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Ray's the Steaks and Retro Ray's (Next Door) - Michael Landrum's Steakhouses in Courthouse, Closing Jun 15, 2019

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Per the comments of a former commentator here Rays was jammed yesterday.  I suppose that means you will have to rush to get in during Ray's last week.

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On 6/5/2019 at 12:55 PM, BookGuy said:

To be honest, I was never impressed by Landrum’s restaurants, all good concepts that faded away.  At Rsy’s And at Hellburger, I always felt that there was something missing.  People who I took to Ray's complained that there was a strong feeling of being rushed.  Considering the failed businesses, good for a bit and then gone, there needs to be a fuller analysis of why these concepts failed.

A lot to unpack here.  The Courthouse/Clarendon area of today isn't comparable to the business environment 17, and even 7 years ago.  Rents have skyrocketed while numerous businesses have been forced to close.  I would also suggest we need to separate East River - what many of us would consider to be a noble, albeit risky venture.  

I've never personally experienced the rushed service, but its a common enough refrain that it must've been present.  But I do have to ask, are expectations the same for Rays the Steaks as they are for The Palm/Bourbon Steak etc. in terms of service and time spent?  Landrum's intention appeared to be to cater to a different diner, with different expectations.  It may be worth noting that another steakhouse down the street - Harry's Tap Room, which was more traditional, lasted only 5-6 years.

I'm not defending Landrum's business acumen, but suggesting that his product was good enough to carry this restaurant far beyond that of many in the area, but ultimately succumbed to the dramatically changing dynamics of the neighborhood.

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On 6/3/2019 at 6:23 PM, DonRocks said:

“Ever since BLT Prime opened, there really hasn’t been a need for Ray’s the Steaks any longer as the steakhouse for the Everyman.”

This is a pretty awesome quote.

What does it mean?  Is that a dig at Trump?

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2 hours ago, Ericandblueboy said:

What does it mean?  Is that a dig at Trump?

No, I don't think so; probably more like a dig at people in general.

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i·ro·ny1
/ˈīrənē/
noun
 
  1. the expression of one's meaning by using language that normally signifies the opposite, typically for humorous or emphatic effect.
    "“Don't go overboard with the gratitude,” he rejoined with heavy irony"
    synonyms: sarcasm, sardonicism, dryness, causticity, sharpness, acerbity, acid, bitterness, trenchancy, mordancy, cynicism; More
     
       
    • a state of affairs or an event that seems deliberately contrary to what one expects and is often amusing as a result.
      plural noun: ironies
      "the irony is that I thought he could help me"
      synonyms: paradox, paradoxical nature, incongruity, incongruousness, peculiarity
      "the irony of the situation hit her"
         
    • a literary technique, originally used in Greek tragedy, by which the full significance of a character's words or actions are clear to the audience or reader although unknown to the character.
      noun: dramatic irony; plural noun: tragic irony
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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 interact with ML and having no idea it was him, he would be at the host stand, or etc, and he might say something sarcastic and they had no idea.  I recall someone being mad about no reservations and he offered to call up (insert fancy steak house) and get them a table while they got a taxi.  I am a very sarcastic person, I always kind of enjoyed those moments.  Since then we had date nights, anniversary dinners, birthday dinners, family dinners, burgers with friends with sleeves rolled up, consolation dinners when we just needed a pick me up and a good steak that wasn't super expensive.  Hubby would always have guys' night there and all his friends would drive from all over Northern Virginia to get there, if he came home with any leftover steak, I would have a late night bite of his leftovers.  It was a refuge in Arlington from all the new concepts and bros, and just in some way modernity of what is now Arlington. Anyway, I can see why it would not be some peoples taste, and that is ok, but I am happy there are a lot of people that are having a chance of one last moment to relive, to me, what was a past essence of Arlington before brown flip flops, scooters, turning every church into a condo and the Don Taco empire.

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From a quick look it appears there are about 40 people lined up to get into Ray's at about 5:35 with some already sitting.  It looks too crowded for me to get into there tonight.  I'd suggest getting into line early for those that wish to have a farewell dinner Saturday or next week.

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3 hours ago, DaveO said:

From a quick look it appears there are about 40 people lined up to get into Ray's at about 5:35 with some already sitting.  It looks too crowded for me to get into there tonight.  I'd suggest getting into line early for those that wish to have a farewell dinner Saturday or next week.

I had planned on going on the late side.

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We were young, poor, and clueless, but still had access to great steak, because we fortunate enough to work in Rosslyn at just the right time. I learned about my love of the hanger; he, for Chateaubriand. Some have noted over the years that RTS & co. didn't appeal to everyone.  Since we cut our baby steak teeth at the original RTS, we didn't see the appeal in stuffier, more expensive places that dominated pre-food-renaissance DC (and if you want something a bit nicer, just go to the RTClassics!).  Thank you, Michael, for a great run. Since we moved away years ago, we've been missing the Rays restaurants forever, and now everyone else can too.

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I'm sorry to see Ray's go.  The team was always gracious to my kid and I'm going to seriously miss my occasional perfect hanger.  Thanks for a wonderful run, Michael.    

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14 minutes ago, cuisine soignee said:

Full menu still available? Trying to arrive tonight right as doors open, for one last dinner.

It was on Monday. Note that while doors officially open at 5:30p, they have been opening doors at 5p.

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11 hours ago, cuisine soignee said:

Full menu still available? Trying to arrive tonight right as doors open, for one last dinner.

Menu and wine list were smaller than usual. 

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