Medium Rare Opens With a Unique Take on the Classic Steak Restaurant

Photo credit: Marielle Songy

Medium Rare, the award-winning prix fixe steak restaurant that has taken Washington D.C. by storm, has opened its latest location in New Orleans at 5538 Magazine St. The space was previously occupied by Juan’s Flying Burrito. 

Co-owner Mark Bucher was raised in southern New Jersey and had a career in radio before he got into the restaurant business in 2007. After attending college in Washington, D.C., he settled there with his family. After Katrina, he spent time in New Orleans volunteering in St. Bernard Parish. After falling in love with the city and the people here, he planned to eventually start a business in New Orleans.

“I fell in love with the spirit of New Orleans,” he said. “I always said that if I’m ever given an opportunity to open a restaurant down here, I would do it.”

An opportunity came knocking when the space on Magazine St. became available. The building, coupled with a patient landlord, made the decision to open Medium Rare here an easy one.

Medium Rare is a community-driven effort, Bucher explained. The restaurant’s roots are very much in philanthropy and giving back to the community.


Photo credit: Marielle Songy

He said, “We are a community-based restaurant. We are not a chain; we hire local, we’re managed locally, and we support local. We wanted to open a business here and contribute to the local community and the economy here.”

Medium Rare offers a three-course, $30 prix fixe meal consisting of artisan rustic bread, a fresh mixed green salad, hand-cut fries, and steak topped with Medium Rare’s special sauce. The menu for vegetarians includes a portobello mushroom option instead of the steak. When you finish your first serving of steak and fries, you are treated to a second helping at no extra cost.

Desserts include Double Chocolate Fudge Three Layer Cake, House Specialty Hot Fudge Sundae, and Six Layer Carrot Cake.

The restaurant also offers a weekend brunch that includes Medium Rare’s Famous Benedict, steak and portobello mushroom hash accompanied by “the perfect poached egg,” topped with secret sauce,A hollandaise and hand-cut fries; French Toast and Sausage, house specialty twenty-four hour soaked French toast recipe, and local artisanal sausage; and Steak and Eggs, with “the perfect poached egg” or house scrambled eggs and hand-cut fries. The brunch menu also includes Bottomless Bloody Marys, Screwdrivers, and Mimosas.

“We worked for over a year on what type of steak we were going to cook and how we were going to do the fries. We worked on perfecting the sauce and the salad dressing and what’s going to go into the salad. Everything we did had the underlying concept of ‘we want to create something that people keep coming back to.’ It has to be a percentage better than anywhere else, down to the bread.”

Photo credit: Marielle Songy

In addition to Medium Rare, Bucher is also bringing his Feed the Fridge initiative to the New Orleans. When money is donated to Feed the Fridge, the non-profit contracts with restaurants to create meals that meet certain nutritional requirements. The cuisine varies daily, and the organization serves about 3,000 meals a day. The meals are placed in refrigerators at places like fire stations, boys’ and girls’ clubs, rec centers, and churches. 

“During Covid we delivered meals door-to-door to the elderly,” Bucher explained. “Through our relationship with Door Dash and Uber Eats, I can get a meal to anyone in thirty minutes. One thing we learned during the pandemic is that no one needs to be hungry.”

Bucher said that since the program started in Washington, D.C., food insecurity issues there have improved. He plans to bring the same success to New Orleans.

“Our program guarantees that people in need get a dignified meal every day,” he said.

Medium Rare is open Monday through Thursday, 5:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m., Friday, 5:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday, 10:30 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.

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