Young and Hungry

At Medium Rare, ‘Second Helpings’ Means Two. Just Two.

Who could argue with the concept of free refills? Especially when it comes to steak. So Young & Hungry was understandably psyched to hear the news of just such a concept at Medium Rare, restaurateur Mark Bucher's beefy new eatery in Cleveland Park.

According to Washington Post critic Tom Sietsema, "[s]econd helpings are part of the drill." For just $19.50, patrons ordering off the limited, prix-fixe menu receive a basket of bread, a green salad with cherry tomatoes and a plate of sliced cap steak, smothered in mushroom gravy and accompanied with crispy shoestring fries. The kicker: "[a]dditional five-ounce servings of steak are built into [the price]," Sietsema reports.

Y&H was immediately curious as to just how many "additional servings" the new eatery would be willing to fork over to us. So we went there to find out.

To our dismay, it seems, "second helpings" means just that. Two. "You get one," our gruff server clarified, pointing to our original steak plates. "Then two," he added with more than a hint of finality. That's it.

Round two arrived on a hot metal serving tray, with additional slices of steak and extra warm fries then dispensed onto our plates with a side of gravy to spoon out at our own leisure.

Y&H quickly devoured the refill and left hungry for more.

We suppose the conservative portioning is a good thing.  This is Upper Northwest dining, after all, not the all-you-can-eat family buffet.

  • cbr

    I feel like that wasn't unclear in the first place. But maybe that's just me. That sounds amazing, at any rate.

  • Claire

    Sounds like L'entrecote, a restaurant with multiple locations in France. Except they give you as many helpings as you would like, of both steak and french fries.

  • Raul

    You get a breadbasket, salad, fries, steak, a second portion of steak, and that's not enough food?!?

    No wonder so many Americans are obese. I don't think I could finish that entire meal, even before the steak refill arrived.

  • bjc

    The second-helping thing wasn't quite clear to me either, I heard I was getting seconds of something, frites? But it was so loud I wasn't sure. The crusty bread was delicious, the salad well prepared but swam in the dressing (way more than served at any restaurant in France) and the steak and frites were superb. Short but well executed wine list.

  • Mike from Capitol Hill

    What does "Upper Northwest" have to do with anything when it comes to dining? Are you getting free entree refills anywhere else in the city and just not telling us?

    And what part of "second helpings" would you think meant "unlimited servings?" Seems pretty self-explanatory...and more than reasonable considering the $20 price point.