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Can chef Brad Race make food the focal point at racy Claudia’s Steakhouse?

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The forthcoming Claudia's Steakhouse, which has garnered attention mostly for its racy, sexualized marketing, is shoring up its culinary bona fides: Chef Brad Race, formerly of Minibar, Bearnaise and Le Cirque, will head the kitchen when the 300-seat restaurant near 15th and K streets NW opens later this spring.

Race is certainly suited for a steakhouse gig after working as the executive chef of the steak frites-focused Bearnaise. At Claudia's, he's working on developing a menu with a Latin bent, featuring dishes such as empanadas, mojarra frita, chorizo hot dogs and, yes, a "Negra Modelo Drunken Rib-Eye.”

He'll have some tough competition in the neighborhood, with nearby Rural Society and Mio offering Latin flavors, and expense-account steakhouse Joe's Seafood, Prime Steak and Stone Crab. Claudia's is not the first "sexy steakhouse" in the market: "Not Your Daddy's Steakhouse" STK is less than a mile away.

Claudia's Steakhouse, 1501 K St. NW (Metro: McPherson Square).