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Ray's the Steaks and Retro Ray's (Next Door) - Michael Landrum's Steakhouses in Courthouse - Closed


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I don't see a thread for the Arlington location of RTS yet so I started one. Rocks - If I've missed it, my apologies.

Just wanted to comment on my first visit there - it was everything I was expecting and more. As much as I like cool/hip decor/non-human eye candy in a restaurant, I really only ask three things of a place - good food, good wine list and good service. RTS was outstanding on all three counts. My wife took me for my birthday and having read quite a bit about it over the last few months on eGullet, I was expecting an exceptional experience and we got it. The service was prompt, attentive, friendly and not intrusive from the moment we got there through us walking out the door. The wine list is all its been said to be. Lots on really interesting, really great, really affordable selections - we had an amazing Cab (can't remember the name - it started with an "A" and was $28 a bottle) that, for the price, is probably the best value I've ever seen in a California Cab. Started off a little tight (to be expected in a 2002) but was still delicious and just opened up beautifully through dinner. And big bonus points for it being served at the proper temperature!

We both started with soup - I had the sherried crab bisque and my wife had the onion. They were both fantastic although I enjoyed mine more - of course anything made with that much cream has to be good biggrin.gif . For our entrees I had the hanger steak and my wife had the brochettes (I think I spelled that right). The hanger was simply the most flavorful piece of meat I've ever had and we have friends who their own beef cattle in MD. The steak will forever change how I judge good meat. Cooked perfectly at medium rare with bleu cheese crumbles. The brochettes and assorted veggies were also very good but I paled in comparison to the hanger steak. The sides were also as delicious as has been said before. The portions were quite generous and I look forward to finishing that steak tonight - and a nice touch when we got our meals boxed up for home, we got a refill on the sides.

Being a big fan of key lime pie, there was no way to pass that up and man was it good! I'm not one for fanfare, my wife knows this and made no mention it was my birthday when she made reservations. It happened to slip out at some point during the night and the server made a point of telling me happy birthday and the desert was on the house. It is those little touches that really make a place shine. I can't wait to get back and try a different wine and have that hanger steak again.

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One of my most memorable dates with my then-fling, now-wife was the DR.com dinner at Ray's original Courthouse location, when Mr. Landrum did all the cooking and the serving I believe almost completel

Seventeen years in business hardly seems like a failed concept.

Matt and I had a date very early on in our relationship at the old, old RTS location in Rosslyn, and he had told me he had eaten there many times, I was so impressed.  I remember seeing people interac

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So, should I change the birthday/wedding anniversary date? We were at the last dinner organized by Jacques (when he was going under a different name) on Feb. 15. We considered THAT Valentine's Day, albeit one shared with a bunch of (mostly) strangers.

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On a whim yesterday afternoon at about 3:00, I pulled out my cell phone and put in a call to Ray's the Steaks and left a message asking if my three kids and I could get in for an early dinner that evening. About a half hour later, Michal calls me back and says yes he can get us in at 6 (so long as we are out by 7:30). I say thank you very much, we'll see you at 6. It must have been Jared's night off because Michael was working the front of the house.

Things were kind of bustley in there yesterday evening, and even though Michael was not at the stove, everything, from the bisque, the scallops, to the steaks to the desserts looked and tasted as though he was. The one mistake Michael made was to mention that he had one order of a steak he called the "sidekick" which apparently is a smaller version of the Cowboy. Well, that started a fight among my three kids as to which one would get it. The middle one bowed out of the competition and the youngest won the game of rock, paper, scissors. In the end, it turned out that one of the other tables had ordered it out from under us.

Michael; thanks again for your wonderful hospitality. The kids and I appreciate you getting us in on such short notice. And my daughter forgives you for the 3rd degree regarding her upcoming prom.

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15 Minutes (give or take....I got distracted at one point...) of hitting re-dial and I've scored a table for Friday the 13th.

Now I just need to break the news to the husband.

I can't imagine him being too upset. :lol:

I was thinking though how nice it would be if they opened a bit earlier. Say at 5 or so on Nationals game nights. That would be one fine meal to have before hitting the stadium.

A girl can dream.

Jennifer

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First time back in a while - good stuff as awlays - and I had the chance to try a few new things.

Grilled Calamari with Clams Casino stuffing - they were able to coax the squid into being tender and the filling was luxurious and not overly "clammy".

And the Milk Chocolate Mousse was just the type of chocolate dessert I like - cremay, light, not too bitter, not too sweet and pure chocolate taste with nothing to distract from the flavor but a little dollop of whipped cream.

Ray's is all about the steaks, of course. But it wouldn't be nearly the restaurant it is if they didn't back the steaks up with the consistently good supporting cast - soups, sides, salads, desserts.

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Ray's the Steaks Day 2 - the gift that keeps on giving.

Leftovers of three New York Strips sliced and heated in the oven with a drizzle of Olive Oil and some sea salt

steakoven0tk.jpg

On a baguette with leftover mushroom brandy cream sauce and gorgonzola along with the fresh potatoes and spinach they always provide

steaksand4cp.jpg

Almost as good the second day.

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I'm spoiled when it comes to steaks.  I foreswear ordering a steak at any place other than Ray's the Steaks or some other place that has been sanctioned by Michael Landrum (Corduroy).  Anything else is bound to be a disappoinment.

Yes, dammit! Michael has spoiled the steak experience at practically every other place that serves beef. :lol:

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Okay, so feel free to laugh at me, but my husband's birthday is this coming Tuesday (the 14th). He has always wanted to try Ray's, as have a small group of our closest friends.

