clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile
The best-selling beef Wellington at Hell’s Kitchen sets diners back $65.

Filed under:

Gordon Ramsay’s Beef Wellington Sensation Hell’s Kitchen Goes Live in D.C.

The British celebrity chef’s anticipated D.C. flagship swings open on Monday, January 30

Hell’s Kitchen, Gordon Ramsay’s showy surf-and-turf restaurant made famous by its hit namesake show, makes its anticipated D.C. debut along the Southwest Waterfront tonight at 5 p.m.

The expletive-laden TV personality first came to town last fall with the opening of Gordon Ramsay Fish & Chips at the Wharf. But that fast-casual spot pales in comparison to its behemoth standalone sibling planted prominently on the Potomac River (652 Wharf Street SW). The Vegas import brings Strip-like status to the Wharf, with pent-up demand out of the gate; its reservation portal shows a month-long wait list for a dinner table for two.

Floor-to-ceiling windows open up to a terrace.
Rey Lopez for Hell’s Kitchen
The dramatic kitchen is slathered in blue and red mosaic tiles.
Rey Lopez for Hell’s Kitchen

The 14,802-square-foot restaurant puts its maximalist design on full display, starting with hulking red lights spelling out Hell’s Kitchen in caps. Inside the two-story venue, find floor-to-ceiling views of its tony waterfront neighborhood, a lengthy open kitchen illuminated in its iconic red-and-blue color scheme, and digital displays of flames darting around the main dining room.

Two bars on each floor send out cocktails like the “Notes from Gordon” (Plymouth gin, green tea, lemongrass, peach, and lemon), garnished with a pithy printed paper. Unroll the Union Jack scroll to read a quote plucked straight from his show. Think: “This chicken is so uncooked that a skilled vet could still save him.”

The “Notes from Gordon” cocktail includes a mini message from Ramsay.

The “Fear & Loathing” nods to the restaurant’s Sin City roots, made with mezcal, Luxardo cherries, and citrus. In a reminder that you just may still be in D.C., the “Chesapeake Bay Cooler” mocktail contains lime, coriander, jalapeno, and smoked salt foam. No drink dips under $18.

An unexpectedly theatrical beet salad features Greek yogurt, kumquats, pistachio granola, and white balsamic vinaigrette.

Dining here is also an extravagant affair. A half-dozen oysters go for $24, and an adorable pile of tuna tartare with a sliver of pickled fresno pepper carries the same price tag. Wagyu meatballs, seared foie gras, and lobster risotto all sit snugly together on the appetizer menu, each attempting to outdo the other in outrageousness.

The entree portion of the menu showcases Ramsay’s signature classic: beef Wellington ($65), a medium-rare medallion meticulously wrapped in puff pastry, set on a pillow of potato puree under a gloopy red-wine reduction. Other beef-based options include the short rib ($48), filet mignon ($55), and the priciest dish in sight: a 24-ounce ribeye for $90. Should the meat not be enough, ostentatious enhancements include lobster tail ($24), foie gras ($20), and shavings of newly arrived black truffles ($22). Sides of Brussels sprouts and cauliflower contribute a hint of vegetables in the inverted Ramsay food pyramid.

Steak and sides at Hell’s Kitchen.

Ramsay’s specialty sticky toffee pudding ($14), served with dulce de leche ice cream, is for dessert. The restaurant also offers a three-course tasting option ($90) that includes an appetizer, plus that best-selling beef Wellington and sticky toffee pudding. A wine pairing is also available ($155 total).

Hell’s Kitchen is an immersive, real-life version of his competitive cooking show on Fox, which means a promotional opportunity is never overlooked. Cocktail napkins are emblazoned with its “HK” and pitchfork logo, and giant cocktail ice cubes and fruit rinds also sport stamped symbols. The entry-level bar area carves out room for a souvenir shop selling cookbooks and “Go to Hell” tote bags, all set to a photo backdrop of Hell’s Kitchen winners framed on the wall.

The design showcases lots of pitchforks and fiery red lettering.
Rey Lopez for Hell’s Kitchen
The 360-degree lobby bar at Hell’s Kitchen.
Rey Lopez for Hell’s Kitchen

Enormous portraits of Ramsay with his arms crossed, flanked by angel wings that end in chef’s knives, watch over guests on both floors. The stairwell connecting the two is lined with a massive, glassy wine cellar with room for hundreds of bottles.

“Washington, D.C. is a remarkable city with so much history and an amazing culinary scene. After years in the making, I couldn’t be more excited to officially open the doors,” says Ramsay, in a statement.

A luxe private dining room overlooking the Potomac can fit up to 25 guests.
Rey Lopez for Hell’s Kitchen

There are more than 20 Ramsay restaurants in the U.S.—and more than 50 around the world—under such labels as Gordon Ramsay Fish & Chips, Gordon Ramsay Burger, Gordon Ramsay Steak, Gordon Ramsay Hell’s Kitchen, Ramsay’s Kitchen, and Gordon Ramsay Street Pizza. That all-you-can-eat slice shop out of London will land in Penn Quarter this year, filling out Ramsay’s trifecta of planned D.C. eateries. The East Coast will get another Hell’s Kitchen in downtown Miami this year.

Shouty celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay.
Coming Attractions

One of the Country’s Best Wine Shops Is Coming to Shaw

Coming Attractions

Peter Chang Supersizes His Sole D.C. Menu, Maps Out Four New Area Openings

WETA’s ‘Signature Dish’ Offers a Genuine Glimpse Inside DMV Dining