100 Very Best Restaurants 2014: Ray’s the Steaks

Lobster mac and cheese. Photograph by Scott Suchman.
Lobster mac and cheese. Photograph by Scott Suchman.

There have been lots of shifts in the Michael Landrum empire over the past year. First, his much-loved Ray’s Hell-Burger closed in Arlington. Then he abruptly sold his Silver Spring steakhouse, Ray’s the Classics, to a longtime employee—it’s now called simply the Classics. What hasn’t changed at Landrum’s Arlington flagship is the consistency of the kitchen and quality of the beef, whether a pepper-crusted filet mignon or a mammoth cowboy-cut rib eye. Nor has the terrific value: At a time when most big-ticket steakhouses charge handsomely for sides, creamed spinach and smooth mashed potatoes are included with your steak. Salads and starters are sized for sharing, though you’ll likely want to keep a bowl of rich, sherried crab bisque for yourself.

Open: Daily for dinner.

Don’t Miss: Deviled eggs with steak tartare; bacon-and-blue-cheese salad; broiled crab royale; Brazilian strip steak with “piranha sauce”; hanger steak with béarnaise or brandy-mushroom sauce; New York strip with blue cheese; lobster mac and cheese; Key-lime pie.

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