Ray’s the Steaks

I don’t think I need to write much on Ray’s the Steaks. The chef and owner, Michael Landrum, has created the ultimate of steak houses. If you live in this area and love steak, you’ve already heard of it, and hopefully share my sentiment. After Ray’s, I refuse to go back to Morton’s, Ruth’s Chris, or any of the like. I find the selection of steaks to be far superior, inexpensive, and with complimentary sides, and a VERY affordable wine list, there’s no reason for me to go back to those stuffy, lifeless places.

They start taking reservations, in person, at 4pm. I work in Crystal City, so I stop by Ray’s on my way home to put our name on the list. We’ve never had to wait more than 5 minutes with the reservation, except once, only b/c a member of our party was late. On the flip side, if you show up on a Thurs/Fri/Sat around dinner time without a reservation, expect to wait up to 2 hours.

My favorite steak at Ray’s is the filet with the mushroom brandy sauce. I also love the filet with diavlo sauce, b/c it adds a spicy kick. The diavlo sauce is also very good on the jumbo shrimp. You really can’t go wrong with anything on the menu. I recently took my cousin from New York City to Ray’s. He’s been to NY’s high end steak houses, so was skeptical that Ray’s could deliver. After his experience, he admitted that the steak was not only comparable, but surpasses most in NY. Desserts are also good here, so save room. They’ve actually expanded their dessert list to now include a rocky road pie and fudge cake! It sounds so tempting, but I can’t help but stick to the mousse. Neil gets the milk chocolate and I get the dark chocolate. The two are actually very different. The milk has the perfect, velvety/light texture, but a little too sweet for me. The dark has the perfect flavor, but it’s more fudge like in texture, and not “mousse” like. So, I eat some of both :)

The atmosphere is super laid back, and everyone is there to simply eat great food and have fun. Why would anyone want to go to a dark, dull, pretentious steak house, where you can’t even relax? NOT ME! Ray’s is always crowded, but, it’s not an annoyance at all. I’ve always been able to conversate with my party without any problem. I’ve also never had a problem with the staff. They’ve given us great service, even once giving a free amuse bouche of crab bisque with a huge scallop (yum), because we had to wait 30 minutes after our reservation time. It wasn’t even their fault, since one of the member’s in our party showed up late. This is another one of those places, where as long as you are nice, they will return the favor. It is true that sometimes they try to rush you out for the next party. However, you will want to leave anyways, because the next party will literally be glaring at you. My work around is to just request a later seating time, when things are a tad slower.

Ray's the Steaks

1725 Wilson Blvd.

Arlingon, VA 22209


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