100 Best Restaurants 2011: Ray’s the Steaks

No. 29

Only the top 40 restaurants were ranked in 2011's Best Restaurants list.

On any given night, a line of people is likely waiting for a table at restaurateur Michael Landrum’s loud, kid-friendly dining room. What’s the big deal? Besides a skull-and-crossbones flag, there’s little decor. The pacing of your meal can feel as if it’s on fast-forward—a little annoying after waiting 45 minutes for a table. And woe to customers who like their meat well done.

But the rewards are many, from a $4.99 bowl of lump-crab-filled bisque to excellent Hereford steaks (few of them topping $20), which come with mashed potatoes and creamed spinach. The meat is fabulous on its own, but the accompaniments—horseradish cream, béarnaise and mushroom sauces—are hard to pass up. So, too, the cheddary mac and cheese and the tart Key-lime pie. An equally great value is the wine list, which former Citronelle sommelier Mark Slater has filled with budget gems.

Also good: Caesar salad; New York strip with blue cheese and hot sauce; hanger steak; rib eye; crab royale; coconut cream pie; dark-chocolate mousse.

Open daily for dinner. Moderate to expensive.

>> See all of 2011's Best Restaurants


Ann Limpert
Executive Food Editor/Critic

Ann Limpert joined Washingtonian in late 2003. She was previously an editorial assistant at Entertainment Weekly and a cook in New York restaurant kitchens, and she is a graduate of the Institute of Culinary Education. She lives in Petworth.