Rare Tavern

4.4
158 reviews
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$31 to $50
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Contemporary American
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About

The Tavern is no longer accepting reservations. We are now offering the Steakhouse experience on both floors of Rare, but are still offering many of the Tavern's popular dishes at lunch. In addition, the Tavern's Happy Hour is continuing at the bar - see you soon!
Dining Style
Casual Dining
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Cuisines
Contemporary American, Seafood, Steak
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Hours of operation
Lunch
Mon–Fri 11:30 am–4:00 pm
Dinner
Daily 5:00 pm–10:30 pm
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Phone number
(202) 800-9994
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Payment options
AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
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Dress code
Casual Dress
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Executive chef
Marc Hennessy
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Neighborhood
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Cross street
16th St. NW
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Parking details
$8 Valet is available nightly
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Public transit
McPherson Square, Farragut North, Farragut West
Additional
Bar Dining, Beer, Cocktails, Full Bar, Late Night, Private Room, Weekend Brunch, Wine
What 158 People Are SayingWrite a review
Overall ratings and reviews
4.4based on recent ratings
4.4
food
4.4
service
4.5
ambience
4.2
value
Noise · Quiet
91% of people would recommend it to a friend
5
4
3
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P
Washington DC
22 reviews
Dined on March 18, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The food and service were fantastic! The chips was so good! Great variety of food and the cheese curds are amazing.

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DO
1 review
Dined on March 16, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 1ambience 3

MULTIPLE orders wrong. Service was friendly, but not very professional or attentive. Expected more from a restaurant of this caliber.

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C
Washington DC
19 reviews
Dined on March 9, 2019
Overall 4food 3service 5ambience 5

We loved the service, ambiance, and decor. The menu was great and many things catches our eye. Cheese curds were AMSZING. We are rating lower on food because of the main entree. The tomahawk was something we were not expecting. Idk if it was the dry aged component in it, but it seemed to be perfectly cooked but seasing and flavor wise was not great. I would give this restaurant a second chance

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OT
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on March 2, 2019
Overall 4food 3service 4ambience 5

The only thing lacking really was a good piece of beef. Everything was quite good, except for our bone in porterhouse. It was properly cooked, but lacked any real flavor, the charred outside was likely a bit overdone, but really no flavor with the meat. Disappointing when you are at a steakhouse.

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OT
Philadelphia
2 reviews
Dined on February 17, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We were visiting DC for a wedding, and we were looking for a nice place to dine as a family that was near our hotel. We saw that Rare Tavern had mixed reviews, but we decided to give it a try, and we were not disappointed! We were seated right away, and our waiter Carlos greeted our table immediately. He gave us some recommendations in a very unobtrusive way, and notified us that ALL bottles of wine were 50% off, which was a great surprise!

For appetizers, we ordered a steampot of coconut curry mussels. It was a generous serving, with a delicious, slightly spicy, Thai-inspired curry broth. It came with a generous bowl of grilled bread. We also ordered the garlic and parsley fries, which were crispy and perfectly seasoned, the endive and arugula salad (which was recommended by Carlos, and did not disappoint), and the kids had garlic rolls, which were tremendous and delicious, covered with a massive amount of shredded parmesan— a steal at $2 each.

For entrees, my husband and I shared the 26 oz ribeye. It was a little pricey, but prepared to perfection, served with potato croquettes, which was more than enough for the two of us. We got the side of fried Brussels sprouts, which were a treat! Our daughter got homemade chicken noodle soup (garnished with plenty of fresh dill), and both boys got spaghetti and meatballs. Would not have chosen that at a steakhouse, but must say, I was impressed. The servings were tremendous, with 4 huge, well-seasoned meatballs and melted burrata cheese. We had plenty leftover for the following day.

We barely had room for one dessert to share. Carlos recommended the cinnamon roll, which was generously sized and delightful, with cream cheese frosting and delicious honey-flavored ice cream on the side.

The service was impeccable. Carlos was delightful and helpful without being intrusive, and the manager also stopped over to check in. The atmosphere is dark, with handsome red leather upholstery on chairs and stools. Highly recommend!

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SS
New York Area
1 review
Dined on February 16, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

This was the best dinner. The food and service top notch. Thanks to Karen our lead server for a truly special night of outstanding service and fun.

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OT
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on February 15, 2019
Overall 2food 2service 1ambience 3

We have come to rare many times since it’s been open. They have amazing happy hour deals at the bar. Unfortunately we made the mistake of eating at the tavern tonight instead of the steakhouse. We waited over an hour for our food and then the waitress offered to cover our one garlic roll ($2) when our bill was ($150). A manager didn’t check in to ask us about our dining experience and the food was shbpar. Our experience tonight would have turned us off the entire restaurant if we had not had much better experiences upstairs. Do yourself a favor and don’t bother with the downstairs restaurant. Go to the bar or upstairs!

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BG
Washington DC
18 reviews
Dined on February 15, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We went to Rare Tavern for cocktails and snacks. The cheese curds were great. My wife is not a fan, but I loved the sweetbreads. Our server was great.

