DCReview

photo credit: Chris Prosser

Medium Rare review image

Medium Rare

$$$$

3500 Connecticut Ave NW, Washington
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We like simple, and Medium Rare is nothing if not dead simple. Serving one thing, steak frites, two ways (there is a portobello mushroom version for your vegetarian friends), we’re actually not sure why they bothered to print menus.

Despite the name, you can get your steak cooked to any temperature you want here. Be warned, if you order anything but medium-rare, you’ll get an incredibly corny joke that their sister restaurant “Medium Well” is across the street. We’d bet dollars to doughnuts the joke is on page one of the employee manual. How well this joke lands is directly correlated to how much wine your group brought. And at a low $12/bottle corkage fee, make sure you have a reason for bringing those specific bottles. Or scratch off the two buck chuck label before you walk in.

The “menu” being limited has its benefits, namely price. You’ll get a decent piece of meat in a fun, grown up atmosphere for way south of $50. Be warned, they don’t take reservations and it can get crowded during peak hours, but the hosts will be more than happy to recommend one of the bars across the street to loosen up your group before dinner.

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Food Rundown

Medium Rare review image

Steak

A hangar cut that comes pre-sliced with a decent sauce, that for some reason they drown the meat in. Ask for less sauce, because while it isn’t a world-beating steak, it deserves a lighter touch with the ladle. Perhaps the best endorsement: they’ll come around for seconds without even asking, and I haven’t seen anyone refuse them yet.

Frites

The speed at which you eat (or inhale) these depends entirely on how much you’ve drank. Did you bring a couple of bottles and have a long wait beforehand? Then these disappear way too quickly. Nice and salted and fried to a perfect golden brown, this is the highlight of the quite short menu.

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