Ray’s Cafe Limited Summer Menu Aug. 1-15!

Ray’s Cafe is offering an exciting limited summer menu August 1-15!

Join us on our famous Cafe patio to enjoy the best views in Seattle while you sip on our house Bloody Mary with a Bering Sea King Crab Leg(!), and a fresh Dungeness Crab Roll!

Grab your sunnies and we’ll see you on the patio!!!

Ray’s Cafe August 1-15 Special Menu

The Deadliest Cocktail” Ray’s Bloody Mary with house infused spicy vodka, a giant Bering Sea King Crab Leg garnish and a spicy rim, $44

Dungeness Crab Roll fennel and green apple slaw, New England style hot dog roll, $24

House Smoked Salmon Salad local snap peas, frisee, green goddess dressing, $14

Washington Blueberry-Passion Fruit Parfait coconut panna cotta, passion fruit chai, local blueberries, $10

Avennia ‘Oliane’ Sauvignon Blanc, Yakima Valley, WA 2017 $16 glass/$62 bottle. Barrel fermented with native yeast, the aromas of lemon verbena, lemon oil and herbs emerge. The flavors are tart, racy and acid driven, with a long, drawn out finish. It’s elegant and subtle.

Take a Peek at Ray’s Award-Winning Catering Team

Ray’s Catering hosts Seattle’s best private events, from weddings, anniversaries, birthday parties and life celebrations to fundraisers, networking events, luncheons and business meetings. In 2018 we also took home the award for Best Rehearsal Dinner in Seattle Bride!

The Ray’s Catering team works hard behind the scenes to make these events come to life, from planning all of the details to cooking delicious menus! In particular our Catering Sous Chef Gustavo Guerra is a vital part of the team. He creates Ray’s seasonal catering menus and prepares the dishes with help from his talented team. His knowledge of cooking and food and his eye for what pleases a crowd makes him excellent at his job!

If you are planning an event contact our Director of Catering Amanda Viereck and host it with Ray’s either here in Ballard or at a venue of your choice!

We offer private events at our Northwest Room located next to Ray’s Boathouse, with a private deck overlooking Puget Sound and the Olympic Mountains, indoor/outdoor spaces, custom menus and much more! Contact us to select your date then plan your menu, beverages and more while our team coordinates the details.

Call 206.789.6309 or email rayscatering@rays.com today! Learn more about our Catering team here.

Take a look at our Northwest Room and Chef Gustavo’s newest menu items:

 

 

Celebrate at Ray’s this Valentine’s Day

Treat your special someone to waterfront views at Ray’s this Valentine’s Day!

Shilshole Bay and the Olympic Mountains make the perfect backdrop for a romantic night out in Seattle; and our menus of fresh, sustainable PNW seafood and local  ingredients will delight until the very end.

Ray’s Boathouse
Couples are invited to take in spectacular views in our first floor Boathouse restaurant as you indulge in a delicious three-course seafood menu created by our Executive Chef Paul Duncan.

The three-course menu is $65 per person excluding tax and gratuity, and will be available Thursday, February 14 to Saturday, February 16. Our regular Boathouse menu will also be available on these dates. Guests are encouraged to reserve in the Boathouse from 5-9 p.m. or you may dine in the bar on a first come basis. To reserve visit rays.com/boathouse.

Boathouse Valentine’s 3-Course Menu

Starters

Choice of one
Oyster Tempura
chorizo vinaigrette, sea bean salad

Poke Tacos
ginger-soy marinade, wonton wrapper, avocado mousseline

Salad of Baby Romaine GF
hard egg vinaigrette, radish, pickled jalapeno, spice dusted

Entrées

Choice of one
Alaskan Halibut
pan seared, poached prawns, crispy potatoes, lemon-butter, capers, creamed spinach

Seared Ahi Steak GF
cumin-spice rubbed, shiitake, snap pea, soy-butter potatoes

Filet & Half Maine Lobster Tail
applewood grilled filet, butter poached lobster, garlic whipped potatoes, charred broccolini, smoked onion ring, perigeuex

Desserts

Choice of one
Mousse Napoléon
caramel mousse, vanilla mousse, spiced sponge cake

Chocolate Indulgence
chambord sabayon, fresh raspberries

Ray’s Café
Located upstairs from the Boathouse, our casual waterfront restaurant and bar is offering a special a la carte menu this Valentine’s Day weekend alongside our regular Cafe menu. Enjoy gorgeous views on the Seattle waterfront as you feast on fresh, local seafood.

