Midwest chain Rare Steak and Seafood made its D.C. debut earlier this month, right round the corner from the White House (1595 Eye Street NW).
The glitzy wood-heavy import is a tale of two different dining scenarios: a casually themed “tavern” on the lower level and an upscale steakhouse situated up above.
BLT Steak alum Marc Hennessy is in charge of both operations, serving dry-aged beef and gourmet fare (spiced duck, Maine lobster) in the more formal dining room while whipping up Scotch eggs, fried bologna sandwiches, and bratwurst down below.
Read on to hear what the public is saying, just a week into service:
The Crazy For Curds News: Yelper Danish Z. says, “I am from the Midwest and good cheese curds in this city haven't existed till RARE came to town. Their version is a little more fancy smancy take on cheese curds ... they were some of the best fried cheese curds I've had in a long time. Perfectly fried, battered and seasoned.” And although the batter is different than what she is used to, Wisconsin native turned Washington City Paper creative director Stephanie Rudig declares Rare’s interpretation “just fucking delicious.” And Instagrammer @hineydc says, “Curd is the word.” [Yelp, WCP, Instagram]
The Budget-Busting News: TripAdvisor user johnmedve enjoyed his lobster and Brussels sprouts — “Both were excellent,” he writes — but warns that there’s a hefty price tag attached. “This is not a place for families or people on a budget. The least expensive entree was the chicken at $30 ... My lunch was $70,” he notes. And Twitter user @Latekeya says she needs “to find a sugar daddy so I can come to Rare Steak and Seafood more often, omgosh.” [TripAdvisor, Twitter]
The Highlights News: Instagrammer @a.dash.of.dc says, “The Sonoma Pinot Noir was perfect. Thoroughly enjoyed the Parmesan pretzels and double grilled cheese.” Instagrammer @phillipdperry says, “Want to have the best key lime pie of your life? Go to @raresteak_dc. Right now.” [Instagram]
The Tavern News: Yelper Jenna H. describes her visit the tavern as “lovely,” and “relaxed.” “The appetizers, entrees, sides, and desserts were all fabulous (as were the drinks),” she writes. [Yelp]
The Main Event News: Yelper Kate W. split the 22-ounce, bone-in rib-eye and two sides (hash browns and cauliflower) with her boyfriend, “which was more than enough for the 2 of us. The steak was cooked perfectly and was ‘melt-in-your-mouth’ delicious.” And blogger @hungrylobbyist says the 50-ounce, dry-aged double bone “Union Chop” rib-eye “is a life altering steak experience. One of the best steaks in DC, period.” [Yelp, Instagram]
The Way More Than Hardcore Carnivore News: Washingtonian notes that “the menu offers a fried bologna ‘muffaletta’ sandwich and spaghetti with meatballs, while a raw bar supplies local oysters and seafood platters. Another highlight: seafood ‘steam pots’ simmering on induction burners next to the raw bar.” [Washingtonian]