Swede and I spent a month in DC this winter, and the night before we were to head back to Chicago, we happened to be cruising up Connecticut Avenue, just short of my old ‘hood.
“Medium Rare,” I pointed out to him as we drove past a strip of restaurants. “I hear it’s supposed to be good.”
“Want to go?” Swede asked. “We can go for dinner tonight.”
You guys, it’s true. I DO have a type. I obviously have taken to dating geniuses.
And also, five bonus points for spontaneous dinner outings!
Is there anything better?
Maybe spontaneous popcorn popping and movie night.
It’s a toss up, really.
We called a couple of friends to meet us and our awesome friend The Republican responded with great enthusiasm, as it seems that Medium Rare is one of her new favorite restaurants.
And after our visit there, I can understand why.
Restaurant #2 of 12: Medium Rare
The Food. Now obviously, as I discussed with The Publican, I am wholly on board with meat. But unlike the Publican, Medium Rare specializes in one dish: Steak frites. And they do a superb job, simply superb. They butter you up with some crusty French bread, then serve up a lightly dressed mixed green salad, both of which are delicious, but then, then they get to the true highlight of the meal.
They’ll bring out your steak—cooked to order, of course—in two helpings, starting with one portion, drizzled with their secret sauce that is savory and smooth, slightly creamy, yes?, and essentially a tray of fries. (Which, of course, are made even better when dragged through the secret sauce.) And when you polish that off (And you will. It’s okay. Embrace it.) they bring you out the second portion of your steak. And then you can roll around in beefy ecstasy. (Again: you will. It’s okay. Embrace it.)
Whether or not you’ll be up for dessert, well, I can’t really say. We passed, but that’s not to say that the selection wasn’t tempting. I was just full of beef and didn’t want to ruin my steak high.
The Price. All that food I just mentioned? (Minus dessert.) $20. Yes, you read that correctly. Beverages not included. I’m not really sure you can find a better deal at such quality in DC.
Brick Walls. I’m a sucker for brick interior brick walls. There. I said it. And being that the restaurant is at ground level, the brick walls and open(ish) kitchen create an intimate environment.
Seating. The tables themselves are fine (though a bit on top of each other). My con on this one is that they won’t let you sit until all members of your party are there, which I find incredibly annoying and off-putting. As a patron, it tells me that you either think I’m cheap and I’m going to sit there drinking water for an hour waiting for the final member of my party to arrive or you only want me to be in your restaurant for as little time as possible so you can turn as many tables as possible. Neither of these are feelings you want to blanket your patrons with, and both are insulting, leaving me feeling like more chattel rather than a welcomed diner.
Service. At least, our server, whose name I’ve forgotten. But what I remember is that he was mildly surly and had a vague air of annoyance any time he had to come over to our table.
Service can really make or break a restaurant for me, and if the food was not so scrumptious, I probably wouldn’t return to Medium Rare. But the food is that good, and well worth plunking down $30 (tax, tip, all that stuff), and I’d go back in a heartbeat.
On a scale of one to Go?
Right now, in fact.
You won’t be sorry.
Take me with you?
Or maybe I’ll just see you there.