Sunday, September 26, 2010
Ray's East River
As we all know, dining in and near Cheverly is limited, but we do have another choice for dining, although it means a quick trip into DC.
Ray's East River opened a few months ago to much fanfare, as it was one of a very few sit-down restaurants east of the Anacostia in DC. A very quick trip down 295 lands you at Benning Road, and two turns later, you arrive at Ray's. We didn't time it, but it seems that a trip to Ray's is actually quicker than a trip to Franklins.
There is a small parking lot directly next to Ray's, and if it's full, there's a Safeway lot across the street with plenty of spaces. There are also security guards posted at the entrance, giving us less pause wandering the streets of Anacostia.
Upon entry, the furnishings of the restaurant are less than stellar. The tables and chairs are very simple, and there is little artwork on the wall. The front glass of the restaurant is open to the street, and perhaps a curtain would help make the dining room feel a bit more intimate.
The menu is relatively simple, with two basic sections: Meals under $10, and the steaks. There were very few appetizers, and we essentially ignored the $10 section, as we were there for steaks. There was a half-smoke, fried chicken, and a few other options.
We did order a bowl of crab bisque ($6.95) which was excellent, and included large lumps of crab meat in the bottom of the bowl, a item that is frequently missing from bisques in other restaurants.
We followed up with a rib-eye and porterhouse steak, one with a brandy cream sauce, and another with bleu cheese. The salads that preceded the steaks were underwhelming, and laced with violently bitter cucumbers. The lettuce looked a tad old, and overall, the salads need significant work.
When the steaks arrived, we had one that arrived with a side of bleu-cheese dressing, instead of the actual bleu cheese on the steak. This seems to be indicative of some of the improvements and training needed with the staff. The steaks were excellent, as to be expected, although the porterhouse was delivered medium, instead of medium-rare.
Service was earnest, and well meaning, but a bit sketchy. Sometimes it took several requests to get something done, and we had a stream of different people stopping at the table, which may have led to some confusion.
From a value perspective, Ray's is a good deal. Glasses of wine start at $4, and bottles are between $20 and $25, and the total tab for two was less than $70. It's also close, and despite the complaints about the salad, the food was great. It's also close to Cheverly, and given the dearth of options around here, I'd encourage everyone to give Ray's a try.
Located at 3905 Dix St, Washington, DC.
Posted by Dan at 11:37 AM