I think most Washingtonians would likely agree that the last thing we need in the district is another overpriced steakhouse. But I reckon they’d also agree that we could definitely use an AFFORDABLE steak restaurant that also serves up fun appetizers, quirky cocktails and tiki drinks all in a casual and fun atmosphere. That’s where Bar Charley comes in.
But affordable doesn’t mean mediocre. The food is delicious. When they started back in 2013, the food mainly featured small plates to go along with the drinks. They eventually realized that patrons wanted a full-scale dining experience, so the menu has undergone some changes. We were invited in to check out the steak-centric menu and loved the cozy, basement space. Bar Charley is a concept from Jackie Greenbaum and Gordon Banks, the folks behind some of our favorite DC spots like Little Coco’s and El Chucho, so we knew we were in for some good eating (and drinking).
The appetizers include one of the best takes on tuna tartare I’ve ever eaten and addicting Catalan fries, just to name a few.
Wash down your starters with a fun selection of cocktails.Get to know the bar staff, who will know doubt be setting things on fire and concocting new creations on the spot. Bar Charley offers everything from classic Manhattans and martinis to tiki drinks on tap and everything in between. The friendly bar staff definitely enjoys coming up with creative cocktails, and they’re not afraid to be a little silly. We sampled the 80s Old Fashioned, the Quack Quackerac, served in a cheeky duck-canter and the It’s a Frog Who’s Smoking a Comically Large Cigar.
Now you’re ready for a steak. Perhaps the Charley’s cut – Black Angus bavette sirloin for $19.95 – or an 8 oz. Black Angus petite tender for $23.95. Bigger appetites will appreciate the 14 oz. New York strip and the whopping 22 oz. cowboy cut ribeye. And don’t worry about your racking up your bill with expensive a la carte sides, they’re included along with your choice of sauce.
If you really want to splurge, you should definitely order the A5 Kobe strip loin. This melt-in-your-mouth beauty will cost you $59.95. Still far less than you’ll pay at a stodgy white tablecloth restaurant.
To take the savings even further, head into Bar Charley on Sunday nights for half price steaks with the purchase of a bottle of wine or a Scorpion bowl.
Whether you’re looking for a few snacks and a cocktail or a steak dinner fit for a king, Bar Charley can make it happen. And you’ll leave with money left in your pocket.
We were hosted by Bar Charley for a media preview. All opinions are our own.