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Tom Sietsema Is Hot and Cold About Rare Steak and Seafood

What the critics are saying this week

Rare Steak and Seafood
Photo by Rey Lopez for Eater DC
Tierney Plumb is the editor of Eater DC, covering all things food and drink around the nation's capital.

Rare Steak and Seafood

Washington Post restaurant critic Tom Sietsema gives the Wisconsin import a first bite, and he’s instantly impressed by the second-floor dining room’s old-fashioned hospitality that throws back diners to 1940. The food, however, is hit and miss. Pros: neatly shucked oysters, a “bountiful” chopped salad with watermelon radish, a “plump” crab cake with seafood from the Chesapeake Bay, and juicy rib cap and robust, dry-aged Kansas City strip steak (pair it with potatoes Dauphine, he instructs), and a “tangy” Key lime pie. Cons: sourdough garlic knots, which turn into “stiff rings” once they cool, a too-creamy creamed spinach, and a bone-in filet with “faint evidence” of its dry aging. He could see himself visiting the 160-seat tavern on the ground floor more, which boasts cheaper prices and a more creative menu. Think: a “terrific” vinegar-sharpened $12 veggie bowl and “decadent” muffuletta.


Modern Luxury food writer Nevin Martell brands Bresca as “one of the best” new additions in D.C., calling the 62-seat spot on 14th Street NW a “whimsical wonderland.” He’s all about its gold-accented design details, a living wall, fish sculptures, and animal prints. Bresca allows chef Ryan Ratino “to let loose with his prodigious talent” with small plates like caviar and pancakes and a “tubular twirl” of linguini featuring uni and black-truffle butter, lemon, and basil. Martell also raves about the PB&J, which features port-cured foie gras (the peanut butter) with Concord grape gelée and compressed celery. Each bite is “rich, buttery and packed with umami oomph—all offset by the smack of sweetness.” Meanwhile, cocktails from “mix whiz” Juan Coronado include favorites like a Viens Avec Moi with a “melon-like mouthfeel” and a bold and balanced Old-Fashioned.

EatsPlace Cafe & Market

Northern Virginia Magazine dining editor and restaurant critic Stefanie Gans checks out the new cafe inside the Torpedo Factory in Old Town Alexandria. There’s a lineup of sandwiches, soups and salads and a bronut, aka a sprinkle-covered cakey brownie in the shape of a doughnut. Another “standout” is the kimchi grilled cheese, and “eclectic” to-go snacks include fruit leather, vegan chocolate espresso beans and fermented black bean hot sauce.

FROM THE BLOGS: Been There, Eaten That heads to Del Mar in the Wharf, while BYT gives Aperto a taste test and is “still dreaming” of its gnocchi.


3607 Georgia Ave NW, Washington, D.C. 20010 (202) 882-3287 Visit Website

Rare Steak and Seafood

1595 I Street Northwest, , DC 20005 (202) 800-9994 Visit Website


1906 14th Street Northwest, , DC 20009 (202) 518-7926 Visit Website

Del Mar

2125 Lombard Street, , CA 94123 (415) 345-8663 Visit Website