Oh, & help celebrate my upcoming B-Day [think I wouldn't visit one of my favs to celebrate? I've been saving it!]
The local independent Ray's steakhouses [the original Ray's the Stakes in Arlington, and the newer/larger Ray's the Classics in Silver Spring] have somehow maintained little-known status to many [other than select locals & the DC Metro foodie scene].
- Ranked #37: 2008's Washingtonian Magazine's 100 Best Restaurants
I'll make a bold statement about the food here: diners can get better-than Morton/Ruth Chris/Charlie Palmer's steak meal for roughly 1/2 the price of those establishments. There, I said it :)
Owner Michael Landrum's primary vision with his two Ray's establishments is to provide a community-oriented [everday person's] steakhouse. [trust me, displaying a sense of entitlement or elitism at Ray's is the wrong thing to do lol].
His varied life has seen him live & work on/off in Europe for 11 years in many Spanish & Italian restaurants. From those experiences he learned the European model of the kitchen: "small space, no waste, everything from scratch". And, he doesn't feel the need to keep a high profit margin!
FOOD: It shows with the carefully-sourced prime-grade meat, trimmed & well-aged in-house. As a great example, let's take his Hanger Steak [yeah, HANGER steak the popular cheap cut of beef]. This is no regular U.S. version ... he sources his higher-quality meat meant for Japan. It's robust in flavor & tender vs the norm, and at a great $20 price. Ray's 30-oz. Cowboy Steak, wow [flavor & size]... and at a low-$30s price [try that at Ruth Chris or better]. Most of the steaks are of the 14-16oz. NY-Strip variety [$26 - 31 range]
And, you can choose a wide array of wonderful sauces & styles to go with your steak. I suggest the house-favorite brandy-infused mushroom cream sauce and a Diablo-style that'll tickle your tongue with spiciness. You can even adjust the amount of char too!
Oh, & maybe you want sides by-chance? Ray's include for free lightly Creamed Spinach, and Mashed Potatoes family-style. Almost negates the need to consider Starters ... almost.
It's not just the steaks that are good here, oh no. The Fried Chicken, Rack of Lamb, and signature Crab Royale are outstanding too. Starters: try a fantastic Crab Bisque [loaded w/ MD lump meat & a hint of sherry] & French Onion soups, salads and a perfectly-textured & huge 4-cheese Mac & Cheese [one of DC's best]. Desserts: consider a mammoth slice of sublime Coconut Cake [even if you don't like Coconut, I've seen a # of those folks reconsider after eating one of Ray's slices] or even a nicely tart Key Lime pie.
Strong selection of wine [many under $50], and decent beer selection. But no mixed drinks/spirits here [owner decision] ... be forewarned.
SPACE: Well, no way around it. In the vision of Ray's, decor is decidedly sparse. It's all about the food here. Intentionally.
==> Tax/Tip combo is our standard 30%.
==> Limited to 17 slots
See you there!
CLOSEST METRO: Silver Spring [Red Line]. Quick 2-block walk up Colesville Rd. [cross over Georgia Ave, on left].
PARKING: No valet parking. But ... there's huge parking lot directly behind Ray's that's free after 6 p.m. Enter via Georgia Avenue going north [away from the downtown].
1. Limited to 17 slots.
2. If you RSVP "YES" please make sure you can definitely make it. With 1,800+ members and limited seating, we cannot afford no-shows -- it's unfair to the other members who would like to attend and also to the organizers who have to explain to the restaurant why the reserved # of guests didn't show. No-Show rules apply.
3. Event already full?, waitlist for the event!. RSVP as "NO" saying you'd like to be added to the waitlist. Also, check back regularly [as attendees have been known to cancel up to Noon the day of the event].
4. Billing [add 30% tax/tip to your bill]. Remember, include the required 30% for tip / tax in addition to the food / beverages you order as defined in our FAQs.
5. NEW MEMBERS or 1st TIME EVENT GO-ERS, if you have questions about the group, RSVPs, or the overall dining event process, visit our FAQs and our No-Show Policy.