Artist Maggie O’Neill brings a vivid take on American icons to the swanky steakhouse.
Bourbon Steak at The Four Seasons Hotel Washington, DC in Georgetown is one of those restaurants in that carries with it a certain reputation. It’s that place that your big law friend swears by for Saturday date nights and that you immediately associate with power lunches and anniversary dinners. It’s swanky and formal, and it demands a celebratory occasion.
Or does it?
Through Labor Day weekend, the sophisticated atmosphere of Bourbon Steak has a colorful, summery new look thanks to local artist Maggie O’Neill, transforming the space into a lively atmosphere, regardless of the occasion.
O’Neill brought her signature vivid style to the Liberty of Color installation. With paintings throughout the restaurant and a vibrant installation on the patio that includes two paint-covered eight-foot Lady Liberty statues, a large drip flag and colorful disco balls suspended above diners, the space has been transformed into a vivid backdrop for a summer series that includes live DJs every Sunday from 4 to 7 p.m. and specialty cocktails. Sip on the La Palabra, a smoky, citrusy cocktail with El Silencio mezcal; the Nostalgia, a Sagamore Spirit Rye-based citrus drink; or the refreshing Lady Liberty, which has a lower ABV, ideal for long, hot afternoons where there’s nothing to do except wait out the heat.
If you decide to make your way into the dining room for dinner, the meal lives up to its storied hype. The indulgence starts before you’ve even ordered as a trio of duck fat fries with three dipping sauces arrives on your table shortly after you sit down, followed by buttery truffle rolls.
Starters not to be missed include the melt-in-your-mouth smoked bone marrow, which is served with a rich ras ál hanout butter and is, hands down, one of the best items on the menu. The truffled hamachi crudo and the wagyu steak tartare from nearby Ovaka Farms are also worth checking out. And, of course, the ‘wedge’ salad is always a classic.
Looking to tie in a Virginia wine angle with some of the locally sourced dishes, Winn Robertson, the head sommelier, offered his guidance. He suggested the Paradise Springs PVT Red Blend, a full bodied red that paired beautifully with both the Porterhouse steak, as well as the chicken and dumplings, one of the signature Bourbon Steak dishes. Standout side dishes included the black truffle mac and cheese and roasted carrots with tahini and za’atar.
And, if there’s ever a time to save room for dessert, trust that this is it. Think of the smoking cloche that you’ll see used with cocktails — but imagine it being pulled away to reveal a campfire-worthy smoked s’mores with toasted marshmallow ice cream, chocolate praline mousse and hazelnut streusel. Pair it with a Barboursville Vineyards Malvaxia Passito for an ending note that’s just like sitting by a fire pit out in the Virginia countryside, except you don’t have to fight the 66 traffic on the way home.
$1 from every cocktail purchased from The Liberty of Color cocktail menu will go to support Worthy Mentoring.
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