Usually, if you want a fine steak you have to go to a fine dining restaurant. You need to make a reservation, get your suit dry cleaned, and arrange to spend about $120 for two. At Rays the Steaks, you don’t need a reservation, although the place does get packed, you can wear jeans and you don’t need to break the bank.
Located in Arlington, Virginia, Ray’s offers some of the best steaks in the area. The steaks have to be good, because they are essentially the only things on the menu. Ray’s might not offer halibut or lamb chops, but they do have five cuts of steak (Hanger, NY Strip, Ribeye, Porterhouse, Filet) prepared in several different ways. From the NY Strip Au Poire, to the Ribeye with horseradish cream, everything is delicious. The steaks get the usual scorching on the grill with minimal seasoning, before arriving at your table. Be advised that according to the menu, one can only order the steak rare, medium-rare, or medium. Not sure how strict they are on this but this may be a concern for some.
I started my meal with a classic steakhouse offering, the wedge salad. Ray’s does their wedge with apple-smoked bacon lardons, maytag blue cheese, cherry tomatoes, radish slices and buttermilk dressing. It was simply delicious and made me excited for the 16oz. ribeye steak with horseradish cream I ordered. The steak was cooked and seasoned well although I would have liked a bit more char. The horseradish cream served as a nice dipping sauce. Was it the best ribeye I ever had? No, but for $27.99 it was pretty damn good. I also tried a piece of NY strip, which was also very tasty, maybe even a bit better than the ribeye. All the steaks come with family-style, mashed potatoes and creamed spinach. The mashed potatoes were as expected – soft, rich, and no lumps. The creamed spinach was fresh, not overly creamy, well seasoned and had a nice aroma of nutmeg. Easily, some of the best creamed spinach I have ever had.
All in all, I thoroughly enjoyed my dining experience at Ray’s the Steaks. The staff was very friendly and the food was good. Despite the fact that Ray’s is located in a wealthier area, their laid-back attitude and affordable prices will keep people coming back.