In a word: Literally.
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JM ate the sirloin with mushrooms.
John ate the NY strip and a chopped salad.
Nichole ate the farmer's market plate.
Rose ate the wet-aged filet and wedge salad.
JM sirloin with mushrooms
The bill was $175, or $44/person, plus tip.
Rose and John gave Rare an A; JM gave Rare an A-; Nichole gave Rare a B+ (see our grading rubric).
Hey, folks! This is a fancy steak place. Like really fancy. The customers mostly seemed to be celebrating, with a handful of the VIP set (both in the capital sense and in the cluhb sense).
Rare treated us well. Our waiter could have taught an intro course for the Meat Sciences department at the UW (a real thing). We had never learned as much about the differences in preparations and fat content than we did that night. These people talked about steak like people at the Great Taste talk about beer. It was all a little much, and yet at no point were we left helpless.
But first came the free bread, which was: popovers? Yes, indeed. It was nice to eat a lighter, buttier bread so that you don't over do it. And they came with flavored butters. The salads arrived next and these were substantial without being altogether filling: the wedge was nice prepped with candied pecans and the chopped salad was filled with wonderful morsels. Both were very nicely dressed as well.
On to the meat, Rose's wet aged and filet and JM's sirloin were both quite delicious and of a good portion that you weren't tired of it by the time you were done. JM's mushrooms provided additional earthiness (and butter) that made his steak quite tasty. Rose's steak was medium and she preferred it that way; John and JM got theirs medium rare and were delighted. John's NY strip steak was basically the best steak that he or JM (who had a couple of nibbles) had ever had (sorry, Delmonico's, but it was). Every steak edge was perfectly crusted as well with delightful flavors rubbed onto the outside of the meat.
Nichole opted for the farmer's market plate (which might as well have been called "The Farmer Refuted"). It was a sundried tomato risotto. The vegetarian option at a steak place is almost always what a Tofutti option at the Chocolate Shoppe would be, if they offered one.
There were no prices listed on the tempting dessert menu, but we were too stuffed and already taking home doggie bags, and so did not partake. Were they free? We'll never know.
Rare is meeting the needs of its patrons, though: real steak in the dairy state presented by knowledgeable and expert staff for a small truckload of money. If going to a special occasion spot means a steakhouse, it's worth it here for the marginal cost relative to the West side chains. But it isn't funky or Madison-nice like Tornado, so choose wisely.