100 Best Restaurants 2008: Ray's the Classics
No. 37: Ray's the Classics
Reviewed By Todd Kliman, Ann Limpert, Cynthia Hacinli, Dave McIntyre
Comments () | Published January 1, 2008
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Ray's the Classics
Address: 8606 Colesville Rd., Silver Spring/Takoma Park, MD 20910
Phone: 301-588-7297
Neighborhood: Silver Spring/Takoma Park
Cuisines: Steaks
Opening Hours: Open daily for dinner, 5:30 to 10.
Wheelchair Accessible: Yes
Kid Friendly: Yes
Nearby Metro Stops: Silver Spring
Price Range: Moderate
Dress: Informal
Noise Level: Chatty
Reservations: Recommended
Best Dishes Crab bisque; crab royale sprinkled with Old Bay; the entrecôte and the hanger steak; jumbo diver scallops; the ten-ounce Ray’s Hell-Burger; creamed spinach; Key-lime pie.
Special Features:
Wheelchair Accessible, Kid Friendly

Cuisine: Many of the clever retro classics are back—including steak-tartare-filled deviled eggs and crispy fried chicken (the latter a frequent special in the dining room)—but as at Michael Landrum’s original, Ray’s the Steaks in Arlington, the well-tended slabs of aged, prime beef remain front and center. The steaks are cooked with more conviction than at other beef barns—and they’re cheaper, too.

Mood: Despite the white tablecloths and backdrop of dark wood, there’s an everyman quality to the setting, the opposite of clubby steakhouses such as Morton’s.

Best for: Steak lovers who prefer their rib eye without the pomp, and pre- and post-AFI-screening crowds.

Best dishes: Crab bisque thick with lump crab; beautifully crusted entrecôte; robust hanger steak; rosy rack of lamb with velvety red-pepper sauce; crab royale finished with butter and seasoned with Old Bay; not-too-nutmeggy creamed spinach; dreamy mashed potatoes; tart Key-lime pie.

Insider tips: That fabulous fried chicken is also offered as part of a three-course bistro dinner at the bar for $22.95. Unlike Ray’s the Steaks, Ray’s the Classics takes reservations. Request a table in one of the two back dining rooms rather than in the drafty bar and annex. Don’t dwell on starters or desserts, but revel in the well-seasoned, well-aged prime steaks and deftly done sides.

Service: ••

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