We Love Food: A Look at Medium Rare

Photo courtesy of Plantains & Kimchi
service @ Medium Rare, Cleveland Park
courtesy of Plantains & Kimchi

I’ve wanted to try Medium Rare ever since it opened earlier this year but, for some reason I rarely make it north of Dupont Circle. However, I managed to make it to the steak-frites restaurant twice before I decided to write it up.

Simple concepts can be executed nicely and Medium Rare almost hits the mark. As you might already know, the restaurant’s menu is based around one main dish: steak frites. Unfortunately, it’s nothing to write home about as the steak’s sauce was forgettable. While the concept of Medium Rare is excellent, it’s hard to compete with many other places in DC that do a better steak frites.

I did like the restaurant’s décor–it’s dark, fun and energetic. The restaurant has a great vibe and is a good spot for a variety of occasions, whether you go for a casual date, with a group of friends, or with family. Medium Rare is a nice neighborhood place and always seems crowded.

Photo courtesy of floridagirlindc
Rustic Bread at Medium Rare
courtesy of floridagirlindc

The bar is limited, offering just a few wine and beer choices and a few other liquors for cocktails. The prix fixe menu starts with artisan rustic bread, which was pretty good as was the butter. Bread is followed by the mixed green salad. While I thought the dressing was great, the salad itself was just okay since the greens were a bit limp.

Photo courtesy of floridagirlindc
Steak Frites Topped with Poached Egg at Medium Rare
courtesy of floridagirlindc

As for the main course, yes, I ordered the steak medium rare. It was cooked the right amount and was a perfect pink on the inside, but tasted bland and ordinary. The fries were pretty good, I thought, and almost didn’t need any sauce. The highlight of the meal? You get seconds! I love food so much that even if I don’t completely love a dish, I usually still want more. Watching the waiters walk around with their second helpings made the meal more interesting.

Photo courtesy of floridagirlindc
Carrot Cake at Medium Rare
courtesy of floridagirlindc

The second highlight of dinner was dessert: the carrot cake. It was huge, simple, moist and delicious. I tried some of my dining companion’s cheesecake which was extremely average, so she ended up just eating some of my carrot cake instead.

As I walked into the bathroom before leaving, I heard a man’s voice say to me, “You are beautiful.” After my initial panic attack, I remembered they have French language tapes playing in the bathrooms. Now this, I like. And the Bazooka gum you get at the end of your meal? Cute touch.

I will be back to the spot above Dupont Circle for a third time. I’d love to see more flavorful steak, a smoother steak sauce, and even a change in the speed in which the food hits your table – slow down some! But I guess that’s the problem when everyone is pretty much having the same thing. For three courses, the $19.50 price tag can’t be beat.

Medium Rare comes to us from Mark Bucher, founder of BGR the Burger Joint. It is located at 3500 Connecticut Ave NW. The closest metro station is Cleveland Park (Red Line). For more information, call (202) 237-1432.

Tricia is a native Washingtonian, born and raised in Columbia Heights. She loves DC so much that she was only able to leave the city for one year after college and immediately came running back. Tricia works in PR during the day, and spends her nights trying out new restaurants in DC with friends or watching The Good Wife, Grey’s Anatomy and Private Practice. Tricia recently decided to eat her way though all of Zagat’s 2011 restaurants until she realized she would be old and broke by the time she finished. Follow her on Twitter and email her at Tricia (at) welovedc.com.

4 thoughts on “We Love Food: A Look at Medium Rare

  1. Completely agree. It’s been about a year since I’ve been there, but thought it was pretty good, especially for the price, but not exceptional.

  2. Did you really refer to this spot “above Dupont Circle?” Cleveland Park is a real live, vibrant, fun DC neighborhood. I’m sorry you don’t make it north of Dupont Circle often, but from a DC blogger, to effectively call this neighborhood a suburb of Dupont is insulting.

  3. Nice review. I like this place a lot, it’s a great deal and the food is very good. Perfect first date place for sure! Can’t wait for more “North of Dupont Circle” reviews.

  4. I’m sorry you don’t make it north of Dupont Circle often, but from a DC blogger, to effectively call this neighborhood a suburb of Dupont is insulting.I like this place a lot.