The a la carte menu will be available Valentine’s Day weekend Thursday, February 14 to Saturday, February 16. Guests can reserve in the Café from 11:30 a.m.-9 p.m. or dine in the bar on a first come basis. For more information and to reserve visit rays.com/café.

Café Valentine’s A la Carte Menu

Starter
Dungeness Crab Toast $15

Entrée
Filet of Beef & Petite Lobster Tail $58
Grilled Double R Ranch filet, butter poached lobster tail, fried potatoes, garlic greens

Grilled Mahi Mahi $36
Glazed baby carrots, Jasmine rice, pineapple beurre blanc

Dessert
Mousse Napoléon $9
Carmel mousse, vanilla mousse, spiced sponge cake

Chocolate Indulgence $9
Chambord sabayon, fresh raspberries

Ray’s turns 45: Thank You to Our Guests & Team!

Ray’s turns 45 on Saturday, June 23rd and we want to first and foremost thank our incredible, loyal guests for getting us here. Without you this would not be possible. To our team, thank you for being our family.

Thank you Ballard. We’ve worked with your grandparents, parents and children. You’ve been our team, our clients, our purveyors and our partners. And thank you to our guests from all over the world who visit Ray’s as an iconic Pacific Northwest restaurant!

We look forward to continuing to serve you for the next 45 years and beyond! Follow our Facebook, Instagram and Twitter for specials, gorgeous sunsets and all the fresh seafood your eyes can possibly handle.

Make your reservations for the Café at 206.782.0094 or online; or in the Boathouse at 206.789.3770 or online to celebrate with us all summer long!

Shellfest Returns to Ray’s Café Jan. 17-31!

Shrimp copy

Shellfest is back this winter at Ray’s Café from Wednesday, January 17 through Wednesday, January 31!

Our Executive Chef Paul Duncan has created a delicious, limited-time Shellfest menu featuring an array of fresh, local shellfish including oysters, snow crab, clams, shrimp and more in our upstairs Café.

Enjoy them while they last and try them all from January 17-31! Make your reservations for the Café at 206.782.0094 or online today.

Café Shellfest Menu

  • Popcorn Shrimp breaded and fried, served with tartar and cocktail sauce ($12)
  • Oysters on the Half Shell served with lemon and cocktail sauce (Market Price)
  • Full Pound of Steamed Clams with house smoked bacon, white wine, oregano and butter ($16)
  • Blackened Shrimp sautéed in butter, onions and bourbon, served with garlic bread ($16)
  • Mussels in Marinara simmered in spiced tomato broth, linguini and fresh basil ($23)
  • Peel & Eat Shrimp poached and served chilled with lemon and cocktail sauce ($9)
  • Snow Crab & Frites poached legs, seasoned shoestring fries, served with tartar sauce and butter ($21)
  • Smoked Scallop Carbonara house smoked scallops, bacon, cream, roasted pepper, squid ink spaghetti ($23)

Announcing our Guest Favorite Menu Nov. 15-21

Ray's Salmon w:Onion Marmalade

Drumroll please! After sorting through your emails, tweets, comments and survey answers, we are pleased to present our Guest Favorite Menu! This 3-course menu showcases your all-time favorite Ray’s appetizer, entrees and dessert from our 44-year history.

This limited-time menu will be offered a la carte in the Boathouse and Cafe from Wednesday, November 15 until Tuesday, November 21, as part of our “Win Dinner for a Year at Ray’s” contest. Use your Loyalty Card each time you dine until November 21 at 9 pm to be entered to win “Dinner for a Year at Ray’s.” Don’t have a Loyalty Card? Sign up for free today!

To make a reservation for the Cafe call 206.782.0094 or visit online, or the Boathouse at 206.789.3770 or visit online.

