DC’s Medium Rare restaurant begins nationwide expansion — with focus on NFL cities

Medium Rare co-owner Mark Bucher said the expansion plans are focused specifically on cities with professional football teams. (Courtesy Medium Rare)

Prix fixe steak frites restaurant Medium Rare has opened its first location outside of the D.C. area, in New Orleans — and it is the first of several restaurants planned for what could be dozens of national locations.

The Big Easy outpost is in Uptown at 5538 Magazine Street. It is open nightly for dinner and brunch on weekends.

Medium Rare co-owner Mark Bucher said the expansion plans are focused specifically on cities with professional football teams, with Baltimore, New York City, Houston and San Francisco coming up next.

Why NFL cities? Bucher said it has to do with Medium Rare’s “hyperlocal” feel.

“We aren’t looking to start a chain, but rather share our experience with other cities,” Bucher said. “NFL cities are proven in media, commerce, community, strong restaurants and our ability to making a difference on food insecurity.”

Bucher was active in addressing food insecurity in the D.C. metro during the pandemic, with no-questions-asked free meals through his nonprofit Feed the Fridge, and continues the nonprofit’s work today. Feed the Fridge has refrigerators stocked daily with free meals at community centers across the D.C. area.

In 2021, Medium Rare and Bucher were awarded the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Community Support and Leadership Award for the Feed the Fridge program.

As the restaurant expands to other cities, Bucher said he will expand Feed the Fridge to those metros as well.

The first Medium Rare opened in D.C.’s Cleveland Park in 2011. There are other locations in Bethesda and Arlington, and a fifth Medium Rare location will open in Columbia, Maryland’s Merriweather District later this year.

Medium Rare’s menu features just one entree. For $29, it includes a mixed green salad and rustic bread, hand-cut fries and sliced Coulette steak, which comes with the restaurant’s secret sauce. Diners who clean their plate are also offered seconds, and the prix fixe price also includes choice of dessert (chocolate cake, carrot cake or hot fudge sundae).

Restaurants also serve weekend brunch — which includes steak and eggs, of course.

Jeff Clabaugh

Jeff Clabaugh has spent 20 years covering the Washington region's economy and financial markets for WTOP as part of a partnership with the Washington Business Journal, and officially joined the WTOP newsroom staff in January 2016.

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