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I’m guilty of it. A lot of us DC residents are. Old Town Alexandria, while undeniably quaint and beautiful, is just too far away. A 40-minute metro ride just to get a bite to eat? Nah, especially when DC is in the midst of a restaurant boom.

Brabo, with its new steak frites program, should change your mind. The restaurant’s Executive Chef, Sebastien Rondier, is fresh off a new marriage and a recent two-week trip to France. Based on his meals during that trip, Chef Rondier has introduced at Brabo a comprehensive new menu focused solely on that most classic of bistro dishes, steak frites.

Chef Rondier’s new menu introduces four varieties of dry-aged butcher cuts from Creekstone Farms, presented in the heritage French style and served with whipped Roquefort butter or a cracked black peppercorn sauce. BYT was lucky enough to try all the new options, from a 12 oz. grilled ribeye to an 8 oz. grass-fed filet mignon to an 8 oz. hangar steak and finally, a 22 oz. cote de boeuf for two.

Brabo Brasserie Steak Menu-8

(Not technically steak frites, but just as perfectly executed, is the Chef’s take on beef bourguinon, which was the first plate finished during our meal, and which should be a mandatory order at every table.)

Brabo Brasserie Steak Menu-15

Each of the cuts offers something unique; the ribeye is as you’d expect, marbled and rich, while the filet mignon is buttery tender and a perfect medium rare. The hangar steak was a surprising favorite, ropy and beefy as can be, and matched well with an herby chimichurri.

Brabo Brasserie Steak Menu-17

But the real draw on the new menu is the cote de boeuf, a massive cut of beef that serves as the platonic ideal of grilled meat: rich, minerally, and juicy, with a pleasant chew and a primal umami funk.

Brabo Brasserie Steak Menu-16

Each cut of beef comes with an order of salty, crispy fries, served with three house-made sauces that rotate with the seasons. Currently on offer are a dijonnaise made with whole grain mustard, a spicy harissa aioli, and a classic whipped mayonnaise. Each is outstanding, as one would imagine.

Brabo, of course, offers much more than just steak (though a trip to Old Town simply for the meat will certainly be well worth the time). Jam-packed charcuterie plates; a summery salad of heirloom tomatoes and prosciutto; and a stunningly beautiful octopus dish combining pickled beets, charred napa cabbage, and a red beet BBQ sauce are only a few of the preludes to a main course that should be composed solely of fries and meat.

Brabo Brasserie Steak Menu-5

Add to all that a wine list that is both thoughtfully composed and reasonably priced, and one is left asking not why one would go to Alexandria, but instead when can one get there.

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