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Everything posted by landrumm2000

  1. Well I'm wasting away again in Chateau Beycheville, Looking for my lost mind in Gestalt. Some people claim that the County's to blame, But I know, it's my own damn fault.
  2. What an interesting screen name for someone posting in the "Dead and Lamented" thread. Is there someting more we should know?
  3. The blackened scallops have always been topped with garlic that we slow-sweat in clarified butter so as to bring out the sweetness and take of the edge without browning and without the cloying heaviness of roasted garlic. We don't mention the garlic on the menu since garlic is one of the blackening spices and predominant to the point of understood in cajun cooking across the board. Glad you enjoyed your visit and always feel free to point out if something is not to your taste while dining. We also are always adjusting recipes and presentation in hopes of continually improving so we appreciate the feedback.
  4. Todd, big props to you for what you're doing with the coffee at Eve. ← Finally, Todd, you are getting the recognition you deserve after so so long. It must be nice to be validated at long last. I'm still waiting on my $1000, though. An interesting side note that I have resisted sharing until now: On Memorial Day I stopped into Murky Coffee in Arlington and ordered a hot tea (coffee makes me speak my mind a little too freely). It was 3:40 and they were closing at 4 due to the holiday. I was told that they would only serve me tea in a paper to-go cup, not in the proper ceramic pot, because they were getting ready to close. Not really service to crow about. I can't say how the tea was since I declined. I don't know, maybe it should be doubled to $2000. Michael Landrum Chef/Improprietor, Ray's The Steaks
  5. Turbot, you don't mention your transportational capabilities but the only way to eat seafood in DC is to leave DC. Cantler's Riverside outside of Annapolis provides an experience unlike anything else you could find anywhere and will introduce you to the best of what American Cuisine is really about. Just order up a dozen crabs with sweet corn and their onion rings, ask for instructions and go to town. It is worth the trip and the risk of getting lost. Furthermore, it is the type of experience that is the only American equivalent of when a European host takes a visiting guest to a special, favorite restaurant to show-off his local cuisine and to introduce the guest to something special and unique about his culture. If you can't make it there, you must at least go to Jerry's Seafood in Lanham, Maryland and order the Crab Bomb. In the city, I would recommend Old Ebbit for raw bar and then a quick walk to Corduroy for Chef Tom Powers' exquisite scallops and other fish/seafood delights. I am a computer spazz, so maybe someone else can post links and info about these places.
  6. Women with husbands or partners are invariably substantially more beautiful than single women. It comes from being loved.
  7. The phone number and address are practical, useful pieces of information and therefore have no place in this thread. Between you and me, I have no idea what people are always going on about either. We are sort of the Bad News Bears of restaurants: Most people think we are a little better than we really are and forget that it's just Little League. Some people get a little carried away and root for us too much, and some people for some reason feel threatened and go way, way too far out of their way to tear us down. Take us for what we are--have a good steak and some good wine--and you'll have a good time. At the same time, it is my house and my and my co-workers' livelihood and I will defend it as necessary.
  8. For the record: The only "rule" or "policy" at Ray's The Steaks is first-come, first-served. Anyone can call and reserve an unrestricted table for any day and any time, provided they do so with enough notice. Beyond that, we do whatever we can to accommodate anyone the best we can, however we can, so long as that does not discommodate any other guest. This is not always convenient for those who come later. This is a simple principle learned, hopefully, in kindergarten. Some people, however, have a problem with that or do not have the intellectual grasp to understand this basic principle. For the record: I give a private cell phone number to loyal, long-term regular guests and to hot chicks. Sometimes the boyfriend/husband/father/brother/friend/or soon-to-be-ex of a hot chick will also end up with my private number. Not all loyal, long-term regular guests have my private number usually due to an oversight on my part, nor do all hot chicks, sadly. If you do not have my private cell phone number and would like it, then bring in a hot chick--it's just that simple. For the record: If any one has any lingering questions or concerns, or if any one feels that he has been treated shabbily at Ray's, I am always available to discuss them personally. I will always find the time for that and I am remarkably easy to reach. I would much prefer to answer questions directly than to have incomplete or incorrect information posted on a public forum.
