subtle exceptionalism to this location’s menu.
BLT Prime by David Burke
1100 Pennsylvania Ave NW
Washington, DC 20004
Open 6:30am – 10:30pm
Pre-Theatre menu ($65)
available 4:30pm – 6:30pm
The pre-theatre menu offers a decent selection of vegetarian options: the ricotta ravioli starter, cooked al dente and paired with braised beet greens, (and a walnut pesto that never overpowers the pasta itself).
My dining partner’s eggplant parmesan was a carefully constructed selection of eggplant varietals, a flash-fried graffiti over a tomato – bianca medley.
For a restaurant embracing its steakhouse reputation, their expertise in crafting strong vegetarian dishes, even as part of this select menu, impresses their commitment to a diversifying culinary audience. Just note how many other restaurants in this city failed to offer vegetarian selections during Restaurant Week 2019.
And BLT Prime’s dessert selections do not shy away from volume. The crepe soufflé and the chocolate peanut butter mousse continue to play on the mixing of flavors you can have on one dish. A doughy, but sizable crepe over a passionfruit drizzle wakes up your sour-flavor palate, mostly dormant throughout the previous two courses. The peanut butter mousse, topped with vanilla-bean ice cream and a toasted chip of a brandy touille, accentuates the theme of elevated comfort food brought to a spirited conclusion.
Despite our insistence to each other that we wouldn’t be able to finish the dishes, the plates were somehow left empty.
The nature of BLT Prime’s hospitality is to remain memorable. The service is efficient and unobtrusive, wait staff are dressed in traditional black, and quick to attention. At our neighboring tables, the staff provided table-side smoking of dried bacon slices, mists of burning rosemary livening up the scents of the restaurant’s signature steak cuts. The managers chat up the regulars, engagement so that every guest felt like a welcomed house-guest.
Located in the Old Post Office venue, now the Trump International Hotel, the two-storied location commands one of the best views of the hotel plaza-like lobby, a grandiose and open space excellent for lingering or catching a congressman’s eye. The space is expertly built: embracing the old Post Office’s towering elegance: a view of the clock tower, historic metal truss-work spanning across the lobby. The noise level is superbly well-managed; despite our sitting next to a music speaker and within earshot of neighboring tables, we were able to comfortably have quiet conversations without effort.
The environment is perfect for an early night out, or a meal before seeing a show at nearby theaters: The National, Warner and Ford’s Theatres are a 5-minute walk away; Shakespeare Theatre Company’s Lansburgh Theatre and Woolly Mammoth are less than 10, and a few minutes further to Harman Hall.