Nage Bistro is now several weeks into a new gourmet burger night promotion, where diners can enjoy a rotating selection of specialty burgers from new Executive Chef Dwayne Motley, with several different options available each Monday evening. Check out more about what they’re offering here.
The changing selection will showcase 8-ounce burgers made with a blend of ground chuck, short rib and steak, all cooked to order over an open flame. The burgers end up perfectly prepared — juicy, flavorful and tender, which is sometimes harder to pull off in a restaurant setting than you’d think, and was well appreciated.
On a recent visit, Nage showcased three different options, including the heart-stopping Luther, a bacon cheeseburger served on a glazed donut rather than a bun. Another was named the Roadhouse, featuring a tangy housemade Makers Mark BBQ sauce, smoked mozzarella cheese, and buttermilk onion strings. The third was the Wagyu Double Cheeseburger, or as I nicknamed it, the Adult Big Mac. Two large Wagyu patties, with a Nage “special sauce”, onions and pickles.
Other options to look forward to in the future may include the French Onion Burger with blue cheese, gruyere, arugula, caramelized onions and bacon jam; the Nola Burger seasoned with the chef’s own blackening spice and topped with pepper jack cheese and grilled peppers; the Caribbean Burger with grilled pineapple and spicy Caribbean jerk sauce, the Oaxaca Burger with Hass avocado, manchego cheese and mole xico sauce; the Banzi Burger with Asian slaw, crispy pork belly and Kimchi ketchup; and the vegetarian Smoked Beet Burger with feta, cucumber, tomato and butter lettuce.
I was a bit disappointed that more of those burgers weren’t available during our visit. If it’s gourmet burger night — then why not offer the whole lineup, rather than just a few at a time? In a D.C. scene where a new high-end burger joint opens every other week, gourmet burger night at your restaurant needs to come strong.
Beyond the week’s specialty burgers, there’s also a variety of hand-cut fries available, including options such as Nage Frites, garlic fries, ghost chili fries, duck fat fries and malt vinegar fries.
Now, when I hear “ghost chili”, I expect punch you in the face, lip swelling, drive home crying and hating your life and then pretending to your friends a week later that of course you loved it and it really wasn’t that bad, spice.
Here, we skipped right to the end — they just really weren’t that bad. We were warned by our server to be careful, then thought we received the wrong order, because the fries we received weren’t spicy at all. A second batch arrived, this time assuredly going to give us a Scoville smash upside the head. Again, not so much.
Our server wondered if the chef turned things down a notch after getting some feedback that they were too intense, because he personally had tried them on a previous occasion and could only stomach a few in a sitting. And if that’s what happened, it’s absolutely understandable. But then don’t put “ghost chili” on the menu. That comes with expectations.