Appetizer: Mediterranean mussels, Taylor Shellfish Farms mussels, Thai red curry, coconut milk broth  $15

Cafe Entrée: Grilled Wild Northwest King Salmon with Yukon Gold potatoes, broccolini, Kalamata olives, fennel, black kale, lemon, capers $36

Boathouse EntréeApplewood Grilled Wild King Salmon with sweet onion marmalade, fennel dusted cauliflower, baby carrots, grilled King Oyster mushrooms, pepitas (pictured) $45

Dessert: Scharffen Berger Chocolate Indulgence with Chambord Sabayon $9

Win Dinner for a Year at Ray’s Nov. 1-21!

Ray's Fire Boat Cropped

This November, as we look forward to 2018 and turning 45, we want to pause for a moment to celebrate the past, present and future of Ray’s, with you our beloved guests.

From November 1-21 enjoy three weeks of special menus that throwback to memorable moments and eras in our history. It will conclude with the drawing of a very special prize… Dinner for a Year at Ray’s for one lucky guest!

But first we want to hear from you!

Help us create a special 3-course menu of your favorite Ray’s dishes during the final week. Describe for us your most memorable Ray’s appetizer, entrée and dessert dishes from a recent experience (one in each category) or get out your copy of Ray’s cookbook, “Seafood Secrets of the Pacific Northwest” and tell us which appetizer, entrée and dessert is your favorite by Friday, November 3 at 11:59pm. Then our Executive Chef Paul Duncan will recreate a 3-course menu made up of the top item in each category, available in the Café and Boathouse Wednesday, November 15-Tuesday, November 21.

Tell us your top choices on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter, email us at rays@rays.com, or fill out a quick online poll. Don’t have a cookbook? Don’t worry we have some gently used copies available for purchase at the Café.

How to Win Dinner for a Year at Ray’s:

  • Starting Wednesday, November 1, 2017 and ending at dinner service on Tuesday, November 21, 2017 each time you dine at the Café or our first floor Boathouse and use your Loyalty Card you will be automatically entered to win dinner for a year at Ray’s Café and Boathouse.
  • The more times you dine the more chances you have to win.
  • On Wednesday, November 22 we will put all of the entries into a drawing and choose a winner at random.
  • Don’t have a Loyalty Card sign up here and start entering to win today!

Each week we will feature a different multi-course menu with nods to our past, try all of them and get entered to win each time!

Here’s what’s in store:

November 1-7: Guest Chef, Ray’s Founding Partner Russ Wohlers

The man who put Ray’s on the map with his simple approach to cooking the best local seafood, is back in the kitchen cooking up some of his favorite original Ray’s recipes:

  • Appetizer: Teriyaki Salmon
  • Entrée: Grilled Ling Cod with Black Lentil-Chanterelle Ragout
  • Dessert: Mum Mum’s Apple Pie

November 8-14: James Beard House Dinner

In 1992 Ray’s cooked a very special dinner at the James Beard House in New York City. For this week only, we are recreating that dinner in the Café and Boathouse for you to enjoy in full or choose courses a la carte:

  • Appetizer: Ray’s Dungeness Crab Cakes with Roasted Red Pepper-Lemon Aioli
  • Appetizer: Assorted Northwest Oysters on the Half Shell with Champagne Mignonette
  • Entrée: Chatham Straits Black Cod in Sake Kasu with Sesame-Rice Cake and Wasabi-Ginger Emulsion
  • Entrée: Crisp Butter Lettuce with Raspberry-Thyme Vinaigrette and Vanilla-Scented Alaskan Spot Prawns
  • Dessert: Scharffen Berger Chocolate Indulgence with Chambord Sabayon

November 15-21: You Choose the Menu!

Experience your favorite Ray’s recipes in a 3-course menu that you, our guests created!

We will be tallying up votes from your emails, social media comments and our online poll, to determine which appetizers, entrées and dessert to serve. The top item with the most votes for appetizer, entrée, and dessert will make up the menu. We will announce this guest favorite menu via social media before it begins.

Good luck to all, and we look forward to seeing you soon!

