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About Rural Society
Rural Society is a contemporary Argentine steakhouse from nationally renowned master of Latin cuisine Chef Jose Garces. Inspired by his travels to South America, Rural Society is at once rustic and luxurious, bringing the energy and sophistication of Buenos Aires to Washington. Our menu and primarily South American wine list, combined with our warm hospitality and welcoming décor, transport you far from the bustle of the District to the sweeping cattle ranches and grill-fired kitchens of Argentina.
Washington, DC 20005
Argentinean, Tapas / Small Plates, Steakhouse
Hours of Operation:
Monday - Sunday
Happy Hour: 4pm - 6pm
Dinner: 5pm - 10:30pm
$31 to $50
AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
Valet is $10+tax for up to 4 hours
Rural Society is located a few blocks from both the Farragut North station on the Red line and the McPherson Sq station on the Orange and Blue lines of the DC Metro.
Private Party Facilities:
Rural Society is proud to host private events of all sizes, from intimate dinners to corporate meetings to grand celebrations, throughout the year. Our private and semi-private rooms are available individually, and can also be combined to facilitate significantly larger gatherings.
Private Party Contact:
Jessica Malone: (888) 925-0452
Banquet, Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, BYO Wine, Corkage Fee, Counter Seating, Full Bar, Gluten-free Menu, Happy Hour, Non-Smoking, Outdoor dining, Private Room, Wheelchair Access, Wine
Rural Society Ratings and Reviews
As you would expect for an Argentinian restaurant, beef is the star of the menu. And, it is top quality and very good (although not cooked to the requested doneness on first attempt). However, it was the grilled avocado that exceeded my expectations. Cooked simply with 1/2 a lemon it was sheer perfection. The potatoes in bacon reduction sauce was also a stand out.
I chose the tasting menu and they were willing to listen to my preferences in designing the menu for me.
Cocktails are another element that exceeded expectations.
I am always happy to get a chance to have Argentine food, and I was delighted by Rural Society—if a bit perplexed by its name. Both the beef and the other dishes were perfectly prepared. The staff made me feel truly welcome. When I am next in D.C., I'll go back!
On a weeknight at 8 pm, the retaurant was not particularly crowded. My dinner guest and I were seated in one of the little alcoves, which took the noise level to zero and made conversation easy. That was nice. However, it was apparently a case of out of sight, out of mind. We sat there for twenty minutes (I timed it) without any contact with a waiter, without water, without placing a drink order or seeing a menu--yet the waiters and hostess walked by continuously looking in on us as they did. Finally I walked out to the open kitchen where several waiters were having a friendly chat and asked them to ask a waiter to bring us water and menus. One showed up soon after, apologizing for the neglect and blaming it on the old, convenient but unconvincing excuse of a "miscommunication." As a peace offering, he brought two unordered appetizers which were good and for which we were not charged. We then ordered from the Chef's Tasting Menu La Parrilla for two, which also was good. All in all, the value is good, not great, for the price and quality of food. The service, as I read in some other peoples' reviews, leaves something to be desired. One would think this would be the easiest problem for a restaurant to solve, yet the problem lingers.
I am biased in favor of Rural Society because of my love for the Argentine parrilla scene. After living in Buenos Aires back in 2015, I was excited to taste how Rural Society interpreted some of my favorite South American dishes, and my wife and I enjoyed an excellent date night which brought up some fun memories from two years ago! That said, the thing that's still a little odd for me is the fact that parrillas in Buenos Aires are just not that big of a deal, and my favorite (Parrilla Peña) was an extreme bargain and a simple affair. Jose Garces does an incredible job translating this cuisine to American tastes, and each of their wood-fired dishes is amazingly delicious! In my attempt to recreate a favorite Argentine dinner of mine (although we should have been eating between 10 PM and Midnight!) we began with the perfect Empanada de Espinaca, which also satiated our desire for Provoleta cheese! Next we ordered a Hanger Steak (jugoso/medium rare, which is probably too juicy for South American taste buds), Jumbo Gulf Prawns (not a normal thing in BA, but perfection off that wood-grill), and charred asparagus. Everything was prepared to perfection and our server was also wonderful. We were going to avoid dessert, but she talked us into the deceptively simple Almond Cake, which (although definitely not anything experienced in BA, where they seem to drench everything in Dulce de Leche) may be the world's most perfect dessert for adults! Grilled/chilled fruit slices, with little almond mini-cakes, scoops of goat cheese mascarpone, drizzled with an amazing red wine sauce, and topped with a bit of perfect herbs! If I was in the area late at night, I would honestly pop into the Loews Madison Hotel just for that perfectly adult dessert (don't let the boring name "Almond Cake" deceive you) paired with a glass of Vino Tinto or a Café con Leche. I wish Rural Society was located a bit closer to us way out here in the outskirts of Virginia's DC metro region!
