Easter Sunday Dining at Ray’s Cafe

Marking our first reservation event since reopening the Café dining room (and takeout) earlier this month, Ray’s Café is delighted to announce our Easter holiday, Sunday, April 4, 2021. In addition to offering our Café menu on Easter, we’re extending a special three-course plated menu with choice of one under each course:

Soup or Salad Starter
Soup du jour
Ray’s Classic Chowder
Caesar Salad
Spring Pea Salad 

Entrée
Pan Seared Rockfish, rice pilaf, grilled asparagus, sautéed mushroom medley, chive beurre blanc
Grilled Sirloin, twice baked potato, broccolini, demi-glace
Vegetable Coconut Curry, somen noodles, fresh herbs, lime, chili oil, scallion oil (V, GF)

Dessert
Seasonal Berry Crisp
Brownie
Olympic Mountain Creamery Sorbet
Olympic Mountain Creamery Ice Cream
Pricing for this special menu is $55 (dine-in only; beverages, tax, gratuity not included).Reservations

  • We will be offering plated meals including our Café greatest hits menu, our Easter three-course pre fixe, and our children’s menu for those 11 years of age and younger from 11:30am – 9pm.
  • We will not be offering a buffet.
  • We are accepting reservations for inside dining on Easter Sunday April 4th for groups up to a maximum of 6 people including children and infants. Reservations can be made here.
  • If upon arrival you decide you’d like to sit outside we will cancel your inside reservation and add you to the end of the waitlist.
  • Guests arriving without indoor reservations will be offered our covered and heated tent and/or uncovered outside seating, weather pending.
  • Please be timely for your reservation as we are not allowed any lobby space to hold guests.
  • We do not offer happy hour and do not honor any promotional discounts on holidays.
  • We continue to be walk ins only on non-special event holidays.
  • Loyalty cards are accepted and encouraged!

Book your Easter table online or by calling 206.789.3770

We’re Back! March 3 Reopening

Ray’s Café will open for dine-in service at 25% capacity and for takeout service on Wednesday, March 3! The deck will also be open, so join us on a walk-in basis for the views you’ve missed and the food you crave.

 

We’ll be waiting for you with such classics as our Seared (Oregon) Albacore Cobb Salad, the Blackened Neah Bay Rockfish Sandwich, our quintessential Grilled Wild Alaskan King Salmon, the ginger-aromatic Vegetable Coconut Curry, and our beloved Steak Frites. View the full menus online; dine-in or order takeout beginning March 3.

Please note, cloth face coverings are required anytime guests are not seated and while at the table and not actively eating or drinking. Maximum allowed party size is six people, including children and infants.

 

Café Lunch and Dinner Hours
Wednesday-Sunday, 11:30 a.m.-9 p.m.
Happy Hour: Wednesday-Sunday, 4-6 p.m.
Closed Mondays and Tuesdays
walk-ins only; not accepting reservations

Note: The Boathouse remains temporarily closed for dinner and bar service.

St. Patrick’s Celebration March 17
Mark your calendars for specials available for dine-in at the Café or via takeout! House made Corned Beef Sandwiches on rye bread and a special whiskey flight.

$15 flights of Jameson Whiskey
(Five half-ounce pours)
Jameson Original
Jameson Black Barrel
Jameson Caskmates IPA Cask
Jameson Caskmates Stout Cask
Jameson Cold Brew
Sláinte!

 

Long Live the Kings’ Salmon Stream, A Benefit on March 18

 

Ray’s is proud to serve as a fundraising partner with Long Live the Kings (LLTK), as in King salmon! Join us in supporting their upcoming virtual event and auction byRSVPing and bidding in their auction (opens early on 3/15). Look for an afternoon of boating and a picnic featuring Ray’s food and treats, and other great items and experiences. Your support helps LLTK in fulfilling its mission to restore wild salmon and support sustainable fishing in the Pacific Northwest, a mission we are also dedicated to here at Ray’s.

