The Dish: Seared and Braised Cabbage Steak

Where to Get It: BLT Steak, 1625 I St. NW

Price: $16

What It Is: The cabbage “steak” is actually a seared cabbage wedge braised in vegetable broth and white wine. It’s then plated with toasted hazelnuts, sesame seeds, and seared Brussels sprouts atop buttermilk dressing flecked with chives, parsley, and tarragon. Chef Jorge Chicas says he wasn’t thinking of this as a warm wedge salad, but that’s what it evokes—and he hears that frequently from diners.

The Story: Chicas says his new vegetarian blackboard specials are part of a wider initiative to add more composed and thoughtful vegetarian dishes to the menu. The chef offers a seasonal, meat-free appetizer, entree, and side dish daily, with winter’s cauliflower steak morphing into the more springy cabbage dish. He says it will be on the menu for a while and that there’s always cabbage in the kitchen, so he can make it anytime with a bit of notice. 

Why Even Meat Eaters Will Like It: It’s no easy task to make cabbage sexy, but Chicas manages it. He works with the natural sweetness and bitterness of the cabbage by marrying it with the herbal and bright creaminess of buttermilk dressing and the toasty crunch of hazelnuts. I’ll admit it—I also ordered a burger to eat with this entree. But while I was happy to give up the last quarter of the burger to a dining companion, I scraped at every last morsel on the cabbage steak plate.