Not only was it just a year ago that DMV Dining launched, but around the same time, OpenTable debuted Spotlight, their Groupon-like website. Their very first offer was for Charlie Palmer Steak, and naturally we took the bait.
Needless to say, Charlie Palmer was (in our assessment) Spotlight’s most enticing offer since they launched, as the restaurants since then have not quite matched the caliber of the Capitol Hill steakhouse.
Anyway, we nearly forgot about the certificate until we realized it was about to expire in a couple of weeks. On a related note, we really need to create a Google Calendar for our soon-to-expire Groupons…
We were able to book a reservation for Friday evening, and wouldn’t you know it, the restaurant offers free corkage on Fridays! This was purely coincidental when we originally booked our table, but upon finding out the news, we brought along a bottle of King Estate’s Acrobat Pinot Noir.
When we were seated, the waitress poured two glasses of the wine we brought and soon returned with an amuse bouche of rock shrimp ceviche. It provided some excellent flavor for such a small bite and was a nice way to start off our evening.
For our entrees, we kept it rather simple: we both ordered the European cut filet, Rachel opting for the petite size while I went for the standard portion (surprise, surprise). The quality of the meat was exceptional as it was evenly cooked and deliciously succulent. Not to throw Grapeseed under the bus, but the difference was night and day between the two restaurant’s steaks.
Following the advice of EatMore DrinkMore’s Jenna, we ordered the Parmesan gnocchi as one of our sides. Folks, this could have been a meal in itself. For eight dollars, we had more than enough pasta to share between the two of us. Oh, and it was really, really good. It was such a clever way to complement the filet rather than serve it with your typical baked potato or order of fries (though the ones at Charlie Palmer did look delectable).
We also ordered a side of wild mushrooms and onions which we both really enjoyed. Nothing really to write about here, but the garlic nicely supplemented the filet.
We didn’t wind up ordering dessert as we were both so full from our meal, but then the waitress brought over a small assortment of bite-sized treats which included peanut brittle and chocolate truffles. Unsurprisingly, they were gone within seconds.
Overall, we both really enjoyed Charlie Palmer. Our waitress was very friendly, topping off our wine glasses the moment they were no more than a third full. Meanwhile, the food was fantastic. I was very impressed by not only the cuts of the filet, but also by the superb gnocchi. It’s been awhile since I’ve been to Ray’s the Classics, but Charlie Palmer is right up there as one of my favorite steakhouses in the DMV.