 

 

Official “Dinner for a Year at Ray’s” Contest Rules

How to Enter

  • Use your Ray’s Loyalty Card each time you dine from November 1- 21, 2017 and be entered to win dinner for a year at Ray’s. Each time you use your Loyalty Card your name will be entered in to the drawing to win dinner for a year at Ray’s, good in the Café and Boathouse.
  • Must have a Loyalty Card with a valid phone number to enter. Sign up here or at Ray’s Café or Boathouse.
  • One entry per day per venue (Café and Boathouse) will be counted towards the contest.
  • No minimum purchase amount is necessary to participate.

Prize

  • One winner will be drawn at random on Wednesday, November 22 to win Dinner for a Year at Ray’s, valid through November 30, 2018. We will announce the winner via Facebook, Twitter and Instagram and contact them via phone.

Fine Print

  • Winner will be selected at random.
  • Entries are limited to one per day per venue (Café and Boathouse). You will be entered each time you dine during this period and use your Ray’s Loyalty Card.
  • Start date: Wednesday, November 1, 2017 at 11:30 a.m. P.S.T.; entries made prior to this will not be valid.
  • End date: Tuesday, November 21, 2017 at 11:59 p.m. P.S.T.; entries made after this date will not be valid.
  • Winner must claim prize within 48 hours of being contacted by Ray’s via social media, email and/or phone. Or we will draw again.
  • Employees of Ray Boathouse, Inc. and their immediate families are not eligible to participate.
  • Entrants must be at least 18 years of age.
  • By claiming a prize, the winners consent to Ray’s use of their names and image/likeness including photography and video in future Ray’s marketing and advertising without compensation or further approval. Further, by accepting a prize, the winner agrees not to assert any claims and to release Ray’s, from any and all liabilities, injuries or damages sustained in connection with the award or use of the prize.
  • Winners are solely responsible for reporting winnings and paying all applicable taxes.
  • The odds of winning will be one out of the total number of eligible responses submitted.
  • Grand Prize:
    • $2,600 gift card to use toward “Dinner for a Year at Ray’s.” Valid in the Café and Boathouse through November 30, 2018. Equates to $50 per week for 52 weeks.
    • Cannot be used on Ray’s merchandise or in combination with any other offer. 
  • Menu items subject to change based on availability.

General Conditions

  • Void where prohibited / restricted by law.
  • All federal, state and local laws apply.
  • Paying and reporting taxes (if any) are the winner’s sole responsibility.
  • Prizes may not be substituted, transferred, redeemed or exchanged for cash, except at the sole discretion of Ray’s.
  • Ray’s is not responsible for illegible, damaged, lost, late or misdirected entries.
  • All submissions become property of Ray’s.
  • Ray’s reserves the right to refuse all prizes to any client who in their sole determination abuses their right to participate or violates the rules.
  • Should the winning submission be determined to be untrue or false in any way, the winner must be responsible for any and all real costs associated with grand prize or another winner may be picked at the discretion of Ray’s management.
  • All conditions, rules, and regulations of Ray’s Loyalty Card program apply.

These are the official contest rules of the “Dinner for a Year at Ray’s” contest. These rules may be subject to change without notice.

Reeling in the years at Ray’s by Russ Wohlers

Russ Wohlers

Ray’s started with the small kernel of an idea that salmon and other fish could be broiled just like a steak on a beach bonfire grill, after reeling it into the boat from a good day of fishing. Then came halibut, lingcod, sable fish, oysters, mussels and clams. Excellent seafood that could be cooked in a way that made the true flavor of the food shine. Simple, good ingredients, cooked with herbs and salt and pepper…

But lets back up to how this simple idea mixed with the right people at the right time, altered the way Seattleites and the Northwest not only dined, but approached food.

Growing up on a small apple farm in the Wenatchee Valley, there was nothing but fresh seasonal food to enjoy, and fishing salmon and trout in the Wenatchee River with friends was my reward for chores and hard work on the ranch. Catching and eating fresh fish, as well as harvesting fruits and vegetables was a highlight of my youth, and this way of eating was forever engrained in me.