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OT
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on February 14, 2019
Overall 1food 1service 1ambience 1

When you make a reservation for this place on Valentine's Day on OpenTable, there is a button that says something along the lines of: Valentine's Day Menu Click Here.

When you click on the menu, under main menu, it lists the prices in the images I have attached. These are not even close to the prices they were charging. The bill was about $50-60 more than the prices advertised on the Valentine's Day menu as listed on open table.

When I asked the server, she did her job, speculated on it being a reporting error, and asked if I wanted to speak to the manager. Do I want to be that guy that makes a scene and starts making a fuss about the bill while on a Valentine's Day date? No. No I do not. So I paid and went on with my night. But it left a bad taste in my mouth. Will try Fogo next time.

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s
Washington DC
7 reviews
Dined on February 14, 2019
Overall 1food 2service 1ambience 2

The food and service was horrible. Will not be going back. And you don;t even get points from this restaurant.

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TO
Chicago
6 reviews
Dined on February 4, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Karen, our waitress was quite helpful explaining the menu and specials, and answered our questions regarding specific food questions with knowledge. A pure delight.

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KB
New York Area
3 reviews
Dined on February 3, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Came for the caviar (which was worth EVERY PENNY), will return for the food, service and ambiance. Allison knew her way around the menu and had great suggestions. The rib eye cap was perfectly cooked and seasoned. The seven sautéed mushrooms, grilled onions and bone marrow were great accompaniments. We loved the garlic ‘rolls’ (think cinnamon roll with garlic instead of cinnamon sugar) with shaved Parmesan. No room for dessert, but we enjoyed watching a neighboring table devour a beautiful citrus cheesecake.

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x
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on January 25, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

I made reservations for 3 in the end 7 of us show up. They accommodated us immediately and cater to our additional request with smile and efficiency. It is my third time at RARE and more to come.

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J
Hawaii
8 reviews
Dined on January 22, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

The best steakhouse in DC, the bottle steak is the best Ive ever had. simply awesome.

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C
London
2 reviews
Dined on January 22, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 4

Second time, gave it a whirl after a mediocre first try, and this second time, again, the french dip was way too salty, and the other items also earned an "OK" review. Ordered an appetizer and it never arrived.

Service was good, and the staff could not have been nicer. Was there while the government shutdown was going on, but at 5:30 on a Wednesday, were one of two or three couples in the entire restaurant.

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OT
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on January 19, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 5

Came out to RARE for the first time during restaurant week and the food was pretty good. Presentation was pretty on point. I will come back to eat in the upstairs restaurant because they have stated that they only serve Kobe in the next level. One thing that did catch my curiosity was how do they determine who gets to go upstairs to dine there?

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IH
Washington DC
25 reviews
Dined on January 19, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We have returned to Rare Tavern several times, and have never been disappointed. The service has always been very attentive, and the food, while not fancy, was just what we wanted on a cold winter night. The oysters have always been great, and we enjoyed trying the different varieties. I am always torn about what to order- I love the hamburger and thin fries that accompany it, but also like the bottleneck steak which is one of the best bargains in town. My companion tried the grilled ham and cheese with tomato soup (she usually orders the house made spaghetti), and loved it, though it was way too much food for one person. All around great meal.

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JK
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on January 18, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 5

Excellent muscles in curry cream and perfectly cooked steak. Attentive services, without being overly attentive. We came during restaurant week and made the mistake of not thoroughly checking our bill before paying. An appetizer and beer should have been part of the restaurant week meal, but was charged separately. Live and learn.

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EM
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on January 17, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great food, service, and food. I highly recommend this restaurant. The portions are a good size and the staff very professional. Great experience overall.

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CH
1 review
Dined on January 16, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Waiter Chris was great! Apps and Entrees delicious but special shout out to their take on Key Lime Pie- soooo good!

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DM
Tampa
1 review
Dined on January 12, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I made a special request during the open table reservation process, and the restaurant went out of their way to honor the request. Everything on Saturday evening was perfection....romantic, great food and amazing service!! We will be back!!

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DR
Greensboro
21 reviews
Dined on January 11, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Met 3 other couple friends here. It was such a lovely experience! Food was delectable. Environment was classy and chic. The drinks were flavorful and our server was just awesome. I would definitely recommend, and plan on coming back for Happy hour! For some reason it wasn't as crowded for a Friday night. But hey...great dining experience.

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SM
Washington DC
15 reviews
Dined on January 11, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The Tavern is a nice place for lunch. The service is excellent. I wasn't thrilled by the soft boiled egg that came with my salad (note to self: request hard boiled egg next time), but the salad was excellent! The desert, their version of a cinnabon with vanilla ice cream was to die for! The restaurant is definitely worth a visit.

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OT
Washington DC
7 reviews
Dined on December 31, 2018
Overall 1food 4service 1ambience 3

So I decided to make a reservation for 8:00pm at Rare Tavern in DC. I read great reviews and wanted to bring in the New Year with my boyfriend. The evening started out great, but it quickly turned into one of the worst experiences I’ve ever had at a steakhouse.

Disclaimer: it wasn’t crowed. My review would be different if it was.

