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Interview with Laurent Tourondel (BLT Steak, Washington, D.C.)

Food & Wine Best New Chef 1998 Laurent Tourondel gives an insider guide to Washington, D.C., from the best brunch spots to the top bars.

On Washington, D.C.

There’s something inspiring about being in our nation’s capital. In New York, business deals go down over memorable meals; in DC, it’s political meetings. BLT Steak is my adaptation of the American steakhouse (1625 Eye St. NW; 202-689-8999 or bltsteak.com).

Favorite Cultural Activity

I live in Harlem and DC’s U. Street corridor has the same energy. I like to go to the Bohemian Caverns, which always has amazing musicians—Miles Davis played there (2011 11th St. NW; 202-299-0800 or bohemiancaverns.com).

Favorite Brunch Spot

I admire Barton Seaver’s dedication to sustainable seafood at Hook. All I really need there is the crudo flight and a Bacon Bloody Mary. I like to sit in the middle of the restaurant to see what other people have ordered (3241 M St. NW; 202-625-4488 or hookdc.com).

Favorite Nightlife Spot

Cork Wine Bar because of its young, diverse neighborhood crowd. I drink either a Burgundy or a Bordeaux (1720 14th St. NW; 202-265-CORK or corkdc.com).

Restaurant Recommendations

2 Amy’s for authentic Neapolitan pizza (3715 Macomb St. NW; 202-885-5700 or 2amyspizza.com).

Blue Duck Tavern. I get whatever whole fish is on the menu and the duck fat French fries (24 & M St. NW; 202-419-6755 or blueducktavern.com).

Central Michel Richard, for the lobster burger and a side of brussels sprouts (1001 Pennsylvania Ave.; 202-626-0015 or centralmichelrichard.com.

CityZen, where I love the braised Japanese short ribs (1330 Maryland Ave. SW; 202-787-6006 or mandarinoriental.com).

Sushi-Ko. The sashimi is always very fresh (2309 Wisconsin Ave. NW; 202-333-4187 or sushiko.us).

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