In the mid 1960s I spent a summer in Southeast Alaska as a cook and crewmember of a purse seiner, learning the ropes in the kitchen and furthering my knowledge about fishing. The money I earned allowed me to spend a quarter at the University of Washington where I met an exchange student from Austria whose older brother was managing a boutique hotel in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. So, off I went on a grand adventure that was to last three years in Jackson Hole, where I tutored under a European trained chef for a period of time.

It was here I discovered that I really enjoyed cooking and restaurants. This led me to Sun Valley, Idaho where I managed a steak and salad concept for two years before getting transferred to Seattle to manage a different restaurant within the company.

One day in Seattle, I was picking up supplies at Bargreen Restaurant Supply (now Bargreen Ellingston) I asked Sam Bargreen about good restaurant locations in the city and he suggested Ray’s Boathouse, “it’s a little out of town but a really good location”.

I took his advice, went out to Ray’s and was instantly inspired to make the concept of simply prepared, fresh local seafood a reality. From a partnership involving myself, Earl Lasher and Duke Moscrip, Ray’s Boathouse & Café as it is today was born.

The idea was to do as much as possible with a few really good ingredients. Ray’s started assembling cooks that had passion and ideas to do different things, to innovate. We reeled in great ideas from everyone that offered innovation. Ray’s then filtered these ideas through our identity, standards of quality and concept to ensure that we stayed on course.

We had a wholesale fish buyer’s license very early and bought fish right off the boats that fished in Puget Sound in front of the restaurant.

In order to get really good fish Wayne Ludvigson and I put out the word that we would pay cash if fisherman would bring us the best quality fish. That started fishermen as well as gatherers coming to our back door with the best they had. We didn’t overcook. We served our seafood with steamed fresh vegies, crisp salads and fluffy rice/grain mixtures, and the rest is history.

The dynamism of the Seattle market has challenged our industry to be innovative. Over the nearly 45 years that Ray’s has been reeling in ideas much has changed and much has remained the same. When I started cooking 50 years ago cooks were the “low man on the totem pole” today chefs are the stars.

What makes a great restaurant and a great chef is longevity. This requires balance between cooking skills, people skills, business skills and innovation. These skills combined create success, and success allows longevity.

Of course longevity doesn’t exist without our guests. We have the most incredible, loyal guests. They have praised us, challenged us, pushed us to innovate further, humbled us, and inspired us to never stop improving.

Hospitality has always been a driving force at Ray’s. My mother’s family was from England and manners and hospitality was very important in our household growing up. Besides an excellent seafood restaurant, I wanted all of our guests to leave Ray’s feeling as if they’d just left a family meal, full of warmth, great food and wine, and a level of care they’d not experienced in a restaurant before.

Over the last 44 years we have reeled in excellent teammates that added to the success of Ray’s then graduated to own their own restaurants, wineries, and other businesses. We are always evolving as a company and currently we are doing so both physically and philosophically. We have younger partners in our new co-owners Douglas Zellers and Tom Olsson who partner well with Executive Chef Paul Duncan to bring new energy, innovation, seek out excellent new team members, all while staying true to our roots of simply prepared local seafood.

The future at Ray’s is brimming with excitement for what the next 45 years will bring… who will be the next fisherman we discover with new improved sustainable practices, what wines will our team reel in that creates an incredible new pairing, who will cook in our kitchens and blow us all away with their talent… we don’t know yet but we hope you’ll be along for the ride!

See you soon,

Russ Wohlers, Ray’s Founding Partner

Ray’s Celebrates Alaska Herring Week

Alaska Herring Week Ray's Boathouse 2017

Alaska Herring Week starts today through June 25th!

This week celebrates herring, the most consumed fish in the world, but often overlooked in the U.S. It contains more omega 3s than salmon, a Northwest favorite, and imparts delicious flavor to any number of dishes – not just pickled! It can be poached, smoked, grilled, fried, you name it. That’s why we’re excited to be joining in the effort to raise awareness of our local Alaska herring and all it has to offer.

Executive Chef Paul Duncan has created a beautiful herring dish available today through June 25th in the first floor Boathouse: crispy fried herring fillet, potato blini, pickled radish, and tarragon cream for $26.

Join us and savor this sustainably harvested fish while it lasts! To learn more about Alaska Herring Week, click here.

For Boathouse reservations, call 206.789.3770 or click here.