Medium Rare is simply one of the best steakhouses in D.C. They dare to do things differently than other steak houses- rather than serenading you with a tranquil musical backdrop, they instead opt for a breathy, passionate French male speaking sultry pickup lines as you enjoy their delicious culinary creations. They also serve just one entrée alongside their steaks- thin slices of deep fried potatoes, the creation of the original founder’s wife. This lack of side-options might come across as blandly offensive to some people, but it just goes to show how confident Medium Rare is in the sanctity of their steak and potato combo. Best of all, their prices are great for the superior level of quality that they offer, making Medium Rare the perfect dine-in venue for business lunches and dates.
Within Bossa Bistro & Lounge’s dining room, organic cuisine and grass-fed beef embellish authentic Brazilian small plates. Soft lighting and music wash over diners as they swap bites of the mandioca frita’s crispy yucca fries and cilantro sauce for morsels of beef tenderloin, testing out their water wings in a kalamata olive sauce atop the Xadrezinho plate. Spinach collard greens and mozzarella flood mouths that bite into bolinho de arroz rice croquettes drizzled with marinara sauce. While patrons nosh, they clink mojito and caipirinha cocktails in celebration of first anniversaries or second successful interactions with curmudgeonly neighbors.
Nestled in the U Street Corridor and surrounded by restaurants that serve small plates, the owners of Lost Society prefer to think big with respect to both their eatery’s dishes and ambience. They commissioned Joseph Evans—formerly the executive chef of Smith & Wollensky’s DC location—to bring his expertise in creating a set of steak-centric menus that rely on local produce, dry-aged and certified-Angus beef, and regional seafood. To start, the richness of Wagyu beef carpaccio is cut by grapefruit and pea tendrils, and fried oysters get an upscale twist with a worcestershire beurre blanc and smoked maple hot sauce. Ten-ounce filets and 12-ounce sirloins come topped with herb butter, and blackened catfish is accentuated by a scallion cream sauce.
But the artfully plated dishes comprise only half the appeal that lures Lost Society’s trendy clientele. Design consultants Olvia Demetriou and Melinda Nettelbeck of hapstak demetriou + transformed the restaurant’s two stories into a space that balances modern elements with nods to the Victorian-era underground. The dining room lives on the first level, where studio lighting bounces off brocade banquettes, framed spy mirrors, and wallpaper patterned with the faces of ladies in elegant hats. Diners lounge on the purple and yellow couches lining exposed-brick walls before retreating upstairs to see the chandeliers hanging above the neutral-toned bar and roof deck. To seal in the supper-club experience, they sample signature cocktails—such as a lychee martini or jalapeno margarita—some of which are created by recipes that are more than 100 years old.