I've written about Ray's the Steaks before and praised it's beefy goodness. What I didn't write about in that post was the fact that the owner, Michael Landrum, was working on opening a second restuarant in Silver Spring, MD. It's been a long time in the works, but he's finally seeing the light at the end of the tunnel.
The new place, Ray's Classics, should be open in about 6 weeks, according to Mr. Landrum himself. And in order to get through the final preparations for opening Ray's Classics, he is closing Ray's the Steaks temporarily allowing him to focus on only one place.
When people first saw the notice saying Ray's was closing, a brief panic set across the area.....No more Ray's! But cooler heads prevailed and word went around that is was only temporary. Phew!
Those who read Don Rockwell found out last weekend that Michael Landrum was going to host a Rockwell event the day after he closed. Those who were interested could sign up on DonRockwell. The menu was a mystery, the cost.....$35 (not including drinks) and Michael was going to donate half the money to two charitable groups, The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society and The E.L. Haynes Charter School in D.C. Naturally more people signed up than the two seating could hold so a lottery was set up. We were among the lucky ones and got in for the 8:00 seating.
I can describe the meal in three words: Oh......My........God! I say this not only because it was outstanding but the amount of food we were fed last night was almost obscene. It was an incredible amount of good food shared with five other people at our table. Who I might add were great fun to dine with.
After everyone was seated, Michael said a few words about how the meal would be presented. Basically each table would get 2 filets (each topped with a different sauce), 2 NY Strips (again topped with a different sauce), an Entrecote Diablo, a Culotte and Chateaubriand.
After Michael's announcement, appetizers were brought out. Some we were already familiar with from his menu, others were ones he planned for the new place. Cool! We get to try it before anyone else!
Next up were his take on Clams Casino. I don't even like clams but these were good. Nested in a little pastry cup filled with what I think was perhaps a cream cheese mixture followed by a small square of bacon sat the bread and deep fried clam. Eaten in one or two bites, it was pretty good, perhaps a little more salt would have improved it but still very tasty just as it was.
First out were Deviled eggs. No big deal, you say? Ha! You ain't never had deviled eggs like this before. These bad boys were stuffed with steak tartar and topped with a seasoned breadcrumb mixture. DELISH! (I apologize about the picture, we forgot to adjust the camera before taking the shot) Deviled Eggs with Steak Tartar - Biscuit rating: 4 biscuits
(the biscuit scale rates things from 1 to 5, one being the lowest and 5 the highest)
Clams Casino - Biscuit rating: 4 biscuits
This was followed by a cup of Crab Bisque. I've heard wonderful things about the crab bisque but had yet to try it. Oh......My........It's as good as everyone raves about.
Crab Bisque - Biscuit rating: 5 biscuits
And as if that weren't enough, a plate of Shrimp Diablo and Blackened Scallops were brought out to the tables. I adore Ray's scallops! Tonight's were no exception, done perfectly and a nice zing from the blackening. The Shrimp Diablo was spicier that I remeber but still very good and spicy.
Blackened Scallops & Shrimp Diablo
Biscuit rating: 5 biscuits
This was followed by a salad (with Caesar dressing?). Hey, we needed some veggies, didn't we? This was a nice, simple and tasty salad.
Salad (no biscuit rating)
Then, finally, the steaks. When they came around to our table to take our orders, we all looked at each other and said, just bring us the whole lot......we'll share it all around. I think we may have been the only table at the 8:00 seating to do this. It was great because we got to sample everything. The waitress said since we were all sharing, she'd bring all the sauces out on the side so we could sample or add to our steaks as we liked. And as always, side dishes of mashed potatoes and creamed spinach were also brought to the table.Above is a picture of the remains of a filet after half the table took a slice.
This is the Entrecote Diablo and below it you can see one of the two dishes of mashed potatoes. This is the Chateaubriand (with broccoli). Sitting right underneath is one of the two NY Strips. You can see the little bowl of Brandy Cream sauce near the lower right of the picture and one of the bowls of creamed spinach in the lower left. A view down the table (or I call it the Meat-O-Rama). In the foreground you see the Entrecote Diablo. Just above it is the Culotte and further back on the right is the Chateaubriand and on the left another of the NY Strips. And lastly dessert. Two dark chocolate mousses, a milk chocolate mouse, a white chocolate mousse and two huge wedges of Key Lime Pie arrived at the table. Again we all played nicely and shared it all. My favorite was the dark chocolate mousse. Hubby's was the Key Lime Pie. We realized after we had eaten just about everything that we forgot to take pictures. Oops! But we were getting a little lethargic by this point.
In all I would have to say the filet and the culotte were my favorites. Biscuit Boy prefered the Chateaubriand. My biscuit rating for the all the steaks - 5 biscuits
Never before in my life have I ever been so full. When a waitress accidentally brought out more dessert dishes to our table instead of the table behind us, you could hear an audible groan from several of us at the table. I know we were thinking, no.....more.....food.......
To sum it up, we ate like kings at a pauper's price. Two thumbs up for Michael Landrum, his waitstaff and his kitchen staff. You all did a superb job and I think I now have enough beef in my belly to last me a while (or until Ray's opens up again).
Labels: Restaurants, steak