It turns out Victor Albisu has more than tacos on his plate. The former chef at BLT Steak and the forthcoming Taco Bamba says he’s taking over PS 7’s in Penn Quarter to open Del Campo, an ode to his roots and a tip of the hat to meat-centric South America.
“This has been a lifelong dream of mine, even before I cooked professionally,” says Albisu. As a boy, he worked alongside Argentinian and Uruguayan butchers in his mother’s meat market in Northern Virginia. Del Campo (“from the country” in Spanish) is a notion his Cuban-born grandfather, a baker, talked about.
Of the cooking style he’s poised to serve, Albisu says, “I’ve always wanted to elevate it, showcase it,” in the Washington area. “For the first time in my career,” he adds, “I feel completely right with what I’m producing.”
Expected to open in spring 2013, Del Campo will focus on the social and edible pleasures of the South American asado, or barbecue. A changing menu of grilled meats — short ribs, chorizo, skirt steak, blood sausage — will be rounded out by Peruvian-style crudos and ceviches. Fittingly, the drinks will include pisco sours and mate tea. As for the setting, Albisu says PS 7’s sleek interior will give way to a design that “feels kind of like a country home in South America.”
Rumors of PS7’s closing have swirled for months. Calls to chef-owner Peter Smith for more details were not immediately returned.