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Steak house in DC to rival (nearly) those in NYC

nycreba Apr 23, 2008 06:34 PM

My boyfriend's brother, who lives in NYC, is coming into town this weekend to catch an exhibit at the Portrait Gallery. He's passionate about a good steak and - having lived previously in Chicago - has arguably been around and in some of the better steakhouses. We're trying to figure out a place to go in DC that doesn't necessarily need to "wow" but will leave him happily sated. Is BLT Steak here any good? Other ideas for a sublime steak dinner?

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  1. d
    DCDeb RE: nycreba Apr 23, 2008 06:56 PM

    Ray's the Steaks in Arlington is my favorite. Getting a table could be a problem. When I used to work a couple of blocks away, I would walk over in the afternoon to put my name on the list.

    1. r
      rappel75 RE: nycreba Apr 23, 2008 07:35 PM

      I second Ray's. What will amaze your boyfriend's brother is how a great steak can come reasonably priced, unlike the overpriced steakhouses of NY and Chicago.

      1 Reply
      1. re: rappel75
        Ericandblueboy RE: rappel75 Apr 23, 2008 09:00 PM

        Definitely Ray's. Arrive by 5 p.m. hungry.

      2. s
        stever500 RE: nycreba Apr 24, 2008 07:04 AM

        Get to Rays about 415pm. Put your name in, and then eat at 5pm, early. If you don't care about ambiance you'll love it. If you do, don't go there, go to the Capital Grille across from the capital!

        1 Reply
        1. re: stever500
          ktmoomau RE: stever500 Apr 24, 2008 07:47 AM

          5th Rays and don't think it is rushed or rundown, just busy and minimalist, if he wants exquisite pampering not for him, if he wants the best steak in DC is for him, and happens to be in a stripmall with some awesome eats, not just a stripmall.

        2. p
          Pappy RE: nycreba Apr 24, 2008 07:36 AM

          If cheap, loud, crowded and rushed in a rundown Arlington, VA strip mall is what you are looking for, then Rays the Steak is perfect.

          If civilized dining is more to your liking, I recommend The Prime Rib for ambiance, and Capital Grill at 6th and Penn for food and Capital Hill proximity. Neither are as good as New York's best, but your guest will be very content.

          BLT, Charlie Palmer and Bobby Van's are all terrible.

          1. k
            keithdcil RE: nycreba Apr 25, 2008 11:58 AM

            Rays is the place for a good steak, no frills. For a fancy steakhouse I would choose (in order) The Prime Rib, The Palm, Capital Grille & Charlie Palmer over BLT. Men need a jacket and tie at The Prime Rib. Even tho NYC has two Palms and a Capital Grill, the DC branches have a uniquely DC vibe.

            1. j
              Jacey RE: nycreba Apr 28, 2008 09:55 AM

              How is BLT downtown. The menu looks good.

              1. Aphioni RE: nycreba Apr 28, 2008 11:11 AM

                am i the last person on earth to have Ruth Chris in her top 5?? We even saw Emeril happily dining at the one in Fairfax last weekend, so i KNOW it can't be that bad! :) Their service is fantastic, beautiful dining area, nice wine menu... yes it's pricey but that's why we only go once or twice a year.

                I still need to get to RTS b/c i do hear that their steaks ARE superior, and i am as much about the meat as I am the atmosphere, and would certainly sacrifice the latter if the former is as fantastic as everyone says RTS is.

                12 Replies
                1. re: Aphioni
                  xena1441 RE: Aphioni Apr 29, 2008 08:10 AM

                  If you go on a nice day, buy a bottle of wine and wait in the patio outside before dinner. Makes the dinner wait fun.

                  And yes, it is just a hall with some tables but the food is amazing. I highly recommend getting the scallops appetizer. We had the Chateaubriand last time and it was excellent.

                  1. re: Aphioni
                    Pappy RE: Aphioni Apr 29, 2008 10:17 AM

                    Q: "am i the last person on earth to have Ruth Chris in her top 5??"

                    A: Yes.

                    1. re: Pappy
                      Aphioni RE: Pappy Apr 29, 2008 10:26 AM

                      why why why??! what am i missing? ok i will make the prime rib and RTS priorities- any other places out there- referably in NoVa that will knock Ruth Chris off their pedestal in my palate...? :)

                      1. re: Aphioni
                        xena1441 RE: Aphioni Apr 29, 2008 12:19 PM

                        I think Ruth is excellent (not as good as Ray's though). Perhaps it loses its appeal to some due to the fact it is a chain.

                        1. re: Aphioni
                          Ericandblueboy RE: Aphioni Apr 29, 2008 12:26 PM

                          There are 10 steakhouses just in Tysons (listed in link). You should try them all (exceptt maybe JR Stockyard and Chima) and decide for yourself whether they're good or not. Ruth's Chris is good but I still prefer Rays.


