Young and Hungry

Chef Victor Albisu to Open South American Grill in PS7′s Space

In case you had any lingering doubts about the fate of PS7's in Penn Quarter, now there's some closure regarding its closure. Taco Bamba chef Victor Albisu announced this afternoon that he will open an upscale South American grill called Del Campo in the space. Restaurateur Jeff Black is a partner and investor in the restaurant.

The meat-driven, wine-centric menu will include a rotating selection of grilled meats such as wagyu skirt steak, short ribs, chorizo, blood sausage, and sweetbreads. Albisu is also paying homage to his Peruvian heritage with crudos, ceviches, and sweet and savory empanadas. Meanwhile, the bar menu will focus on South American street food like a take on the chivito sandwich, grilled skewered meats, and fried meats.

The restaurant is set to open in spring of next year. In the meantime, look out for Taco Bamba, opening in Falls Church in the coming weeks.

Post critic Tom Sietsema reported the news of the new restaurant first, and a press release immediately followed. Read more below:

CHEF VICTOR ALBISU TO OPEN UPSCALE SOUTH AMERICAN GRILL, DEL CAMPO, IN SPRING 2013

Albisu Chooses Washington, D.C.’s Penn Quarter As Neighborhood Home For His First Restaurant

WASHINGTON, D.C. – December 6, 2012 – Former BLT Steak executive chef, Victor Albisu, announces plans to open his first full-service restaurant, Del Campo, meaning “from the country,” at 777 I St. NW in spring 2013. Inspired by his Latin American roots and travels throughout South America, Albisu is bringing an upscale South American grill to the 5,800 square foot space previously occupied by PS7’s restaurant. The food culture celebrated through asado, a traditional South American grill style and the social gathering during which the barbeque is enjoyed, serves as a backdrop for the agrarian space and meat-driven, wine-centric menu.

“From adolescence, I worked in my mother’s Latin market learning to butcher from Argentineans and Uruguayans. It was from those South American butchers that I came to appreciate the asado as both a cooking style and a day-long gathering to celebrate and enjoy food, friends and family,” said Victor Albisu, chef/owner, Del Campo. “With Del Campo, I want to reinvent that experience by bringing an elevated style of South American grill culture to Washington, D.C.”

A rotating menu of grilled meats from the asado, such as wagyu skirt steak, short ribs, chorizo, blood sausage, and sweetbreads, will also be complemented by crudos and ceviches – a nod to Albisu’s Peruvian heritage – and a vibrant selection of seasonal salads and other composed dishes. The grandson of a Cuban baker, Albisu will also make savory and sweet empanadas. Bread service will feature traditional warm cast iron country bread served with smoked olive oil.

The bar menu will focus on more casual South American street food, including Albisu’s take on the chivito and chori-pan, Argentinean sandwiches; anticuchos, grilled skewered meats; and chicharones, fried meats, both from Peru. A large section of the wine program will focus on South American varietals, and the remainder of the list will include curated selections from around the world. Like the menu, the beverage program will elevate Piscos, Cachaças, and other South American spirits, beer and wine. Traditional Argentinean mate tea will also be available.

The 115-seat dining room will serve dinner seven nights a week, and lunch Monday through Friday. The 50-seat bar will serve coffee and South American pastries by day, in addition to the casual menu of savory snacks and sandwiches. During warmer months, a 40-seat patio will welcome guests to dine al fresco.

Chef Jeff Black, 2012 Restaurateur of the Year, as named by the Restaurant Association of Metropolitan Washington, is a partner and investor in Del Campo. While Black will not play a role in menu development or daily operations, he brings 30 years of successful restaurant experience to the project.

ABOUT CHEF VICTOR ALBISU

With more than a decade of experience in fine dining and upscale French, American and Latin American restaurants, Chef Victor Albisu is combining his culinary education with his Latin American heritage to bring a unique style of cuisine to his forthcoming restaurant concepts. His first concept, Taco Bamba, a taqueria that reflects his Cuban and Peruvian roots, is scheduled to open in December 2012. It will operate next to Plaza Latina in Falls Church, Virginia, a Latin market owned by Albisu’s mother.

Before pursing independent ventures, Albisu served as executive chef of BLT Steak in downtown Washington, D.C. for more than four years. Albisu is a graduate of the prestigious Le Cordon Bleu School in Paris. His professional culinary journey includes stints at Michelin three-star restaurant L’Arpege in Paris, as well as contemporary Latin American restaurant, Ceiba; Belgian-influenced, French restaurant, Marcel’s; and contemporary American bistro and bar, Ardeo and Bardeo, all in Washington, D.C.

Photo by Jessica Sidman

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