I am about to write my review of Medium Rare in Cleveland Park when I see that this week’s Washington Post Magazine features none other than…Medium Rare. Scooped by Tom Sietsema! I’ll keep this one short. Check out his review for a professional opinion.
I try to keep my red meat intake to once a week. I am usually successful, although if I have leftovers and eat them the next day I don’t think it counts. I may be wrong about this but that’s how I do it.
I find two meat-eating friends (and fans of Cedric Maupillier, formerly of Central Michel Richard) to accompany me. Cedric is a temporary fixture at Medium Rare, or he was. When we arrive we find he is no longer working there.
A good thing about Medium Rare? You don’t have to ponder over the menu. You get bread, salad, steak, and french fries. All for $19.95. The only decision you need to make is whether to have wine or dessert.
My friend has a hard time with this one- first deciding no to wine and then changing her mind. It’s a good decision, as steak is made to be enjoyed with a glass of red wine, in my opinion.
The crusty bread is perfect and you can’t help but ask for seconds. (Well, we couldn’t.) The salad is unremarkable: butter lettuce, cherry tomatoes, and dressing. It’s fresh but I think would benefit from a few more ingredients.
Next comes the steak and fries. I am well aware that the steak is 1/2 a serving and the rest will be delivered later. Our server tells us that we are welcome to take the second serving home. I find the steak tender and flavorful. There’s a secret sauce which I think features mushrooms. Tom thinks chicken liver and mustard. One of my friends doesn’t like it. Two of us do. The fries are crisp and salty, just the way I like them.
We opt out of dessert, being warned that the portions are large. (Yes, I’m a little disappointed but there’s frozen yogurt across the street.)
I understand that there is a vegetarian option – grilled portobello mushroom. In my opinion, if you don’t eat meat, skip Medium Rare. There are far better options elsewhere. If you do enjoy a steak once in awhile, Medium Rare is worth a visit. It’s a quick dinner, as noted by Tom Sietsema, there are no delays in a kitchen that’s only cooking one thing.
As others have warned in reviews and blogs, the tab adds up if you are drinking wine and order dessert. My dinner was $40. But I got to add steak to my salad lunch the following day. And no, I didn’t count it as eating red meat twice in one week.