This review may be a critique of Open Table as much as it is a critique of Rural Society.
Around 9:30 pm on a Friday, I used Open Table to find a restaurant that was still open and had availability for dinner. According to Open Table, Rural Society had availability at 9:45 and 10:00. I made reservation for two for 9:45. We arrived at about 9:40 and the staff made it abundantly clear that we were not welcome (we stood at the hostess stand for about 5 mins receiving glares and eye rolls, but not service, from the staff). The hostess finally gets off the personal phone call she was having on her cell phone and tells us she has to "check with the kitchen". She returns and reluctantly seats us. A server comes by and tells us the same thing. After a few minutes we took the hint and left.
Admittedly, according to Rural Society's posted hours, it closes at 10:00. But if they do not want to seat anyone after a certain time, and/or if the kitchen closes before 10:00, why accept reservations up until 10:00?
My husband found this gem of a restaurant when he was in DC for business. My parents are from Argentina, and it has been a very long time since DC has had a noteworthy Argentine restaurant, so I was very excited to try this one out. We went to for an early Saturday dinner to Rural Society, and it did not disappoint! The food is an authentic representation of Argentine food, especially the empanadas, grilled meats, and desserts, but somewhat tweaked for North American tastes. We could choose between domestic beef, or the beef imported from Argentina. We did the latter, because Argentine beef has very particular taste that I love. The sausage appetizer and the beef main dish were superb; my only complaint is I ordered a medium and it was closer to medium-rare, hence the 4 stars. That is a small dent in an otherwise nearly-perfect meal. I have yet to try their pizza, so I cannot tell you if it is resembles the pies I ate in Buenos Aires. The wine list included a good selection of Argentine, Chilean, and other wines, and some inventive cocktails were on the list. The desserts include classic Argentine sweets like chaja and flan, again reinterpreted with some "twists" like chocolate shavings, to add interest. Bravo! This is a pricier restaurant than average, but you will get quality. If you are looking for a true Argentine food experience, you will find Rural Society to be worth it. I highly recommend this restaurant.
The food was absolutely delicious. We were a large group(party of 11), but only assigned one server, so the service was a little slow. Also, he seemed to get just a little agitated when I asked him about out meals. Overall, love the restaurant and loved the meals and I will definitely be back.
Both of us ordered an 8 Oz steak. However mine came out significantly smaller than the one friend got. The steak tasted good (though a bit hard), and the service was good as well. I just can't pass by the unfair 8 Oz size difference since the steaks are not that cheap at this place!
Had the chef's suprise selection for a 3 course meal for two people. Appetitizers were good. THe main course Ribeye was very tough; the bronzino fish was oxidize, ie, tasted a little like caster oil. Service was polite . Wine selection was excellent. Meal was not worth the price. Noise level was pretty high-- not great for intimate dinner or meeting.
had a great dinner with friends last Friday night. got to sit in one of the private alcoves, which is wonderful for conversations and catching up with old friends. Food was really outstanding. The special steak of the day, was literally, the best steak any of us have ever had. We all agreed. Grilled fish was delicious. Side dishes, cauliflower, Brussel sprouts and the creamy potatoes to die for. Just a lovely restaurant and experience. We have eaten here several times during Restaurant Week, which is an outstanding value.
I am very sorry for the employees of this restaurant. They should not pay the heavy price of a terrible restaurant. It has nothing of an Argentine-Uruguayan parrilla. The steak was burn. The owner, son of Argentines in Chicago should not advertise the restaurant as is. I foresee a soon closure unless owner puts the act together.
Ambiance and food presentation was very nice. We chose the 3 course parrillada and we we're given the chef's selections. Everything was delicious!! We got a lot of food! We had ordered an appetizer and shouldn't have. The steak was mouthwatering delicious. But one of our favorites was the trout. This place is great! Worth the money!
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