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Feb 10, 2009 01:41 PM

New Ray's the Steaks open for business

Just walked by the new Courthouse location and saw Chef Landrum at the host stand and the restaurant prepping for service. This location will accommodate call aheads and possibly reservations (I'm not 100% sure) for a portion of the restaurant. The space looked great. Can't wait to go get my fix in the new location.

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  1. Drove by on my way from court and the space does look really nice. I am excited about the expand, wonder how the waits will be, I suspect about the same but who knows.

    1 Reply
    1. re: ktmoomau

      I think waits will be much shorter.

      They have something like triple the seating of the old location. 1/3 for advance reservations, 1/3 for day-of reservations, and 1/3 for walk-in.

      Dinner last night was great, as always.

    2. hahahaha "Chef" Landrum hahahaha

      There's free parking in the evening in a garage just east of the new RTS, on the right hand (south) side of Clarendon Blvd. Call 703-841-RAYS for a reservation or to get on the same-day call-ahead list.

      3 Replies
      1. re: crackers

        The space is at least triple the size of the old RTS and he is STILL packing them in! How is this possible?! We arrived with 8pm with reservations and the entry way was a mob scene of people hoping for a table. We were seated at our 6-top at 8:02. Nuts and bread, ice water arrived immediately. Absolutely no problems with over-zealous busboys at all. We were given a run-down of the night's specials and had plenty of time to make up our minds, change our minds and re-make up our minds. We enjoyed a leisurely meander through the devilishly good eggs (hard boiled eggs filled with steak tartare, topped with hollandaise and accompanied by sieved egg yolk, capers, chopped red onion and cornichons with toast points), cups of rich crab bisque and ceasar salads. Our entrees arrived at 8:40, mostly strip steaks in various iterations, with an onglet or two. Things went humming right along at a nice leisurely pace, with unobtrusive water and soda refills arriving at appropriate intervals. We had ordered a bottle of Cab and poured our own refills. Food was exactly as ordered, and exactly as it had been at the former location (although I'm not sure I saw the Cowboy Cut on the menu.) We stayed for desserts (love that coconut cream pie!) and hot cocoa and were out the door with big smiles and full guts at 9:30, with some hefty doggie bags.

        My only complaint was the noise level in the front room - with metal ceiling and bare wood floors and tables, it was hard to hear each other at the height of the dinner rush. Not that it impeded our enjoyment in the least.

        NEWS FLASH: a little birdie tells me that the raw space next to the new RTS may well be an as-yet-undecided-concept additional venue in a few months. Permits in the window say "bake shop" but that could be a red herring, or a former tenant's lost dream.

        1. re: crackers

          A couple of years ago, Tom Sietsema reported that Michael Landrum also plans to open a bakery next door to the new Rays location so hopefully this means that this is still the plan. (While it sounds like the plan for the former Rays location has since changed from what's in the article.)

          1. re: crackers

            Cowboy is still on the menu. Urp.

        2. Visited last week for the first time. Heaven for steak lovers.

          Yes, the cowboy cut is still on the menu.

          The slab bacon starter is out of this world.

          Service was a little herky-jerky but not bad by any stretch of the imagination. Steaks were all prepared exactly as ordered. The place has two main rooms: we were in the larger one and could see into the kitchen grill (not a bad thing) - this room was louder than the other one by a noticeable margin. Lobster bisque and key lime pie were also spectacular.

          One person in our party stopped by earlier to make an 8:30 reservation - we arrived early and were seated at about 8:15 despite a large crowd of walk-ins.

          A must visit place.

          Also note the restaurant is actually on Wayne Street, not Wilson Blvd.

          2 Replies
          1. re: L84Dinner

            The front door to the restaurant is on the corner of Wayne and Clarendon, but the office building it's in has it's official front door on Wilson.

            1. re: DanielK

              Gotcha. Important info for out-of-towners who use GPS systems and end up trying to go into Five Guys instead.

              We had a local guide, fortunately.

          2. I went last week for the first time in the new location. The way I understood it was that you can make reservations for the back room and the front room works much the same way but now with call ahead to be listed and you will still possibly wait once you get there. The back room made me uneasy, they had table cloths and wine glasses and was much too ostentatious for the good ol' strip mall steak house. The front room is a bit closer to the older design, but with a better view as there are windows all over the place.

            As for the steak, as usual, it was excellent. They have the same menu plus an added menu with some new options on it. I myself could not resist my cowboy. Ahhh yeah.

            1. A return visit the other night was delightful. RTS now has decanters. No big deal? Yes, BIG deal - because one of this country's top sommeliers is now on hand to suggest, open and pour. A much relaxed (no tastevin in sight) Mark Slater, recently departed from Citronelle, helped us with the thoughtful and well-priced list that he has been busy putting together. And he decanted the wine for us, which is a sight I never would have imagined seeing at RTS.

              Consistency, deliciousness, and a thoughtful wine list - three key qualities in a steak house. And all three are to be found at Ray's the Steaks. Consistently. Brazilian strip, House Special, 20 oz. and 12 oz. strips - all perfect, as were the sides and the variety of appetizers we sampled.

              This time we were seated at a lovely quiet table - in the back room with carpeting and tablecloths. Coincidence? I think not ;) We could hear each other just fine; the teenagers in tow did not have much to say (they were busy digging in), so the adults had a chance to talk to each other. Very civilized.