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

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A significant part of a better restaurant is its wine program. As the restaurant grows in its excellence so does its dependence on wine. RTS is a excellent restaurant that has taken a significant step backwards with Mark's departure. In all of our dinners the wine and Mark's passion for presenting his own taste and choices were a major reason for the success of the dinner.

The national James Beard Award winning Mark Slater is not going to be replaced.

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I wish Mark the best of success. I liked the wine list before Mark came to RTS, and have loved it while he was there. His influence will last a long time on the current wine list. But, as Joe H wrote, Mark can not be replaced and he will be missed.

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A significant part of a better restaurant is its wine program. As the restaurant grows in its excellence so does its dependence on wine. RTS is a excellent restaurant that has taken a significant step backwards with Mark's departure. In all of our dinners the wine and Mark's passion for presenting his own taste and choices were a major reason for the success of the dinner.

The national James Beard Award winning Mark Slater is not going to be replaced.

I am not sure what the purpose of the previous five posts is and know nothing about why Mark is no longer at Ray's the Steaks; I would just prefer that my previous post not be buried by the preceding videos and seemingly obscure verbiage.

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I am not sure what the purpose of the previous five posts is and know nothing about why Mark is no longer at Ray's the Steaks; I would just prefer that my previous post not be buried by the preceding videos and seemingly obscure verbiage.

CCP!

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A significant part of a better restaurant is its wine program. As the restaurant grows in its excellence so does its dependence on wine. RTS is a excellent restaurant that has taken a significant step backwards with Mark's departure. In all of our dinners the wine and Mark's passion for presenting his own taste and choices were a major reason for the success of the dinner.

The national James Beard Award winning Mark Slater is not going to be replaced.

I agree with you there. One of my favorite things about Ray's was getting Mark's opinion on wine, and usually learning about a new one when I visited. Then there was his hospitality - the impression he made on my parents the first time they went there was HUGE, and they still talk about it.

Don't get me wrong, I like the steaks, but I usually spent more money on wine then I did on meat...

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Then there was his hospitality - the impression he made on my parents the first time they went there was HUGE, and they still talk about it.

Same here. We'll miss Mark at Ray's, and look forward to seeing where he ends up!

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Bad translation. "Aluf" actually means "Major" in this context, not "champion".

A few literal mis-translations as well from someone who wasn't there--especially missed was the allusion to Bialek, "I once had youth, and they were beautiful. Where is my youth now?".

Sure is fucking hot, though, isn't it?

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Thank you all for the kind words. I really enjoyed my time at Ray's. I will always be grateful to Michael for the opportunity he gave me, and his very generous support during my recent cancer treatment, multiple surgeries (12!) and long recuperation time. I am taking this time to relax a little and ponder the next chapter.

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Thank you all for the kind words. I really enjoyed my time at Ray's. I will always be grateful to Michael for the opportunity he gave me, and his very generous support during my recent cancer treatment, multiple surgeries (12!) and long recuperation time. I am taking this time to relax a little and ponder the next chapter.

Best wishes Mark.

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Thank you all for the kind words. I really enjoyed my time at Ray's. I will always be grateful to Michael for the opportunity he gave me, and his very generous support during my recent cancer treatment, multiple surgeries (12!) and long recuperation time. I am taking this time to relax a little and ponder the next chapter.

Godspeed.

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Which of the Rayseses are open for lunch? And do any of them offer carryout? I want to surprise a busy worker with lunch at her desk.

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I went to Retro Ray's for the very first time last night, and since the drawing card of this new space - which is really just a "third" dining room in the main Ray's The Steaks location - is "retro pricing," I decided to supplement our meat cravings with a little experiment.

Since my young dining companion and I usually split everything we order anyway, we decided to get 1) the cheapest steak on the menu, and 2) the most expensive steak on the menu to see how they compared 1) with each other, and 2) with other comparable steaks in the DC area.

The Bistro Special ($23.99) is a limited three-course menu (appetizer, main course, dessert), available only at Retro Ray's, and only on Sunday through Thursday evenings. Matt chose a cup of Sherried Crab Bisque, a Hanger Steak Au Poivre, medium-rare, seared with black peppercorns, with a port-wine peppercorn cream, and a slice of Key Lime Pie. As with all the Ray's steaks, this comes with a little bar-snack of spiced cashews, homemade focaccia-style bread, and family-style mashed potatoes and creamed spinach.

I didn't notice the second page on the menu we received (which may have been on the back), but the one on the internet shows the Hanger Steak Au Poivre, by itself, for $16.99. If this is the case, it would be exactly what's described in the above paragraph, minus the Sherried Crab Bisque and Key Lime Pie, for $7.00 less.

