BY CAROLYN ONOFREY
I was expecting a steakhouse when I heard the name ‘Rare’, but was comfortable with the fact that it also alluded to a burger restaurant. Located at the foot of the trendy Fashion 26 Hotel, Rare is dressed to impress with a sleek modern design punctuated with humor like the barbed wire motif on the staircase and walls and the huge “EAT” spelled out in knives on the wall of their lower level.
Although new and clearly very nervous, our waitress was friendly and accommodating along with the rest of the very attentive staff at Rare. My friend Stephanie and I ordered the Parmesan truffle fries ($5) per our waitress’s recommendation, to start. I was disappointed with my first taste of Rare, the fries seeming stale as if they were sitting under the (not so hot) heat lamp a little too long. I also couldn’t help but to wonder where all the rich truffle flavor was hiding, or even where the Parmesan flavor was hiding. I could certainly see the parm, but had a hard time finding the flavor.
I decided I absolutely had to try the Burger Trio ($15), 3 sliders of the chef’s choice to truly experience all that Rare had to offer (at least as much as I could in one meal!). The trio came with a lightly dressed salad and fries, a good value for what it was. On the chef’s menu for the night were a pesto mozzarella burger, a caramelized onion and Gruyere, and a bacon cheese burger topped with a tangy, salty Spanish cheese. The sliders were all surprisingly juicy right in the center of the patty, but the meat and toppings themselves didn’t impress, lacking some much needed punch. The bacon cheeseburger was my favorite with the thick cut applewood smoked bacon adding a nice crunch and salt factor.
I don’t think I’ll be back to Rare, except maybe to grab a drink on their Rare View rooftop bar with a great view, but I’m glad I tried it out. With so many burgers in The City, a burger is just a burger until proven great!