A Taste of Rays – Feb 2021 Newsletter

Raid Our Cellar for Valentines Weekend Enjoy a Ray’s Classic Dish At Home

 

Loyal guests, teammates, and alumni,

We are all very excited to see the regionwide healthcare metrics slowly improving. Our most vulnerable populations are receiving vaccines, children are slowly starting to return to school campuses, and the days are getting longer as the sun starts its march northward along the Olympic Mountains. These are all indicators that we are moving closer to the beginning of a new chapter. We are all anxious to start doing what we love again, but still don’t know when that will be. At this point Rays will re-open when we are allowed to have at least 50% inside capacity or consistent deck-dining weather. So for now that means that we are in advanced planning stages for what should be a very busy spring and summer.

As we continue to be patient and do the right thing, my craving for some of the classic Ray’s dishes grows stronger. I was recently asked if we could share the recipe for our signature Thai Mussels. This dish has been on our menu since at least 1983. The freshest ocean flavors of the mussels, combined with the aromatics of Thai curry, are a surefire way to lift your spirits. We hope you have as much fun making it at home as we have serving it here to you.

Thai Mussels Recipe:

Ingredients
1 cup coconut milk
2 teaspoons fresh lime juice
1 teaspoon red curry paste
2 teaspoons Thai fish sauce
2/3 cup sake
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger
1 teaspoon chopped fresh basil
2 pounds Penn Cove mussels, cleaned and debearded

Garnish
2-4 springs fresh basil

In a large bowl whisk together a broth made using the coconut milk, lime juice, curry paste, fish sauce, sake, garlic, ginger, and chopped basil. Heat a heavy saucepan over high heat for about 30 seconds. Add mussels and broth. Bring to a boil and reduce heat. Cover and simmer for about 5 minutes or until mussels are fully open. Discard any mussels that do not open. Divide the mussels into bowls, spoon over the broth, garnish with basil sprigs, and serve with plenty of crusty bread for broth-sopping.

Pick Up Valentine’s Bubbles
While we are known for our treasured waterfront location, we are also renowned for our vast premium wine collection. For the approaching Valentine’s weekend, while we are not serving dinner for this occasion, we are opening our virtual cellar for special orders of extremely limited selections of Champagne and Sparkling Wines by the bottle, from near and far. Cava, Cremant, Champagne and Sparkling Wines are all available! Examples on offer:

  • Bollinger Grand Année Brut Aÿ 2008 – $300
  • Cristal by Louis Roderer, Brut, Montagne de Reims 2008 – $445
  • Domaine Huet Pétillant Brut Réserve, Vouvray 2009 – $90
  • Ruinart Brut Rosé Reims, France NV – $135
  • Sea Smoke ‘Sea Spray’ Blanc de Noirs Santa Barbara, Calif. 2014 – $155

All it takes is a click and your fast-acting decision to get your hands on something you won’t find just anywhere. Simply click, peruse, purchase and schedule your pickup time starting now. Items must be picked up no later than Thursday, Feb. 11. Not to burst your bubble, but these bubbles will go quickly, so don’t delay!  Shop here.

Happy New Year!

 

Community Spirit in 2020
&
Looking Ahead to 2021
As we enter the New Year, I wish to take this time to reflect on some wonderful things that our community helped make happen in 2020. I hope to convey my gratitude for all of the hard work and dedication that our guests, team, fishers, farmers, brewers, distillers, and purveyors have put in to make these possible. This was not an easy year for anyone. However, much like sharing food, adversity can bring people together. When communities come together, great things can happen. And we saw this happen here at Ray’s on a daily basis. I am humbled to be part of an organization that fosters this togetherness. Here are a few successes that touched me for which I am most grateful:

Rock The Vote:  We engaged rockthevote.org and encouraged restaurant industry voter registration through social media, in-house materials, and our Ray’s newsletter. The result contributed to more than 4.1 million Washington State voters casting a ballot this year, compared to the 3 million cast in 2008.

Black Lives Matter: We donated 100% of the gratuity from the first month of our meals-to-go program and helped raise awareness within our community as we help to declare racism a public health crisis in Washington State.

