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Washington DC: Charlie Palmer Steak

I've eaten at Charlie Palmer Steak several times over the years and I was happy to have a chance for a return visit. The location across the street from the Capitol is spectacular, particularly at dusk. The interior is very stylish and refined. My service was extremely gracious.

The meal started with an amuse bouche. That's a chorizo in there.

I enjoy a salad with my steak and this Bibb salad was wonderful. It had all the components of a traditional steakhouse salad: onion strings, ranch dressing, etc. But it was much lighter than the traditional wedge salad.

This is my ribeye steak. It was perfectly cooked to medium rare. The texture of the outside was pleasantly rough and gave a good contrast to the buttery steak inside. I very carefully worked the bits of meat off the bone---they are very flavorful.

I had two accompaniments. The mushrooms are hen of the woods, which is something I hadn't tried before. They have a different flavor from the traditional cap mushrooms, still very earthy and very enjoyable. The brussel sprouts were also excellent, paired with white raisins and pecans.

I tried the special dessert. The cake had several layers separated by a milk chocolate ganache. The twin sauces are chocolate and a citrus sauce. The ice cream was also citrus. The combination of chocolate and citrus sauce was surprising and a big hit with me.

And just to be sure you don't go away hungry, they send out these little treats at the end. I tried a lemon square and a chocolate truffle, both of which were superb.

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