So we started off getting a drink. I got the Sauvignon Blanc and he got a cocktail (Smoke Signals). We waited for 25 minutes to get 2 drinks. I watched the other tables of people who came after us and saw that they got their drinks in a timely matter. Again, it wasn’t crowded so it shouldn’t have taken 25 minutes to get a glass of wine and a cocktail. The waiter apologized and we took that as a small mishap, so we didn’t think anything of it.

Fast forward to the main course. I ordered the 9oz filet with the asparagus and my boyfriend ordered the 22oz Dry Aged Bone In Ribeye. At this point, two different parties had come in and sat in front of us and on the side of us. 10 minutes go by and I see the other parties get their drink orders, 25 minutes go by and I see the other parties get their main course meals, another 15 minutes go by and I see the other parties getting their other drink orders. All the while, we haven’t gotten our food. A whole 50 minutes goes by and we finally get our food. I’m so beyond livid I ask the waiter to get the GM. For a steakhouse to have a 4.5 star rating, I should not have been waiting close to an hour for medium cooked steaks. My boyfriend, who was equally upset, explained that that was unacceptable. The GM apologized, told us that our orders got lost in the kitchen (which he should have told us long before we brought up the fact that we waited for almost and hour) and gave us our meal for free, but I didn’t care at that point. It was 10:35 and we had to be somewhere else by 11:00. I told them to pack my food up in boxes and we left. I expect a different experience if I’m going to pay $200 for a meal

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PC
Washington DC
105 reviews
Dined on December 30, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 3

Steak was marvelous. The menu said the accompaniment was lyonnaise potatoes. It was some sort of potato hash with too many onions. The cinnamon roll was amazing,

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OT
Baltimore
1 review
Dined on December 27, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

2nd time this month...great food and reasonably priced.

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OT
Philadelphia
1 review
Dined on December 26, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

servers were very quick and attentive, awesome atmosphere food was incredible! Must have the pot roast and Bottle necks steak! When i return to Washington DC i will definitely be returning to Rare!!

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OT
Birmingham
1 review
Dined on December 26, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The restaurant is an amazing visual experience. Food was wonderful. The staff were delightful. Make a reservation.

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OT
Washington DC
15 reviews
Dined on December 24, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 5

Excellent customer service. Food is delicious. Be mindful that many things are a little too spicy for younger kids.

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BB
New Mexico
1 review
Dined on December 23, 2018
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 4

One of our party of three ordered a side of blue cheese. When the steaks came, all three were topped with melted blue cheese. The other two diners removed it. Service was on the slow side so we decided to move forward. Garlic rolls were almost stale. We've been to Rare Tavern several times and always enjoyed it very much. This was our first somewhat disappointing experience. We will be back.

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G
Washington DC
2 reviews
Dined on December 21, 2018
Overall 2food 2service 4ambience 4

Expected more given hype. Was ok to good. Sandwich ratios not quite right.

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OT
Austin
1 review
Dined on December 19, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Delicious food and stand-out service. Perfect place for a business lunch.

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OT
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on December 15, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Can't say enough good things about my experience at Rare Tavern. Only suggestion would be to have a wider variety of beers. Food, service, atmosphere we're all top notch! I'd recommend Rare to anyone looking for a great meal.

Price can be a bit steep for some customers.

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OT
Washington DC
15 reviews
Dined on December 6, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 1ambience 5

Usually my go to...but this experience was silly slow...especially for a late lunch. Took 10+ minutes to get water. Waiter would disappear for a long time, drinks took forever. Great food...but with so many steak places, service has to crush every time. This time was extremely poor.

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BL
Richmond
7 reviews
Dined on November 27, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

i had my birthday lunch at Rare this past Tuesday. The food was incredible. The service was impeccable. The location was convenient and i had no problem finding parking. We will definitely come back for more!

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W
Washington DC
42 reviews
Dined on November 26, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 3

Good value and great food. A tad on the VERY QUIET side on a Monday night, but have been twice now and really appreciate the quality and service.

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L
Washington DC
12 reviews
Dined on November 22, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Ask for Dino. Five Star meal and service.

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F
Washington DC
11 reviews
Dined on November 15, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 3ambience 3

Great spot in DC - went for lunch and food was delicious . It was a little chilly in the restaurant but the doors open right into the main Tavern dining area. The waitstaff was fantastic and everything seemed to be right on time.

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AU
New England
3 reviews
Dined on November 14, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 4

The staff was great. I was meeting my nephew who was stuck in traffic. I told the restaurant when I arrived and there were no issues. They offered to seat me at my table or I could sit at the bar. Our waiter, Brian, was very good. My nephew said it was the best steak he has ever had!

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i
Washington DC
37 reviews
Dined on November 11, 2018
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 5

Sunday night dinner. Mixed bag. Delicious chicken soup. Sphagetti and meat ball dinner far too much cheesy taste. Pork chop undercooked, had to be sent back to kitchen, by the time it came back to table no longer hungry (at this point pork chop a little overcooked but delicious, ended up taking most home). Potato sides with the pork chop were lukewarm both times the plate came out, much better when microwaved at home the next night. So the food mostly good but timing issues and cooking to order issues marring the experience.

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