City Desk

D.C. Steakhouses: Weather Wimps


Snow consists of water, and it piles up in little fluffy mounds. It gets pushed around a lot.

In other words, it's just the sort of substance that, you'd suppose, steakmen would scoff about. Steakmen are the brutes who live on red meat and serve it at their steakhouses. Red meat, of course, symbolizes toughness, and its extraction from cattle requires macho cowboys (or, OK, absurdly confining stalls and tons of environmentally hazardous corn feed).

In the District of Columbia, red meat purveyors trade under various names, including Bobby Van's, McCormick & Schmick's, and on and on.

And most all of them are taking the wimpy way out on Snowpocalypse II.

Take McCormick & Schmick's weekend plans: Closing early tonight. Will check on conditions tomorrow.

Bobby Van's: Closed throughout the weekend, including tonight.

Morton’s: Open tonight. Will check on conditions tomorrow.

BLT Steak: Closing two-and-a-half hours early tonight. Will check on conditions tomorrow.

Ruth’s Chris Steak House: Closing early tonight. Will check on conditions tomorrow.

Charlie Palmer Steak: Will check on conditions tomorrow.

The Caucus Room: Open tonight and tentative tomorrow.

Sam & Harry’s: This is a snippet from the outgoing message on the phone system of this outfit: "We will be closed this evening for the safety of our guests and staff, due to the snowstorm."

Now here's a little editorial note for the management of Sam & Harry's. Look, it's not your job to look out for our safety. If you ever get the illusion that it is, consider what you do twice every day (except Sunday). You feed us big hunks of artery-clogging beef, and smile about it. You'll also be more than happy to throw in some life-killing martinis, some steak fries, and other contaminants that'll slow our shuffle to the front door but hasten our sprint to the grave. So let's not get all self-satisfied about safety here.

Now back to the original theme of this blog post. Yes, steak peddlers appear to be more fainthearted than the image of their central product would suggest.

In this topsy-turvy world of D.C. dining and weather wimping, it bears asking about the weekend plans of Minibar, Jose Andres' operation in Penn Quarter. Just how delicate is Minibar? Well, try the "baguette filled with drippy cheddar cream and topped with slices of Wagyu" and the "passion-fruit-flavored marshmallow."

And so what are the snow plans of this landmark of culinary prissiness? Open all weekend.

Photo by Darrow Montgomery

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  • Shawn

    The best of all will remain open - Ray's the Steaks!

  • Brian Franke

    Dude, you left out one of the best steak houses--Smith & Wolinsky! And what about both Ray's locations?

  • Truth Hurts

    I so want to eat the steak in that picture right now.

  • noodlez



  • Truth Hurts

    noodlez: Damn girl, found me again. Thinkin bout changin my name, you keep stalkin yo daddy this way. Been savin that napkin for you but be nice or i might lose it. Just kidding IM'A keep it for you cause you daddy's nasty girl.

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  • NovaNikki

    I'll have to ski over to minibar.