With just a few hours notice, Rays the Steaks restaurateur Michael Landrum opened his latest venture, steak-and-frites joint Ray's^3 on Wednesday night.
Pronounced "Ray's to the third," the Arlington eatery, at 1650 Wilson Blvd., is a streamlined version of previous Rays concepts, with more simple menu items and lower price points. Landrum had put word out Wednesday afternoon, but neglected to offer the restaurant's name or any menu items. When doors opened at 5 p.m., patrons were greeted by austere, unadorned walls and uncovered wooden tables.
Eater reports that offerings have yet to be fully fleshed out, but currently include 13 combinations of steak and sauce, all served with fries and salad.
There are also seafood and chicken items, visible in a menu posted by Eater.
Hanger steak with Bearnaise sauce, sold for $16.99, is the cheapest option, and a filet mignon surrounded by foie gras, truffled porcini mushrooms and sauce Bordelaise tops out at $33.99. Most steaks frites on the menu hover between $19 and $24, a price point that particularly pleases Landrum, who says "the value that we offer sometimes gets lost because there's nothing to compare to," while ticking off high- and low-end chain steakhouses. Fried chicken, a few seafood dishes (crab, salmon, shrimp, catfish) and the requisite portobello mushroom entree help out the non-red meat eaters.
ARLNow reveals that bar food and milkshakes are likely on the way. Samples of banana nut milkshakes were given out Wednesday night, and an alcoholic White Russian milkshake is currently in the works, the website reports.
The restaurant's last-minute opening is yet another twist in Landrum's empire expansion plan. Earlier this year, the mini mogul announced plans for more Ray's concepts -- including Ray's the Catch, Ray's the Glass and Ray's the Game -- but all have yet to materialize.
Washingtonian's Todd Kliman notes that the Ray's^3 site was originally supposed to house Ray's the Catch. "Landrum declined to say where that restaurant would open, or even if it would open," according to Kliman.
WATCH: Michael Landrum Discusses His Business
Photo by Flickr user tedeytan using an Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic Creative Commons license