On October 6th, My brother and I get together to remember my dad. There were a couple of things that he absolutely loved: good tobacco, Jack Daniels, seafood, and amazing steaks. Each year we get together and have a meal in remembrance of him. This year’s selection was Ray’s the Steaks. While I have visited their burger spot on a number of occasions, I had never been to their original steak joint in Arlington, VA. I’m not actually a steak person, or so I thought. Ray’s the Steaks will make a saint out of a sinner and a believer out of the unfaithful. It’s that good.
We started out with spiced cashews and olive oil focaccia bread. Our first serving of bread was tasty, but the second serving was everything olive oil focaccia should be: warm, soft, buttery, simply amazing.
Both my brother and I started out with the Sherry Crab Bisque. As a general rule, bisques are not my favorite soup – too much creaminess, not enough substance. This one holds a special place in my heart, mostly because of the fact that the chef’s at Ray’s the Steaks dump a good bit of lump crab into the soup: magical. I have only two places where the crab bisque is something I return to over and over again: Matchbox and Ray’s the Steaks. If you’re a fan of crab bisque (how could you not be), then these are two places where you should try it.
My brother ordered the cowboy rib-eye with Cajun spices. Grilled onions were served with what I thought was the entire cow. It was massive. We’re talking a piece of meat that could have kicked my ass if it were still alive. Even grilled I gave it a sporting chance. To my untrained eye, this was the Mt. Everest of steaks. My brother seemed to enjoy his steak, though he came nowhere near finishing it. If I had to guess, he’d be eating that one steak for the rest of the week.
As I stated previously, I’m not much of a steak fan or connoisseur. I relied heavily on our server to make my ordering choices. With that said, I opted for the Filet Mignon with a sherry reduction, and foie gras, and sautéed mushrooms. This was my first time having foie gras, and I can certainly understand the obsession with it. My cut of steak was much less daunting than the cowboy rib-eye, I enjoyed and finished every bite.
I’m sure you’re wondering about the sides. Ray’s serves creamed spinach and mashed potatoes with every entrée; taking a lot of complication out of the ordering process. Of course, you can add a number of other sides to your order.
My brother opted to add the macaroni and cheese to our order. This was possibly the best macaroni and cheese I have ever had the fortune to put into my mouth. The cheese was melted on top, but on the inside, there was nothing but creamy, cheesy, goodness.
Once the meal was finished the waiter rattled off a tantalizing list of mousse’s: milk chocolate, dark chocolate, and white chocolate. At this point, I have so stuffed that the thought of more food made me feel a bit ill. My brother, however, was made of heartier stuff; he ordered the white chocolate mousse. It came out topped with a crown of fresh strawberries. I didn’t try it myself, but the moaning coming from my brother’s mouth made me think that I made a mistake. The fact that he stabbed at me with a spoon and growled when I tried to taste his dessert confirmed this suspension.
All in all, this was definitely a meal befitting my dad; and the great way of remembering him. If you were fortunate enough to know him while he was still alive: I recommend his favorite method of relaxing: good food, good company, and a bit of whiskey to wash it down.