Monday, July 30, 2012

Where to Eat: Del Frisco’s Grille

NOTE: Del Frisco’s Grille did not ask me to dine here, or ask for a DTD review. They have no idea I am a DTD contributor. In fact, I made the reservations using my work E-mail that is linked to Open Table. So please keep that in mind as you read this post.

As I’ve mentioned before, I grew up on a farm. No, I don’t mean one of those 10 acre call themselves a farm but are actually just some grown adult living out an Old McDonald fantasy, I mean real-deal, my dad woke up at 4 AM to milk the cows every morning, honest-to-goodness farm. Yes, I have driven a tractor, milked a cow, am obsessed with fairs, owned a pony, and am actually not afraid of dirt.
Back Where I Come From
Now, for some of you the idea of me being raised by a farming family may be a shock because you automatically assume that farmers = hicks in overalls - not preppy, Pug-owning, TLC-addicted, and educated girls. So, before I say anything else, let’s just clear that up. If I EVER hear anyone disrespect someone in the agriculture industry I will bring out the camouflage appreciating, Brantley Gilbert-singing side and it will go something like this:

Now that we have that little tidbit out of the way, I continue. Since I was raised on a farm, I have been eating amazing home grown vegetables and hand-raised beef my entire life. See, it was cheaper (and way more delicious) for my family to grow our own fruits and vegetables and raise our own beef than to buy it at the store. Yes, we snapped green beans and canned them, shelled peas and froze them, and canned fresh peaches in a jar so we could have them year round. Without even realizing it, I was accustomed to the best food around. In fact, I didn’t realize how lucky I was until I went to college and for the first time in my life had to buy meat at a grocery store. Let me tell you, I was unimpressed.

That unimpressed attitude is where my review of Del Frisco’s Grille comes in. In order for this review to be really meaningful I needed to clarify that I am picky; beyond picky, actually, and have NEVER given a glowing review to a steakhouse before (Morton’s, Charlie Palmer, Ruth’s Chris- doesn’t matter) because my mama’s cooking and home-grown beef were infinitely better. But that was before Del Frisco’s. (Hence why I have no pictures because sassy pants here automatically assumed I wouldn’t blog about this place because steak houses never “wow” me).

Now, after quite the entertaining introduction, it is time for the main event…. Last Friday, I met my college friend for dinner and drinks at Del Frisco’s. It is new to D.C. but Rob had dined at the Denver and New York locations and had nothing but nice things to say, so I said let’s give it a try. For those that aren’t aware, Del Frisco’s in D.C. is located on Pennsylvania Avenue near Federal Triangle station, but easily walkable from Navy Memorial and Metro Center. Since it was about a zillion degrees outside, I chose to drive and valet parking is only $10.00. No, I am not a snob, I just live in Rosslyn and walking to the Metro, in the heat, and then walking to a restaurant will make my hair look like Medusa, and my personality will match it.

After handing the keys to the valet, Rob and I walked into the restaurant and were immediately greeted by an extremely friendly team of hostesses. We exchanged pleasantries as they escorted us to a comfortable booth in the kitchen section of the restaurant. Not even going to lie, I was already impressed and I had been in the restaurant for five seconds. I love kitchen seating, being so close to the action is awesome. Plus, whenever a restaurant isn’t afraid to let customers watch the food preparation process, I know I am at a great establishment.

Once seated, our server was at our table within 30 seconds; she provided us with an overview of the drink specials, custom cocktails, along with the menu specials of the evening. Rob chose the Del Frisco’s signature drink the VIP, I settled for a glass of Malbec. I love red wine and needed it after the hellish week I had.
After placing our drink order, the most hilarious and kindest food runner then introduced himself to us and proceeded to fill our water glasses. I kid you not, he was the nicest non-waiter server I’ve ever had. And he was on the ball. My water glass was never less than half-full. Having been to restaurants where I literally had to BEG for more water since it’s about 100 million degrees outside, this man was a God-send.

Our server returned after just the right amount of time to check in and see if we were ready to order and we were. We ordered the roasted tomato flatbread to start. For the main course, Rob went for the filet, me the New York Strip. [Also disclaimer – if you order steak well done, please don’t EVER talk to me about your love of steak. Rant over.] We also ordered some mac ‘n cheese and succotash.