Ballard Food Bank: We provided two large perishable food drop-offs plus 100% of our gratuity from our December “gifts to go” promotion to help support those in need throughout our neighborhood.

Educator Gift Card Promotion: This past September, as remote learning started up again, we offered a gratis $20 card for each $100 in gift cards purchased with the hopes that people would gift it to those who are (or have become) educators in their families.

Reinventing Rays Happy Hour: When we re-opened in June, we knew that Seattle would need “more happy.” Our team worked hard to reinstitute our famous Cafe happy hour and facilitated some much-needed outdoor relaxation time for friends and families at a discount.

Best Seafood in Seattle: The fishers and purveyors who bring us amazing seafood, the culinary team members who make it happen, and our loyal Rays fans who voted us to the top as the Seattle Met magazine Best of 2020 “Best Seafood Restaurant”for the second consecutive year.

Resiliency: The guests who have supported us for 47 years, our flexible team that embraces ‘speed to market’ and absorbs change after change, and our compassionate leadership groups’ long-term strategic vision have allowed us to be nimble, adapt, and survive this current challenge. We earned a spot on the Seattle P-I’s “16 Historic Seattle Restaurants Still Open – and What They Look Like Today”article posted on 12/4.

Ray’s has been in Ballard long enough to have lived through the 70s oil crisis, the 80s economic depression, the 90s recession, the 2000s dot com bubble-bursting and the housing market crash. There will be a point in the future when we will all look back on 2020 and reflect on how we each persevered over the challenges we faced. I hope that when this happens, we will each be able to remember those around us who helped prop us up, kept us moving, and provided support. I know I certainly will. And I will thank my family, both here at work and at home, for helping me to remain grateful.

Taste Washington Wine Month at Ray’s Mar. 1-31!

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Since the early days of Washington wine, Ray’s has been a proud champion of local winemakers and wineries. In 1982 we were one of two restaurants to receive and sell Leonetti Cellars’ wine with the release of its 1979 Cabernet Sauvignon… what an incredible and robust journey our local wine industry has had since then!

This March we invite you to join us for Taste Washington Wine Month, celebrating the beautiful wines, talented winemakers, and rich, diverse landscape of Washington wine country. From Thursday, March 1 through Saturday, March 31, we will be offering a curated selection of Washington wines from our Wine Director Chip Croteau in the Boathouse and Café.

The Boathouse will be serving six unique and delicious Washington wines by the glass and bottle to enjoy alongside the best view in Seattle, from 5-9pm daily.

Boathouse Taste Washington Wine Month Menu

àMaurice Viognier Columbia Valley, WA 2016 – $16 / $54
The viognier grape is often used for blending in France but has become one of Washington’s greatest white varietals.  Expressive aromas of peach flesh and orchard fruits lead towards kiwi, quince preserve and lemon. A stunner!

Buty Sémillon/Sauvignon Blanc/Muscadelle Columbia Valley, WA 2015 – $15 / $53
A top Washington white blend every year, Nina Buty’s fresh and bright white Bordeaux inspired blend features sémillon, providing eloquent floral tones and textural richness while the sauvignon and muscadelle lend layers of jasmine, grapefruit and lime.

Savage Grace Grüner Veltliner Underwood Mountain Vineyards, Columbia Gorge, WA – $15 / $53
The classic Austrian white grape finds a lovely single vineyard expression with light aromas of white pepper, lime and herb capped off by hints of honey and wet stone in the acid laced finish.

Hedges Syrah ‘DLD’ Cuvée Marcel Dupont, Red Mountain, WA 2013 – $15 / $55
Dedicated to Anne-Marie Hedges grandfather, Marcel Dupont, this cuvée displays the greatest qualities of low yield farming and the hallmarks of Red Mountain syrah: earthy minerality, rich dark fruits, dried spices, cocoa, leather and smoke.

Owen Roe Cabernet Franc ‘Rosa Mystica’ Yakima Valley, WA 2014 – $18 / $65
David O’Reilly’s ‘Rosa Mystica’ begins with aromatics of ripe red cherries, red bell pepper and sage. This leads to flavors of rose petals, red cherry, sagebrush, red raspberry with hints of blood orange. This is a polished and complex wine.

