Cleveland Park – 3500 Connecticut Ave. NW Washington DC 20008
The concept of Medium Rare has always intrigued me. I heard that dinner was less than $20 and only consisted of one dish. I appreciated the bold approach of only offering one dish, but this didn’t get me up and moving. Cleveland Park is out of the way. There are dozens of restaurants that are closer with better options. Medium Rare ended up on my “must try” list somewhere between Urbana and Masa 14, as a place I’d like to visit, but probably never would.
This past weekend, I tweeted that I was in need of a brunch place for a dozen people. Our only demand was that the drinks would be bottomless. Beyond that, we didn’t care much about the food or location. Medium Rare reached out to me and asked us to give them a shot. I caved and set up a reservation for Sunday morning.
I arrived at the restaurant first and found two of my friends already seated at the bar. They and were told we couldn’t be seated until the entire party arrived. We all began ordering drinks at the bar. I attempted to order an Irish coffee only to be told the bar doesn’t offer Jameson or Baileys. I settled for a man-mosa (vodka + champagne + orange juice) with coffee on the side. We all were a couple drinks deep by the time the rest of the party arrived. When we tried to close out our tab, we were told the drinks were included in the brunch. This made up for the fact that they didn’t have whiskey.
Brunch at Medium Rare is $23 regardless of what you order or how many drinks you have. The drinks (mimosas, bloody marys, screwdrivers, coffee) are bottomless, regardless of whether you start at the bar or at your table. The menu only consists of five dishes, plus bread and either a salad, fruit bowl, or parfait to start. See the menu below for details.
We ended up hanging out for hours, enjoying drinks long after we finished our meal. The owner even threw in an extra bottle of champagne for the table, encouraging our lengthy brunch. Never once did we feel rushed, which has been a problem for us in the past at busy restaurants. My only suggestion to Medium Rare would be to add Irish coffee as an option, which is a brunch essential for many of us. Other than that, don’t change a thing, you are fantastic just the way you are.
- Suzie Robb