3500 CONNECTICUT AVE. N.W
WASHINGTON DC 20008
Dinner Daily 5:PM – 10:30PM
Friday & Saturday until 11:PM
Brunch Sunday 11:AM – 2:30PM
I may have found the best deal in Washington, D.C. last night. Medium Rare was on my long list of restaurants to try in Washington, D.C. and last night I had the opportunity to give it a go. Located conveniently at the top of the Cleveland Park metro stop, Medium Rare on the outside looks like another non-chalant restaurant on the bustling street. But the venue is far from bland.
If you’re looking for a steak – this is a place you need to try, and don’t come here looking for anything else because they won’t have it. And I mean that literally. The schtick is that Medium Rare has pretty much one item on their menu – their prefixed menu that includes their steak, signature sauce, french fries, side salad and bread for a very, very affordable $19.95. I was skeptical at first – where are you gonna find a really good steak meal for $20? Well, Medium Rare does just that.
The restaurant doesn’t take reservations, but that’s not a problem because the longest you’ll ever have to wait is 10-15 minutes (when there’s no real menu choice, the meal process is that much faster). After getting seated, we order drinks – the drink menu has 5 red wine options, 3 white wine options, a couple sparking wines, and 4 different draft beers, and they present us with a loaf of perfectly warm, flaky crusty bread and warm butter.
The waitress then explains to us how the place works and that we get the salad, then the steak and fries, then another plate of fries (which I thought was weird that they top off with that, but more on that later). She asks us how we’d like our steaks cooked, and we obviously go for medium rare, which she marks in crayon on the table where we sit.
First we get our salad, which was essentially an Olive Garden salad – a solid starter, but nothing special. A few minutes later our steaks arrive with a side of fries. The steak is delicious. It’s probably about 8 oz. and sliced into 5 pieces with the Medium Rare sauce drizzled all over it. The sauce reminded me of that fantastic steak place we went to in Lisbon. The steak was cooked perfectly (peppery, charry, but not burnt outside, and dark pink, juicy on the inside), and while it didn’t melt in my mouth like the steak in Lisbon, it was still so good. The McDonald’s style fries complimented the steak as well and were probably a little better than Micky D’s because they were a little more golden brown and thicker.
Now the meal as it stood would have been worth the $20. I was savoring each bite and eating pretty slowly in order to stretch the experience out. The two women at the table next to us hardly touched their steak and were getting it boxed, which astounded me. Then the waitress came back, with a pan in hand and that’s when I understood. I had misheard her at the beginning – we weren’t just getting a second plate of just fries. We were getting a second plate of steak and fries!
Yeah, that was pretty much my face when the second helping of steaming hot steak and fries landed on my plate. They also provided an additional little jar of the sauce to apply at your discretion. It’s a genius idea – getting the meal in two portions promises that the steak and fries will always be hot instead of getting one big 16 oz steak and fries and letting it cool off towards the end.
They do have desert, but we opted to pass. Though the few we saw on other tables looked pretty awesome, and HUGE, so keep that in mind if you decide you want to end with something sweet. And here’s one last quirky thing about Medium Rare: they give you a piece of Bazooka Joe bubble gum with your check.
Medium Rare is probably my new favorite restaurant. The food, ambiance, price, and fast service are all perfectly in tune with what I want in a meal out. Obviously, if you want something other than steak, then don’t go to there. But if you want an delicious, affordable steak meal – go to Medium Rare. Grade: A
Here’s a review from my friends at Boobs Bacon Bourbon of the brunch that they offer: http://www.boobsbaconbourbon.com/2012/07/24/medium-rare-best-brunch-deal-in-dc/