  9. Hi. I'm Michael and I'm a Palena-holic. It's been two days since I've had my last crayfish bisque and roasted chicken.
  10. Due to our extended aging cycle, the exacting and time-consuming standards necessary to prepare these cuts correctly, and the unpredictability of the frequency with which guests order these lesser-known cuts we have found it possible to offer only one of these cuts at a time and maintain the quality and proper aging of the meat. That is what Jarad meant by "it is one or the other." ← Thanks Michael for clarifying that. It makes total sense now. I'm really showing my ignorance in these first posts on EG. I think I need to go back and do some review. ← Chris, there was no ignorance on your part what so ever. You merely repeated in good faith what you were told. Your post was thoughtful, intelligent, comprehensive and very, very welcome and appreciated. Much in the world of beef is subject to confusion and misunderstanding. And, all human communications are, alas, imperfect.
  11. Due to our extended aging cycle, the exacting and time-consuming standards necessary to prepare these cuts correctly, and the unpredictability of the frequency with which guests order these lesser-known cuts we have found it possible to offer only one of these cuts at a time and maintain the quality and proper aging of the meat. That is what Jarad meant by "it is one or the other." As much as I love the flat iron, the onglet (if you have to choose one) is the better, more distinctive choice. The onglet, or hanger, is from the diaphragm area. The flat iron is the fileted paleron muscle from the front shoulder, or chuck. Do not buy either of these cuts if they have not been aged at least twenty-one days (we age more than double that) before trimming. We are more than happy to answer any question concerning our product or any other cut of beef at 703/841-7297--leave a message and I will call you back at the earliest convenience. Further, if anyone is interested in a primer on the fabrication of any cut, feel free to visit us and we will be happy to give as detailed a lesson as you would like. Call to arrange a visit. We cut meat everyday, Tuesday through Sunday, from 11 AM until 5 PM, and all are welcome. Not only is this an excellent way to learn about beef, but it is an excellent opportunity to solve the seemingly impenetrable mystery of what it is that we do when we are not answering the phones.
  12. Dinner at Palena on Friday night: An exquisite experience. Sublime, flawless preparations--some of the best cooking I have ever had, anywhere. Perfect service. Now I know why Frank is the man. Profound admiration for the work done at Palena. Profuse thanks to all at Palena for an ideal night out.
  13. Joe-- You are far too intelligent and perceptive in your observations to continue to miss the simple point that what you continue to harp about is the direct result of the limited size of the place, not a decision on my part. Why should I have to continue to apololgize to you for the fact that after working my ass off for twelve years, saving every penny that I could, putting everything I had on the line, even liquidating my IRA to stay afloat when Ray's was about to go under, that I was not able to build a restaurant to suit your needs? Three years, seven days a week, one hundred hours a week, no vacation, no days off--how much more of my time do you want so that your calls never go unanswered? What you call arrogance is what a small restaurant does to survive the best it can, while satisfying its clientele the best it can. --Michael
  14. When I crush out a cuisine, the saucing definitely tends to be heavy-handed, overflowing even. But that's me. When a dish is really fine, it is best to first smash out, then crush out. You don't want to leave anything undone. Save banging out, however, for staff meals. Don't you agree John?
