"It was going to take a really special restaurant to pull me from northern Virginia," Artley says. Before Pizzeria Orso, he worked at Evening Star Cafe in Del Rey for almost six years.
Artley is still getting acclimated to the job, which he started Jan. 2, so don't expect too many menu changes for now. He also plans to continue with restaurant's wagyu beef program and bring in even more high-end A5 wagyu, although he may change up some of the cuts and accompaniments. While much of the menu is set in stone, Artley will have creative freedom over BLT Steak's blackboard specials. Possible new dishes include a grilled mushroom fricassee with sunflower root and cauliflower or a roasted monkfish with eggplant barbecue and carrot caramel.
And while BLT may be a steakhouse, Artley plans to give plenty of attention to vegetables, especially given his relatively new healthy lifestyle. "I'm accustomed to it now, and I think because I eat so many vegetables now, it's easier for me to cook with," he says. The chef dropped nearly 130 pounds and 18 inches around his waist after transforming his diet and exercise routine. This year, he's training for Iron Man Maryland.
Photo courtesy Will Artley