So, what are the chances of us getting a reservation for six people next Tuesday night? Slim? None? And when do I attempt to call?

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can't hurt to try - they take calls between 2 and 4 I believe - you may have to be flexible and eat early though

fwiw - I got a same day reservation there about 6 weeks ago - called at 3 - was eating like a king at 6

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Okay, so feel free to laugh at me, but my husband's birthday is this coming Tuesday (the 14th).  He has always wanted to try Ray's, as have a small group of our closest friends.

So, what are the chances of us getting a reservation for six people next Tuesday night?  Slim?  None?  And when do I attempt to call?

I'd say the chances of getting a reservation for next Tuesday are fair to good. The days that are the most difficult are the weekends. During the week is noticably better.

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From Tom:

"Ray's the Steaks blazed a trail when it opened in Arlington and began serving good cuts of meat for about half the cost of a proper steak dinner in the city. Del Merei Grille continues that happy trend, with a roster of steaks that are offered with a choice of two side dishes and an optional sauce."

So I guess that Tom thinks that the trail we blazed at Ray's was a happy trail...

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We had a fantab dinner at Ray's last night -- Jared was wonderful -- steering us, surprisingly, to what turned out to be an OUTSTANDING pinot noir -- from Australia. It was fruity and light -- a very pretty wine. Yum.

The salads had great flavor (if perhaps a smidge overdressed), and the steaks, as always, were superb. The key lime pie -- chosen even over chocolate! -- was also tart and tasty.

We turned out to be an unexpectly difficult table, as one of our party was on a security detail and couldn't get away, so we were three for most of the evening (with a steak ordered and put aside to take home for him), but then he was free, and we were actually the last folks out.

Thanks to Jared et al. for a great night out :-) We'll be back sooner next time!

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Anyone buy a steak yet? I am thinking I need to stop by there tomorrow afternoon and pick some some steak.

For a small order, do you just stop on by and ask?

My husband is totally going to flip out. Then he's going to have to fight our 22 month old daughter for some steak.

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I keep asking on TS's chat but no answer. When will the Silver Spring location open?

I had dinner at Ray's on Wednesday night and I asked the question above to the waitress. She said probably not before September, they keep running into construction and contractor issues.

Had the strip steak with blue cheese medium rare. I died and went to heaven.

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So I just made a reservation for Ray's in a couple of weeks. I googled "rays the steaks" to find the phone number and I don't know what button I hit, but I ended up with images of Philly cheesesteaks and Rachael Ray. Are they teasers for some new advertising plan from Michael "Sir Loin of Beef" Landrum? :lol:

Seriously, though, one thing I did see was a link for www.rays-steaks.com which is apparently under construction. Is that yours, Michael?

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Seriously, though, one thing I did see was a link for www.rays-steaks.com which is apparently under construction.  Is that yours, Michael?

I saw this website on google a while back, and I thought this might be Landrum's too. Turns out it is for a Ray's Steakhouse out of Austin, TX.

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I saw this website on google a while back, and I thought this might be Landrum's too.  Turns out it is for a Ray's Steakhouse out of Austin, TX.

I've eaten at that Ray's Steakhouse in Austin. The event and the company were memorable. The food and service were just okay. It doesn't compare at all to Ray's the Steaks.

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Can't get a reservation? Doesn't mean you can't have the steaks! These were cut from a giant slab of beef yesterday afternoon by Chef Hartzer.

Cowboy Steaks $26 each

I fed 6 adults and 3 approx 3-year olds on 3 steaks. The fourth is in my fridge awaiting ferocious consumption. They're about 2 lbs each.

Edited by Al Dente
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I was there on Sunday evening and my impression is that the wine list has shrunk by a couple of pages.  But, my strategy is to ask Jared what to pour.  He always has steered me in the right direction.

That's usually what I do, too. Or at least select something and have him agree or disagree with the selection. Or toss another choice out there. I'm eating there tonight. What, if you recall, were your latest good selections?
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Or see if they have any of the Onyx Kroon left. That stuff kicks ass.

That is great stuff. I haven't seen it in a DC wine store yet.(has anyone?) Although I did pick up a few bottles of it at the Wine Source in the Hampden area of Baltimore

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That is great stuff. I haven't seen it in a DC wine store yet.(has anyone?) Although I did pick up a few bottles of it at the Wine Source in the Hampden area of Baltimore

Circle Wine has it. Can't remember what their price is.

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No Onyx Kroon on the list, so we ended up drinking the Mulderbosch Faithful Hound. If it was served at Firefly, Mayor Brown would have referred to it as a kitchen sink wine, with a hearty blend of merlot, cab sauvignon, cab franc, petit verdot, malbec and probably a few drops of something else stuck in there, too, just for good measure.

Food: Awesome as usual. A generous delivery of scallops and shrimp. I had the cowboy for the first time, ordered medium rare but delivered a bit too rare it needed a little more fire. It kicked butt when it returned. Others in our party had the hanger, the filet with blue cheese sauce, and a 20 oz. strip w/ bearnaise. The other couple we were with were there for the first time. They immediately said they need to make a monthly visit to Ray's.

On the way out I snuck in a table for this Thursday to entertain an out-of-town guest I haven't seen in about a dozen years. Our companions slotted a table for September already.

NEITHER ONE OF US WAS TOLD WE HAD TO GIVE THE TABLE BACK IN 90 MINUTES! (We were told we had 30 minutes! :P )

Thanks to Michael, et al for a tasty evening.

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