A name familiar to restaurant devotees has joined BLT Steak downtown: Jon Mathieson, who assumes the kitchen position recently vacated by Victor Albisu.
Mathieson comes to the New York import from the recently-shuttered Michel in Tysons Corner. Previously, he cooked at Inox and 2941 , also in Northern Virginia.
“We were very disappointed to lose Victor, but we think we have someone just as good, if not better,” in his replacement, says Keith Treyball, president and partner of ESquared Hospitality , the restaurant’s parent company.
Mathieson, who spent just under a year at Michel, says he was attracted to the job by “the concept and the vision and what the company is all about.”
Both parties say the long list of daily specials make the executive chef’s job at the steak house appealing for someone with Mathieson’s resume. “There’s a lot of leeway with the blackboard menu,” prominently displayed in the dining room, for kitchen staff to “flex their muscles,” says Treyball.
Mathieson says he’s spending his first weeks at BLT Steak “learning their philosophy” before making major menu changes. His new boss forecasts more French accents and a retreat from Albisu’s Latin American influences. The transition makes sense: The concept was originally developed in 2004 in conjunction with French chef Laurent Tourondel, who lent his initials to the beefy bistro.
Two things are definite: BLT’s gratis popovers and chicken liver pate are staying put, a spokeswoman confirms.