PS7s to become Del Campo South American Grill in Penn Quarter


777 I St, NW

From a press release:

Former BLT Steak executive chef, Victor Albisu, announces plans to open his first full-service restaurant, Del Campo, meaning “from the country,” at 777 I St. NW in spring 2013. Inspired by his Latin American roots and travels throughout South America, Albisu is bringing an upscale South American grill to the 5,800 square foot space previously occupied by PS7’s restaurant. The food culture celebrated through asado, a traditional South American grill style and the social gathering during which the barbeque is enjoyed, serves as a backdrop for the agrarian space and meat-driven, wine-centric menu.

“From adolescence, I worked in my mother’s Latin market learning to butcher from Argentineans and Uruguayans. It was from those South American butchers that I came to appreciate the asado as both a cooking style and a day-long gathering to celebrate and enjoy food, friends and family,” said Victor Albisu, chef/owner, Del Campo. “With Del Campo, I want to reinvent that experience by bringing an elevated style of South American grill culture to Washington, D.C.”

A rotating menu of grilled meats from the asado, such as wagyu skirt steak, short ribs, chorizo, blood sausage, and sweetbreads, will also be complemented by crudos and ceviches – a nod to Albisu’s Peruvian heritage – and a vibrant selection of seasonal salads and other composed dishes. The grandson of a Cuban baker, Albisu will also make savory and sweet empanadas. Bread service will feature traditional warm cast iron country bread served with smoked olive oil.

The bar menu will focus on more casual South American street food, including Albisu’s take on the chivito and chori-pan, Argentinean sandwiches; anticuchos, grilled skewered meats; and chicharones, fried meats, both from Peru. A large section of the wine program will focus on South American varietals, and the remainder of the list will include curated selections from around the world. Like the menu, the beverage program will elevate Piscos, Cachaças, and other South American spirits, beer and wine. Traditional Argentinean mate tea will also be available.

The 115-seat dining room will serve dinner seven nights a week, and lunch Monday through Friday. The 50-seat bar will serve coffee and South American pastries by day, in addition to the casual menu of savory snacks and sandwiches. During warmer months, a 40-seat patio will welcome guests to dine al fresco.

Chef Jeff Black, 2012 Restaurateur of the Year, as named by the Restaurant Association of Metropolitan Washington, is a partner and investor in Del Campo. While Black will not play a role in menu development or daily operations, he brings 30 years of successful restaurant experience to the project.

We judged PS7s back in Dec. 2009.

27 Comment

  • I’m sure this will be lovely, but I am really sad to see PS7 go. It was one of my favorite places.

  • Is PS 7’s already gone? I’d only been there a few times, but was very impressed each time.

  • What! What happened to PS 7’s?

    • It was one of the best restaurant bars in the city (even after Gina left the cocktail program was stellar), but they couldn’t keep the dining room filled. Hard to survive with that much square footage and not turn tables. I confess to being part of the problem: loved the bar for drinks and snacks, only ate dinner a handful of times

  • After spending a couple weeks in Argentina and Uruguay earlier this year, this is exciting! Nothing like it. Fogo is not a parrilla

  • PS7 was a terrific restaurant, but you really had to know it existed.. not a lot of foot traffic on that street. Sad to see it go.

    • It’s too bad, because once CityCenter is finally finished I bet there will be much more in the way of pedestrians heading to and from 8th street.

  • This sounds AWESOME!!! Haven’t had choripan in such a long time. Crossing my fingers that the food turns out as good as it sounds. Yo quiero parrillada!

  • Good riddance. I was excited to go in with my gf one time on a Friday night and was surprised at how empty it was, given its reputation as one of the best bars in the city. Then I met the attitudinal barman, sorry, ‘mixologist’. She asked him if he could make a long-drink style cocktail. He looked incredulous and insisted that he didn’t know what she meant. She explained that she wanted a cocktail that contained some mixture of alcoholic spirits and mixer in a tall glass. He looked shocked and proceeded to give us a lecture about what a cocktail was; something about it being a mixture of sweet and savory ingredients, bla bla bla. At that point we had heard enough and stood up, got our jackets and left. I felt like we were cramping the style of an Artist. We walked round the corner to the Passenger, and couldn’t get in the door because it was so packed. I’d say their customers voted with their money.

    • Long-drink? I’ve had maybe 100,450 drinks in my life and I have never heard of that?

      Like a long-island iced tea? Why not just say that?

      • PDMtP

        Any good bartender should know what a long drink is, and it’s not the same thing as a Long Island Iced Tea. A Tom Collins is a long drink.

        Y’all need to get out more.

        • Funny, we always refer to those as tall not long, and it was never about the drink, it was about the glass.

          I guess my getting out needs updating like a wikipedia page.

          • PDMtP

            We’re on the same page. I’ve heard long and tall both, and you’re right that we’re talking about drinks in tall glasses (which is supposed to go with what the drink is – you shouldn’t have a long Old Fashioned).

          • Yeppers. However, I used to love a tall whiskey, neat. :)

      • Because I don’t like LIT. My go-to long/tall drink is a dark and stormy.

    • Your girlfriend ordered a long island ice tea, which to a serious bartender is like asking for your espresso over ice.

      Believe me, the Passenger would have met the order with similar incredulity.

      • Oh yes, because a “serious” bartender is not in the business of making drinks ordered by customers.

        Like a “mixologist” doesn’t need to have customer service skills?

        Could have simply responded: “You want a drink similar to a long island iced tea. I can’t make you an LIT – we don’t have the ingredients, but I can definitely make you something smiliar to that.”, then make one of these fabulous hand crafted cocktails they are soooo famous for, and follow up with “Let me know if you like this, it has (blah blah blah) in it.”

        I love good beer and used to work at the Brickskeller years back. When someone came in and ordered a budweiser, we attempted the upsell – the teaching of what might be a higher quality beer that they might like. But if the customer wanted a Budweiser, we did our job and got them a damn Bud.

        • I think the anon above was kidding around, per the espresso comment and the robust conversation that was had on this site over the summer about serving espresso over ice.

          They seemed to have struck a cord though…

          • Hmmm.. this didn’t hit any of level of my sarcasm meter.

            And yes, I am not a fan of the pretentious drinking establishments and their artists formerly known as bartenders. Surprisingly, there are very few who take themselves so seriously… but apparently the OP had such an experience at PS7.

    • I don’t understand why so many people are are confused by “long drink.” Never heard the term before but it seems clear that it is a drink in a tall glass rather than a short tumbler….

  • Sad to see this place go as well, the Pimanti Bros spin-off was so good. It was even better the next day for lunch!

    Andrew Merkert, the former chef de cuisine at PS7s, is now the head chef at soon to open Beuchert’s Saloon.

    The more I hear about Beuchert’s the better it sounds: http://live.washingtonpost.com/ask-tom-11-28-12.html

  • PDMtP

    Mixed feelings – I liked PS7 a lot but didn’t go much because of the location. I think a parilla would be great but probably won’t go much because of the location.

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