It only took us ten months or so, but we finally tried Medium Rare last week. I can’t speak for Rachel, but I have been dying to try this place not only because of the simple concept, but plainly because I love steak frites. Turns out Medium Rare was designed with me in mind, and I greatly appreciate it.
We were able to procure a table for four with ease on Friday night, but that’s also because we were having a 6pm dinner. Rest assured the place was nearly full an hour later. It’s amazing to think that Yanni’s Greek Taverna is where Medium Rare now sits, but this is a great addition to the Cleveland Park neighborhood.
Helmed by Mark Bucher of BGR The Burger Joint fame, Medium Rare is the simplest of steakhouses – a prix-fixe menu of bread, salad, and steak & fries for $19.50. And yes, that even includes a second helping of their steak frites. For an entire meal under $20, it’s an incredible value.
The artisan rustic bread was crusty on the outside, fluffy on the inside, and our waitress gladly refilled our basket once we had gone through the first batch. The mixed green salad, topped with cherry tomatoes and Dijon vinaigrette, soon came next. We all enjoyed the salad as the lettuce was crisp without being completely saturated in dressing.
Then, it was time for the main event. The culotte steak (top sirloin cap) was topped with the restaurant’s “secret sauce” and served with a generous heap of frites. The steak, just like the name of the restaurant, was cooked medium rare. The thin, tender strips of beef were full of flavor, but the addition of the kitchen’s gravy/béarnaise concoction really got the taste buds flowing.
Just as I had finished my plate, our server came by with a grillpan full of more steak and fries to distribute evenly amongst our table. Rachel was full by this juncture, but I happily had her seconds (are you honestly surprised?).
The four of us decided to split a dessert, so we went with the apple pie accompanied with vanilla bean ice cream. The pie was piping hot, flaky, and overflowing with apple. I especially enjoyed the ice cream as the vanilla flavor was very pronounced.
We had a great meal at Medium Rare, and it’s a terrific option for those not looking to break the bank. You’re not going to be getting a prime filet, but for the price, I was very happy with my steak. All and all, I would definitely come back, though you really have to be in the mood for steak frites since, well, it’s your only option.