I have passed Rare650 a billion times, and I may have been there once long, long ago. However, I stumbled in this past weekend, and had quite a time. The decor and atmosphere is definitely noteworthy. The interior is very nice — classy, tasteful, spacious. There is a nice bar and a small sushi bar. I am a fan of steakhouses that also provide sushi. The “outdoor” seating is — by far — the best part. It appears as though you are sitting in a dome resembling a greenhouse, with wide open windows and a small waterfall.
The service is overall very good as well. The waiters are attentive and kind. I would say that the generic set-up of the restaurant is well done.
As far as food goes, we started with the calamari appetizer and the burrata. The calamari came with fried shrimp as well, and was glazed with a nice sweet chili sauce. It was definitely better than the conventional calamari that most restaurants provide, and I would order this appetizer again.
Then, the burrata. You generally cannot go wrong with burrata. Though, they did provide thick-cut bacon on the side, which I may add was largely inedible. After you have blessed your life with a taste of Peter Luger’s bacon, you will actually shed a tear when you try Rare650’s bacon, which simply does not compare with the crispy goodness of Peter’s. Nonetheless, the burrata itself did not disappoint, and the presentation of both of these appetizers was pleasant.
Then, the steak. I ordered a filet mignon (roughly 14 oz), and we also had a large bone-in rib steak. I ordered my filet mignon to be medium, and the bone-in rib steak to be about medium-rare.
Upon arrival, the steaks did look good. However, unfortunately (here it comes) — both steaks were just mildly overcooked. Don’t get me wrong — the filet mignon was great, and still had a very tender and well-seasoned texture. Nonetheless, the reality is that the steaks were not medium or medium-rare. They were both probably more towards the medium-well side, which is mildly painful at a steakhouse. We also had the cream of spinach and truffle fries, both of which were very good.
We had a pink snapper, which I did not personally taste, but the fact that they serve whole fish is always a bonus. They present the fish to you and then offer to filet it, which is a nice touch. I am often weary of ordering a whole fish because of the long journey one must take to fight through bones and layers to eat the meal.
Overall, I had a pleasant experience at Rare650, and I would likely return. However, I’m moderately disheartened that they could not make my steak truly at medium. Perhaps, next time, I would order medium-rare (if that’s any better), or just ask them to throw a slab of raw meat on my plate, hoping that they would convert that request into a fine medium steak.
There is valet parking. The location is a little bit odd, right off Jericho Turnpike, but right before your entry onto the LIE. The atmosphere is very pleasant, and the place is very spacious. I’ve heard some people say that this place used to be “amazing, but now it went downhill.” Whether this is true or not — I suppose — is a function of personal experience. Rare650 is part of the same chain of restaurants as One North, and currently I definitely like One North better. I would say the place gets a solid 6.9/10. Hopefully, that can round up to a 7+ soon.