Medium Rare: A Rare Treat

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.

Medium Rare,  3500 Connecticut Avenue, NW (Cleveland Park)
My rating (on a 1-5 scale):  3.5

Washington Post Magazine review review

Medium Rare on Urbanspoon


  1. I agree with it all, but don't you think there is some type of burgundy wine in the secret sauce?

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