  15. The problem, Michael, is that EVERY reservation you make for 6 or 6:30 is told that they must be out within 90 minutes. You prioritize those who come later and allow them to stay as long as they want. Why shouldn't SOME of the earlier tables be allowed to stay longer? You've established a two tiered system where early reservations mandate a time limit and later do not. But some people, such as myself, want to come early. Do you turn over a party of six or eight who come early in 90 minutes also? I cannot imagine going to your restuarant with five others and finishing our dinner in 90 minutes. A larger group, by definition, just takes longer. All I am suggesting is that by having EVERY earlier reservation limited to 90 minutes you create situations where some dinners do not like this type of restriction. ← I typically do not seat parties of larger than 4 before 8. They almost always prove to be disruptive of service and other guests' experience at earlier times. Also, if a table tries to book at 6 and that table is not previously reserved for 7:30 I will acommodate that table with no limits (first come first served, remember?). That almost never happens. But no, I do not make every table available for seating at 6. I stagger seating. I don't start driving in fourth gear, either, or brush my teeth after going to bed. I also do not board a rollercoaster while the train is still moving and full, of after it has left the platform. It would be nice if I could demand to ride twice, or even three times, in a row, though, and make others wait until I was done riding. Better yet, my own private roller coaster that no one else could ride.
  16. Joe-- As comprehensive, thorough and thoughtful your response is, you do not take two things into consideration: one, you do not consider that Ray's has 45 seats while other restaurants with similar cuisine that you compare Ray's to typically seat 125-250; two, if the peak time slots with no time constraints are reserved one to two months in advance, how is that a result of my "policy" or something that I should be expected to be criticized for? Everyone has a choice. I would never criticize anyone for their choice to frequent other establishments, or hesitate to encourage that rather than disappoint them with what I do. --Michael
  17. Mark-- It most certainly is, as is obvious from the repeated language and ad hominem agenda. It is too bad that what is so obvious to you, a mere spectator, was not recognized as such before that post was allowed.
  18. I second Nadya's thoughts. I had a thoroughly enjoyable meal recently. Very, very satisfying, very intelligently designed menu, very well executed. Thoughtful, intelligent, impressive wine list. Big thanks to the gracious staff and I recommend a visit to all.
  19. Sorry, late to this thread. Ray's already is nothing more than a place that is all about cash and cramming in as many people as possible. What ever made you think otherwise? Actually, I am opening Silver Spring so I can stop having to cram people into Ray's and let it go back to being a neighborhood restaurant. I'm with Joe on this, by the way, it's the Viennas and the Herndons, the Silver Springs and the Kentlands that will allow chefs to shine and make an honest living honestly and redeem DC as a restaurant town. Bring it to the people and work your heart out for them. Don't worry about the Hummer or the Porsche, just remember who you are working for. It's not so much about rents, although that can slowly suffocate an operation; it's that no DC landlord will sign a lease with an individual operator (and rightly so for the most part) without a ridiculous amount of well-connected backing and, more perniciously, the cost of build-out, PR hype and manpower necessary to do business in DC. To compete in DC you simply must open at the level of IndeBleu, Le Paradou or at the very least Mie N Yiu. And you better believe that Adamson and Demetrou gets paid in full, up-front and in cash (or certified check). Meanwhile, not to worry, the rest of us can just pay extra for our produce, wine, meat, fish and supplies to cover the cost of others not paying their bills.
  20. I finally found time for the pleasure of a meal at this superb restaurant. Fantastic meal, truly gracious hospitality. The best, the best bread pudding I have had. Definitely a top place to recommend. The only problem is that I now suffer from a severe case of wine-list envy.
  21. The coffee at Ray's is crap. Good coffee would just encourage people to linger.
  22. Mark--when have I ever shown you anything but respect to your face?
  23. yes, but what does this even mean? ← Who the f- knows? None of what I say even makes sense to me. In fact, I have no clue as to anything I say or do...unless I am drunk, in which case it all makes sense. By the way, who are these other guys Tom was talking about? I don't know either of them. The names even sound made up.
  24. Any more questions? I'd love to have you over some time for some coffee Todd!!! Seriously! I'm so happy to talk to culinary-folks about coffee and espresso! I'm also looking forward to visiting Restaurant Eve myself! ← Hurry up to Restaurant Eve and then hurry down to Ray's with my money. Do not pass Maestro. Do not think the "culinary folks" are happy to talk to you. Do show discretion and respect while commenting on the work of others.
  25. James Beard puts his seal of approval on that one. ← No mention of The Archbishops' Chefs Club.
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