                      2. re: Aphioni
                        ktmoomau RE: Aphioni Apr 29, 2008 11:31 AM

                        You probably really like the butter... I don't like it for that reason, but if you like the butter than I can see how it would be up there, I mean butter is good.

                        1. re: ktmoomau
                          Aphioni RE: ktmoomau Apr 30, 2008 08:22 AM

                          you are right- i DO like the butter. i'm a nebraskan: beef, butter, cheese and potatoes- i should be from Wiscinsin! lol but i love the flavor, and the fork tender cuts we can count on there. i am into the atmosphere as well, but will clear a midweek night for RTS in the very near future...

                          1. re: Aphioni
                            ktmoomau RE: Aphioni Apr 30, 2008 08:35 AM

                            Hahahha well you really should try Ray's but if you like the butter than Ruth Chris is your place. As a southern girl I should like butter on and in anything really, but I grew up on a beef farm learning good beef didn't need anything, except maybe cooked, just a lil. I have weened myself off so much butter in stuff, plus after growing up eating real homemade butter it is easier not to eat the stuff around here.

                            If you like the butter maybe try the Ray's steak with one of the sauces, I forget the ones name that I really like, but it is a cream sauce with cognac or brandy I think. It is all about what you enjoy so if butter is what you prefer hey go for it, more room at Rays for me ;) ;)

                            1. re: ktmoomau
                              Aphioni RE: ktmoomau Apr 30, 2008 08:44 AM

                              i don't know that i PREFER it so much as enjoy it. i can appreciate a good piece of beef with no frills or sauce as well- i guess i just haven't HAD that yet in this area. but soon...soon! i do enjoy the sauce you are talking about- likely au poivre made with brandy...? but i will try a naked steak to see if it meets/exceeds the Omaha standards on goood beef! :)

                              1. re: Aphioni
                                ktmoomau RE: Aphioni Apr 30, 2008 09:16 AM

                                I can't wait for your report, you have to report back here. Rays is my favorite steak, and my Fiance thinks that is a big deal coming from a beef farm girl, but we never got to keep the good cuts of meat, I got those when we went out, and since I had so much beef at home, I often didn't get it out. I haven't eaten it at some of the really big name places, so I don't think I have the most credible opinion on beef, but he seems to think so, which is sweet. But let me know how it compares to Omaha standards. Yeah I think it is an au poivre made with brandy, it's good. All this talk is making me hungry for steak...

                                1. re: Aphioni
                                  Ericandblueboy RE: Aphioni Apr 30, 2008 09:31 AM

                                  You're not alone. Washingtonian readers rated:

                                  Best Steakhouse

                                  1. Ray’s the Steaks, Arlington. There’s a line outside this bare-bones dining room for a reason. Two words: hanger steak.

                                  2. Tie: Ruth’s Chris Steak House (three area locations) and Morton’s (six). Both chains offer manly portions and professional service.

                                  3. Charlie Palmer Steak, Capitol Hill. A lobbyist favorite that’s popular for more than just Angus and Wagyu.

                                  1. re: Aphioni
                                    DCDOLL RE: Aphioni Apr 30, 2008 01:12 PM

                                    i like R.C. ok. I'm not a huge red meat fan as i said below but have found their filets to be quite tasty. i like the salads, sides & wine too.

                          2. j
                            jaydreb RE: nycreba Apr 29, 2008 02:27 PM

                            One place that hasn't been mentioned yet is Fogo de Chao. It's a high-quality churrascaria and it's very good. I guarantee your friend will leave sated.

                            4 Replies
                            1. re: jaydreb
                              Ericandblueboy RE: jaydreb Apr 29, 2008 04:38 PM

                              true but they're not unique to DC and the food isn't comparable to high end steakhouses.

                              1. re: Ericandblueboy
                                jaydreb RE: Ericandblueboy Apr 30, 2008 08:04 AM

                                True, but a lot of the other places being mentioned (Palm, BLT, Capital Grille, Ruth's Chris) aren't unique to DC either.

                                1. re: jaydreb
                                  Ericandblueboy RE: jaydreb Apr 30, 2008 08:17 AM

                                  cause we're wondering off the original topic. :)

                                  1. re: Ericandblueboy
                                    jaydreb RE: Ericandblueboy Apr 30, 2008 08:41 AM

                                    Yep. If the criteria is strictly (1) unique to DC and (2) top steakhouse quality food, then I think the only answer is Rays. (Perhaps Cap Grille as well since it's kind of a DC institution.)

                            2. d
                              DCDOLL RE: nycreba Apr 30, 2008 01:11 PM

                              i like Capital Grill for the trifecta -- really good food, service, & atmosphere. Valet parking too. Although i'm not a 'real' red meat afficionado, hubby is and he loved it.

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