DC at Night

DC at Night

Monday, December 10, 2012

Dining in DC: Ray's to the Third

President Obama eating at Ray's
Many restaurants are known for their large menu. But the list of extensive offerings at Ray's: To the Third in Rosslyn is unique. It is the combination of the choices at 3 other eateries in the popular Ray's family - Ray's Hellburgers, Ray's the Steaks and Nice N' Greasy Steak N' Cheesy, all operated by Mike Landrum.

Landrum's enterprises are known for offering great food at good prices. At the time of Ray's 3 opening, Landrum told Zagat "We call it an American steak bistro – it’s a French bistro that doesn’t know how to speak French. Instead of coq au vin, we have fried chicken; instead of pike quenelles, we have Cajun catfish. And of course we major in steak frites."

Ray's Hellburgers is probably the most noted of the eateries. Food and Wine magazine has placed it on its list of the 25 best hamburgers in America. It has been praised by President Barack Obama, who has eaten lunch there with both Vice President Joe Biden and Russian Prime Minister Dmitri Mendedev. By the way, for the record, if you would like to get a Ray's hellburger the way President Obama likes them, ask for cheese, lettuce, tomato, and spicy mustard.

For our Ray's: To the Third dinner, Judy began with a cup of sherried crab bisque. I opted for Ray's signature devilishly good eggs which were outstanding. That appetizer is hard-boiled eggs filled with hand-formed steak tartare topped with hollandaise and accompanied by sieved egg yolk, capers, chopped red onion, and cornichons.

We both chose steak for our main course. Judy selected the petite filet, while I chose a full filet. The steak meals come with Ray's famous mash potatoes and creamed spinach, both of which are solid side choices. However, since she is not a fan of cooked spinach, Judy substituted a house salad.

The meals were excellent, but when you consider the cost they become an even a greater value. We had a very similar meal earlier this year at Morton's Steakhouse. The cost for that outing exceeded $200 (with no drinks). We paid $88 for our meal at Ray's (and that includes tip and $5 for the hostess that was kind enough to seat us on a Saturday without a reservation).

Tales, Tidbits, and Tips
What others say:
The Prices Do DC rating:
***** 5 out of 5 stars (3 and 1/2 for the food, another 1/2 for the devilishly good eags, and 1 for the extreme value)

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