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Nicolas Beatove has been a cook at Bourbon Steak inside the Four Seasons in Georgetown for three years. He moved to the D.C. area from Patagonia in Argentina in 2011 after marrying an American girl who was studying at University of Maryland, College Park. As a senior cook on the morning team, he comes in early and helps sous chefs with prep work.
But as of this week, Beatove has a big ticket item on the dinner menu—an extravagant interpretation of a traditional Argentinian asado. The drool-worthy meat board features about 40 oz. of ribeye cooked in the restaurant’s wood-fired oven, slices of eggplant that have been pickled in a vinaigrette, boiled then fried potatoes topped with a Malbec reduction, a salad with smoked corn and avocado, grilled spring onions, and three sauces (two kinds of chimichurri and romesco).
The steak makes for a succulent centerpiece, and the sides are robust. The pickled eggplant, which Beatove says is traditionally eaten with bread as an appetizer, is tangy to the tenth degree. The potatoes are sweet and salty, and the grilled spring onions usher in the new season with pulled-from-the-ground flavor.
This is the third time Executive Chef Joe Palma has called upon the young cook to showcase his native cuisine. The first time was for an Argentinian wine dinner, and the second was when Beatove created a dish for the lunch menu. “He [Palma] gives us this opportunity to create and participate in the menu,” Beatove says. “For us, it’s great.”
The first Saturday of every month, Palma orchestrates a competition that enables kitchen staff to present dishes for consideration for the menu. This month the theme was salads. A Mexican cook presented the best dish, which will make it onto the menu in the coming weeks, according to Beatove.
The potential to pull from other cultures is high at Bourbon Steak. Beatove explains that people from Korea, Guatemala, Mexico, El Salvador, and Peru staff its kitchen. With so much untapped potential in area kitchens, perhaps other restaurants could pull a page out of Palma’s playbook.
The “Argentine Spring” costs $245 and can easily feed three carnivores.
Bourbon Steak, 2800 Pennsylvania Ave. NW; (202) 944-2026; bourbonsteakdc.com