That was the low end; Ray's The Steaks now offers several cuts that have broken the $40 barrier, and I ordered the (tied for) most expensive steak on the menu (you also get to choose from the regular Ray's The Steaks menu at Retro Ray's), The Delmonico ($40.99), medium-rare, a "Bone-In Ribeye (The Most Famous Steak Of All)" from the "Dry Aged Cuts" section which touts its six different steaks as having "Peerless Flavor and Texture, For the True Connoisseur, Aged In House 45 Days, Butchered and Hand-Trimmed Daily." Other than the soup and dessert, my order got me all the other items that Matt received: nuts, bread, potatoes, spinach, plus a few grilled onions and a little tub of horseradish cream sauce.

Note also that Ray's now features several "Steaks For Two" that run as high as $68.99. The legendary "Cowboy Cut" remains at $36.99, but I have to wonder whether that cut has shrunk because some of the ones that I've had in past years were indeed sized for two people. I suspect the Cowboy Cut is a lot like (or identical to) my Delmonico, which was quite large, with the difference being that it's not dry-aged.

The steaks arrived, Matt proffered me a goodly wedge of his Hanger Steak, I cut him off a hunk of my Delmonico, and the meat-fest began.

Let me cut right to the chase: the steaks here are (still) fantastic. And the really good news is that they were both fantastic - that hanger steak, at $16.99 (assuming you can get it for that) is one of the most amazing deals in town considering it comes with potatoes and spinach. Getting this au poivre is a great way to order it, and the sauce, simple though it may have been, worked beautifully with the black peppercorn crust. We both agreed my Delmonico was better, and it was also bigger, but it wasn't *so* much better that you should feel forced to drop $40+ here when you can get a fine steak dinner for $17 (*).

For our beverages, Matt got a Diet Black Cherry Cheerwine ($2.50) while I got a temptingly priced glass of 2010 Radio Boca Tempranillo ($5.00 for a generous pour) from Valencia, Spain. Poured from a 750 ml bottle, this wine was a little bit "meh" on the first sip, but all it took was one spiced nut, and all unpleasantries quickly resolved - it goes just fine with the food. Five dollars for a glass this large is such an attractive deal that I ordered a second glass - two glasses of wine with a steak dinner is nothing for me, but these pours are large enough (probably a good five ounces) that I didn't even finish my second glass.

As hard as it is to imagine, all of this food cost us a total, with tax, and a 20% pre-tax tip, that was still in the two-digit price range, but not by much: it was $99.95, and the check was made all the more sweet by two complimentary pieces of Tiger Butter.

And as far as comparing these steaks with comparable steakhouses in the DC area, well, I'd love to, but Ray's is the only place where I can afford to do the comparison. I can tell you in no uncertain terms that you won't find a better hanger steak for $16.99 than what we had last night, and you probably won't find a better steak than my Delmonico at any price.

(*) For a 6:15 AM breakfast, on his way to school this morning, Matt happily cross-tasted the sizable remnants of both steaks in the car, which had been packaged up with some extra mashed potatoes, and microwaved for 60 seconds, and preferred the hanger steak.

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Just one person's view but whatever the story behind this story, Msgr. Landrum should be celebrated for giving it a real try when noone else did or does. At the the end of the day, a restaurant is a business and cannot continuing operating in the red unless it's the hobby of a billionaire. No doubt there will be some arrows fired at this news. Those arrows will be wholly and unequivocally unfair and without empathy.

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Just one person's view but whatever the story behind this story, Msgr. Landrum should be celebrated for giving it a real try when noone else did or does. At the the end of the day, a restaurant is a business and cannot continuing operating in the red unless it's the hobby of a billionaire. No doubt there will be some arrows fired at this news. Those arrows will be wholly and unequivocally unfair and without empathy.

This is all true, except Landrum opened a place that any of us would have considered a wonderful addition to the neighborhood (and I live in Adams Morgan--a place Landrum has vowed never to venture--and I don't blame him) to eat at on a regular basis, except for all those people who consider a "special" restaurant to be Applebee's or Red Lobster. And that's a neighborhood he bravely tried to enter. Most of us on this site go to those kinds of places only under duress. The number of people who "enjoy" an ANNIVERSARY dinner at those places, if ever, are legion Never mind those who only eat out at MacDonald's and think that's a real treat. I'm serious. While we debate the cost of the new Minibar, there are people who could never in a million years afford a decent meal in what we all consider "affordable"--like the rest of the Landrum empire. That you can get the best steak you ever hope to eat in your life there isn't even an issue.

Landrum tried very hard to bring his philosphy and philanthropy to this neighborhood and it proved to be his first failure. Give that neighborhood another ten years and try again. Gentrification is on the march and nothing, and nobody, can stop it. (Sez a person who has always lived in a rent-controlled apartment.)

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