Shortly after taking our orders the flatbread arrived. Not a disappointment. I dove right in and in a really attractive manner shoved this pizza-like appetizer down my throat. (I’m really classy, guys.). Let’s be honest, when a girl is having a bad day, don’t come between her and carbs, it’s dangerous. I also noticed a lot of fellow patrons eating these fantastic-looking mini-taco appetizers. These little dandies will absolutely be on my plate during my next visit.

After inhaling the flatbread, Rob and I ordered more drinks (well Rob ordered wine, I was still on glass number one because I was talking about my life dramz and inhaling flatbread so there wasn’t a lot of time to guzzle).

Now here is where the real meat of the story starts folks (see what I did there), thanks for sticking with me. After devouring the appetizer, the executive chef comes over to our table and thanks us for choosing to dine at Del Frisco’s and asks us about our meal choices. He shakes our hands, talks with us for a short amount of time and politely excuses himself.

Then, a few minutes later the general manager of the restaurant comes over and asks us about our food choices and confirms that we are nothing but pleased with our dining experience thus far. She was extremely grateful for us choosing to dine at her establishment and wanted to make sure that we were satisfied. Again, just reiterating that I was not asked to write this review nor did Del Frisco’s have any idea that I write for DTD. The level of attention and service I received from Del Frisco's was phenomenal and truly enhanced my experience.

When our meals came, the server immediately asked us to check our steaks to make sure they were cooked to our liking. I was shocked (in a good way). I have NEVER had a server ask me to check my steak upon delivering it to the table. As you can imagine, I was not surprised when it was cooked to perfection.

The next 15 or so minutes were quite uneventful as it mainly consisted of little conversation aside from, “Good Lord this is amazing.” And it really was. Fellow blog friends, I found the unicorn that is delicious steak, and that unicorn is at Del Frisco’s. The steak had that perfect grilled taste that isn’t overpowering but still has a little charcoal bite to it. The succotash wasn’t what I was used to (mine is served warm with copious amounts of butter) but nonetheless was delicious, served room temperature with tomatoes. Rob’s mac ‘n cheese was made with a hint of spice and bacon, and everyone knows you can never go wrong with bacon.

Steak. Yum!

After destroying my steak in record time, and Rob close behind me, we knew that dessert was a MUST. I wanted the chocolate lava cake because let’s be serious, girls love themselves some chocolate on a bad day. However, that wasn’t available, so I went for the Nutella bread pudding. Fair warning, don’t even waste your time thinking about ordering anything else. I’m pretty sure the dessert gods were smiling down on me when this fell into my lap because I have never had anything so wonderful. As soon as I went home I logged on to the interwebz and found myself a good recipe. I’ll let you know how that works out.
Nutella Bread Pudding
Two and a half hours later, stomachs full to the brim (I wish yoga pants were acceptable dinner attire) Rob filled out the guest cards, to make sure we were on the list for events and specials and headed home. But our story doesn’t end here, folks. On Friday (as in a few days ago) we received a proper thank you note from Del Frisco’s thanking us for dining there. Yes, a REAL paper thank you, none of this mass E-mail junk. The Martha Stewart and Emily Post in me squealed in excitement. Aside from Thirsty Ivy, and a few family members I am the only person in the world I know that still writes thank-yous. I am beyond impressed with Del Frisco’s and will forever sing their praises. The food is outshone only by the impeccable service.

Now if this doesn’t have you visiting Open Table and booking yourself a dinner reservation at Del Frisco’s right now, I don’t know what will. I promise you folks, it won’t disappoint.

Yours In Delicious Meat,


  1. My favorite line: "if you order steak well done, please don’t EVER talk to me about your love of steak. Rant over."


  2. I just don't understand how dry, bland, all flavor gone, burnt to a crisp meat is appealing to anyone. I am trying to think of a nice way to say I like my meat a little raw without opening myself up to a "That's what she said" joke but I can't.

  3. Great review! I've been wondering about this place..I never like to try restaurants when they first open, but you have convinced me to visit and soon.

  4. Hi Jen! I'm glad you liked my review. I'm always a little nervous to try new places too, and chain restaurants generally aren't my cup of tea. But this place was phenomenal! I hope you enjoy your visit as much as I did.

  5. You are using my tuna taco picture from Del Frisco's. You are under copyright violation and should think about giving credit to Almost Veggies or removing my photo immediately. If you are going to use other people's work, then it is a great idea to have integrity and give credit where it is due. Credit: Almost Veggies