Knowing that my Art Weekend in D.C. was planned out, I stayed an extra day to explore on my own. I asked a few D.C. based twitter friends for restaurant suggestions, along the lines of “what’s a must eat food experience in D.C.” A few replies were “the best burger in D.C. is at Bourbon Steak in the Four Seasons Georgetown”, I searched online and was instantly hooked by the description and the accolades as one of the best burgers in D.C. I decided to book a lunch reservation at 12:30 p.m. which gave me enough time to enjoy lunch before my Amtrak home. I started my day early to ensure that I would be hungry at lunch time.
Before I would arrive at the boutique Four Seasons Georgetown with 164 rooms and 58 suites, I had a tour of the Capitol, a quick spin in the Library of Congress and a drive by inside the Supreme Court in my attempt to build up an appetite worthy of the best burger in D.C. I would then order an Uber in the rain for the twenty minute ride to the hotel. As the car arrived in the Four Seasons Georgetown driveway, the door was opened by the bellman and I was welcomed to the hotel. As I had no luggage, I mentioned I was there for lunch and he told me to walk through the lobby direct to the restaurant.
The Four Seasons Georgetown
As you enter the hotel, you are met with a lobby seating area that is modern luxury in design and feel – very luxe and private. In the middle of the long entranceway there are two desks on either side of the hall (front desk & concierge). Further afield is another seating area and a door to the large private garden patio. The lobby was full of art, so much art that I asked about it and found out that their art collection is over 1500+ pieces throughout the hotel. That’s impressive for this six story building that has more of a boutique hotel feel to it than an other urban Four Seasons hotels I’ve stayed at.
Bourbon Steak – First Class Service
As I approached the hostess desk, I was welcomed and taken to my table by the window. I observed a large restaurant in different sections – private dining, a lounge, bar and dining rooms. I also saw a few solo diners, a young family and business lunches taking place. I was instantly greeted by name and provided a menu. Another staff member filled my glass with water (I would never get to the bottle of my water glass as it was constantly filled throughout lunch). My server came back for my order and I mentioned I was there for the burger & duck fat fries. She said it was a popular choice. I added bacon because well it’s bacon and why not. I also ordered a glass of wine because I thought it would complement the meat well and I wasn’t driving – Amtrak was.
The first bit of fun to arrive was the cast iron pan of rolls. I said yes to a roll thinking I was getting one buttery ball of goodness but the pan was placed on my table and well, that wasn’t a good thing as I was hungry and instantly off my gluten free weekend. The roll had salt on top but was croissant like inside and the butter required me to cut the roll with a fork and knife because I was covered in butter and thought licking my fingers wasn’t a good thing at the Four Seasons. Because I was hungry, I ate two rolls which I knew would spoil my lunch but when you go off the gluten free train, you go over the cliff into gluttony (in my case anyway).
The Best Burger in D.C. at Bourbon Steak
My burger arrived and did not disappoint. It was presented with a pickle and pepper on top held with a wooden stick through the burger. A+ for presentation and when the fries arrived, well A++++. I told the server I ordered the side of fries and she smiled and said “that is the side order of duck fat fries”. No one warned me of this – there were three tasting containers of duck fat fries each with a different seasoning and dipping sauce. I could have made a meal of the fries and this was a case of needing to “phone a friend” to help me. But I took on the herculean task of this lunch knowing that I could be defeated. The first bite of the burger had me, it was one bite and I knew why this was a best burger in D.C. I then sampled each fry type and sauce, also award winning in their French fry category. I had rosemary herb fries with spicy ketchup, onion seasoned fries with chive onion crème fraiche and smoked paprika fries with Chef Michael Mina’s bbq sauce. I wasn’t a fan of the smoke paprika and bbq (in the middle one) which makes sense because I’m not fond of bbq flavors.
As I slowly ate my lunch to savor each flavorful bite, I knew that the burger would defeat me. Even after I removed the flaky bun to eat the burger, I couldn’t finish it. It was the buttery rolls that disadvantaged me. Burger 1, Sue 0. I waved the white flag and looked out the window at the outdoor patio space and view below.
The staff removed my plates and the server returned and asked about dessert. My head wanted to see the menu while my stomach was definitely saying “no space at the inn”. I looked at the dessert menu and laughed at the last entry “No Space for Dessert? Get our Signature Chocolate Chip Walnut Cookies to Go”. I thought train ride home, cookies might be good if I’m ever hungry again and said I’ll take the cookies to go. The cookies arrived a few minutes later in their brown bag with restaurant sticker and cookie recipe attached. I could feel the warmth and gooeyness of the cookies in the bag and looked forward to ending my day of gluten in chocolate happiness.
Bourbon Steak Signature Cookies
When I arrived home after 6 p.m. I was slightly hungry and managed to find a glass of milk and eat only two of the three cookies for dinner. That was all I could manage as I was still so fully satisfied from lunch.
Final Thoughts – Bourbon Steak D.C. in the Four Seasons Georgetown
If my lunch service and fantastic burger/fries combo is any indication, I can only imagine a steak dinner must be heavenly at any of the Bourbon Steak locations in the U.S. For now, I’m a fan of the best burger in D.C. at Bourbon Steak in the Four Seasons Georgetown and you will be too if you go visit. I don’t even think I want to try any others in the city…afraid of disappointment now that I’ve had this burger. So go hungry and bring a friend! Share the bread and fries but don’t share the burger or the cookies – keep them all for yourself! It was an indulgence lunch that was worth every calorie, worth every penny, worth the extra gym time and worthy of a return visit.
Best Burger in D.C. – The Details
The burger cost $22, side of fries $8, glass of wine $14, cookies to go $8 and tip. My lunch was definitely indulgent but totally worth the splurge.
Bourbon Steak at the Four Seasons D.C. Georgetown is owned by Michael Mina, award winning chef and restauranteur. He has other Bourbon Steak locations in Los Angeles, Miami, Scottsdale, Santa Clara and Nashville in addition to the Washington D.C. location. Michael Mina also has other restaurants throughout the U.S.