BLT Prime opened doors Sept. 16 inside The Trump Hotel in D.C. with a medley of high-priced seafood and meat options, and with celebrity chef David Burke behind its menu.
ESquared Hospitality’s BLT Prime brand — known for its dry-aged steak at two existing locations in Miami and NYC — is the upscale, pricier sister of BLT Steak, which has already been in D.C. for years (and is located not far from this new restaurant at 1625 I St. NW).
The new 130-seat steakhouse boasts a royal blue-and-gold color scheme similar to the hotel's lobby, with marble accents and fresh greenery located throughout the restaurant’s two-story expanse.
BLT was destined to be joined by other restaurants from celebrity chefs José Andrés and Geoffrey Zakarian, but both pulled out after controversial remarks from Trump. Political preferences aside (though some reviews occasionally got political: "This is the most fabulous meal a Democrat will never eat", said one Yelper), here’s what customers are saying about the weeks-old restaurant wedged inside Trump’s new shiny property.
The Off To A Bad Starter News: Yelper Josh G. wasn’t a fan of the popovers ("they were incredibly huge and frankly a little underdone on the inside"). While the mozzarella and pastrami salmon app was highly recommended to him, turns out they were out of it, which was "awkward, especially as it wasn't even the prime dinner hour." [Yelp]
The Excellent Overall News: Yelper Marc S. gave a five-star rave, starting with a "well mixed, perfectly proportioned" Negroni followed up by a "perfectly tender" charred octopus, and the prime, salt-aged Kansas City sirloin "cooked to a perfect medium rare with a very satisfying crust." To sum up, "it was an excellent night overall—the food, the decor of the location, and the professional and attentive service were all top notch." And Facebooker Henry Rodgers thought it was "great" food and service with an "amazing" chef. "Will definitely be back soon." [Yelp, Facebook]
The Impressive News: The Washington Post’s Tom Sietsema gave the steakhouse a try soon after opening, noting the $61 dover sole is the "real deal" and the fried pork shank with an Asian barbecue sauce alongside noodles—"a combination of crackling skin, succulent flesh and slippery noodles"—is a dish he plans "to revisit." There’s also a "full-flavored bar of duck" with a butternut squash puree that "adds an autumnal note." OpenTable reviewer OutandAbout says "no matter what your views are, go." [WaPo, OpenTable]
The Celebrity Sighting News: Yelper Vince K. posted a pic with Burke, who "personally came to my table and shave some truffle flakes on top of my fried egg. Marvelous experience." And a manager tells Sietsema "number of celebrities," have dined there so far, "but the only one she could recall is Eric Trump, the winemaker in the famous family." [Yelp, WaPo]
The Over-The-Top News: Zagat notes "dramatic presentations and lavish ingredients are right in step with the glamorous marble-and-gilt atrium space." An anonymous OpenTable reviewer thinks it’s "exceedingly expensive": lunch for three people—without ordering any alcohol—"was almost $200." (Entree prices, however, weren’t "so outrageous," like his $24 "excellent" fried chicken and $25 lobster salad.) And Yelper Eric T. said the shrimp cocktail "was $6 per shrimp and they were neither impressively large not were they spectacularly fresh." [Zagat, OpenTable, Yelp]
The Server News: OpenTable reviewer Nicky B says his server "seemed rushed and disengaged. It took 43 minutes for our salads." As far as service overall, Yelper Josh G. said "there was room for improvement, and our server noted more than a few times that they were still working out some issues/details." [OpenTable, Yelp]