The Washington Post

Victor Albisu to replace PS 7’s with Del Campo

Victor Albisu plans to open an ode to South American cooking in the PS 7’s space near Penn Quarter. (Shauna Alexander/For The Washington Post)

 “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.”

Washington restaurateur Jeff Black, who made way for a pop-up version of Taco Bamba above Pearl Dive Oyster Bar in Logan Circle, will be an investor and partner in the 150-seat establishment. 

Rumors of PS7’s closing have swirled for months. Calls to chef-owner Peter Smith for more details were not immediately returned.

Weaned on a beige buffet a la “Fargo” in Minnesota, Tom Sietsema is the food critic for The Washington Post. This is his second tour of duty at the Post. Sietsema got his first taste in the ‘80s, when he was hired by his predecessor to answer phones, write some, and test the bulk of the Food section’s recipes. That’s how he learned to clean squid, bake colonial cakes and distinguish between nutmeg and mace.

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