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Chefs like to brag about their nose-to-tail cooking. But once you’ve served diners every part of the animal, what’s the next step? Apparently, it’s hanging the hides on the walls: At least three local restaurants use cowskins as decor. Yeehaw?
277 S. Washington St., Alexandria
Chapel Hill Farm in Berryville, Va., provided the two black and white Randall Lineback cowskins that are displayed in ornate silver frames. Farmer Joe Henderson sells beef from the same heritage breed cows to the market/wine bar as well as the restaurant group’s other establishments, like Restaurant Eve. You can even buy a hide from Society Fair for $1,850.
1324 14th St. NW
Chef and owner Bart Vandaele loves cows, plain and simple. A large image of one fills a wall in the leather-filled downstairs dining room, and a guide to udders is displayed in the women’s restroom. Turns out Vandaele even owns a cow. The thoroughbred, named Jewels the Red Rock, lives in Canada. “She just needs to breed for me,” Vandaele says.
777 I St. NW
Chef Victor Albisu’s new South American grill is designed to invoke the Argentine countryside and the feeling of “relaxed luxury,” explains Allison Cooke of CORE architecture and interior design firm. “It’s fur, but it’s not luxurious. It adds this sense of softness and a little bit more of the rustic feel as well.” Plus, the cowhide ties into the steak-centric menu.
Photos by Jessica Sidman