“Our diners have a variety of tastes, and we try to match their appetites,” explained Ann Thibert, General Manager of Del Frisco’s Double Eagle Steak House in Washington, DC. The steakhouse opened in 2014 under the direction of Thibert, a native of Oregon with more than a decade of experience in hospitality management. In an interview, we discussed the launch of the restaurant, ambience and décor, and the vast menu of cuts and cocktails.
Tell me a little bit about the philosophy behind Del Frisco’s Double Eagle Steak House and why Washington DC was ripe for such a restaurant.
Among its competitors and even some of its namesakes in other cities, Del Frisco’s Double Eagle Steak House in Washington DC is an entirely unique, entirely sophisticated dining experience. If you’ve been to Del Frisco’s in Manhattan, or any of the company’s other 11 locations, you see white tablecloths, but in Washington the brand has achieved a modern, luxurious style that is now setting the bar for steak house dining in the nation’s capital. DC’s Double Eagle is not stuffy or uptight. It’s effusive, and full of energy, while still providing a precise level of service that you just don’t find at other restaurants. After many years of vetting potential spaces for the restaurant, CEO Mark Mednansky found a home for it at CityCenterDC, which is already drawing a young, jet set clientele that has become the new standard for the city’s top eateries.
How would you describe the décor, atmosphere and ambiance?
The restaurant is spread between three levels, with a wine cellar, two bars on the street and second levels, as well as a patio which we are excited to have open for the first time this spring. The décor is elegant, without being opulent. The furniture and finishes are a rich green and gold, accented by world class original artwork and fixtures. The center-piece chandelier in the dining room is made of 12,500 metallic pieces suspended below a series of lights which create a dramatic landscape day or night. Floor to ceiling windows make lunches bright and airy – almost the opposite of what some consider the ‘DC steakhouse experience’, and at night the city lights of downtown make it feel a bit like a decadent urban loft set just above the sidewalks.
What kinds of steaks are available, and what are some of your most-requested cuts?
At Del Frisco’s we offer a full range of USDA prime steaks, including filets, strips, ribeyes (which are often available bone-in as well), in addition to a signature wagyu longbone, and a porterhouse. Popularity is split between the filet and ribeye, as each have a distinct audience. Filets are tender and lean, whereas ribeyes are rich with marbling and achieve a great sear. Our diners have a variety of tastes, and we try to match their appetites.
In terms of cocktails, what would be your top recommendations?
Our VIP (vodka infused pineapple) martini is a long-time favorite. It is a blend of clementine vodka, infused with fresh pineapple for two weeks before we serve it. Other originals that have a great following in DC include the Bacon Maple Manhattan, a blend of pecan infused smoked maple Knob Creek, whiskey barrel aged bitters and praline bacon, or the Gold Standard Mule, which is a picture perfect Moscow Mule.