Quilceda Creek Cabernet Sauvignon Columbia Valley, WA 2014 – 3oz $35 / 6oz $70 / bottle $265
A tour de force reminiscent of a first growth Bordeaux, this 100-point wine offers incredible notes of black currants, graphite, lead pencil shavings and crushed rocks in a full-bodied, decadent, insanely layered and seamless style. Ultra-fine tannin, no hard edges and a forward, already hard to resist style.

The Café will be serving select Washington wines by the bottle daily from 11:30am-9pm, including:

  • àMaurice Viognier Columbia Valley, WA 2016
  • Buty Sémillon/Sauvignon Blanc/Muscadelle Columbia Valley, WA 2015
  • Hedges Syrah ‘DLD’ Cuvée Marcel Dupont, Red Mountain, WA 2013

Reserve in the Café at 206.782.0094 or online; and in the Boathouse at 206.789.3770 or online.

REX HILL Wine Dinner at Ray’s Boathouse Mar. 27

rex hill 2

We are thrilled to have Carrie Kalscheuer, Director of Sales & Education for REX HILL and A to Z Wineworks at Ray’s Boathouse on Tuesday, March 27th for a beautiful four-course wine dinner. She will share with us the groundbreaking work that these wineries are engaged in; making both stunning wines as well as forging an organization entrenched in social and environmental care.

I was lucky enough to spend some time in Willamette Valley, Oregon this summer tasting the wines produced there and learning about the storied history and success behind REX HILL and A to Z Wineworks from Carrie. The hospitality they showed me was only second to the quality of the wines.

We look forward to showing you the same hospitality at our wine dinner on March 27th! Our Executive Chef Paul Duncan has teamed up with their winemakers to create a custom, four-course menu featuring the iconic cuisine of Ray’s Boathouse with six award-winning wines from REX HILL and A to Z Wineworks.

REX HILL winery has recently been awarded an ‘Extraordinary Winery Award’ for being an ‘Under the Radar Winery’ from Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate, an accolade that recognizes REX HILL as a winery “poised to become the next-great-thing” in the Americas.  The A to Z Wineworks company, which includes the brand REX HILL, led the way in becoming the first Oregon winery to become a certified B Corporation in 2014. This distinction recognizes organizations that meet rigorous standards of social and environmental performance, accountability, and transparency.

Four-Course Rex Hill Wine Dinner Menu March 27, 2018
First Course: king crab “merus” legs, spot prawns, ginger spiked shimeji mushrooms
A to Z Rosé Bubbles

Second Course: hamachi sashimi, avocado mousseline, sugar snap pea, togarashi, yuzu
A to Z Chardonnay vs. REX HILL Seven Soils Chardonnay

Third Course: king salmon in sake kasu, roasted baby carrots, pork fried rice cake, scallion-soy
REX HILL Willamette Valley Pinot Noir vs. REX HILL Jacob-Hart Estate Vineyard Pinot Noir

Dessert: chocolate-praline cremeux, orange caramel, spiced caramel popcorn
A to Z Riesling

If you have any allergies, please contact us to ensure we can accommodate.

Price is $115 per person (excluding tax and gratuity). Dinner will run from 6:30-9:30 pm in the downstairs Boathouse overlooking Shilshole Bay and the Olympic Mountains. Seating will be communal and convivial.

All reservations can be made by calling 206.789.6309 or rayscatering@rays.com. A credit card will be needed at the time of the reservation to reserve your spot.

Even though March is Taste Washington Wine Month and we’re featuring some stunning local Washington wines at Ray’s Boathouse, we didn’t want our wine-loving neighbors down south to be forgotten!

We look forward to seeing you then!

Chip Croteau
Ray’s Wine Director

Give the Gift of Ray’s this Holiday Season!

Giant Rays Gift Card Image small copy
Give the gift of gorgeous Pacific Northwest views and fresh, local seafood this holiday season with a gift card from Ray’s, Seattle’s favorite seafood restaurant! Now through December 31, 2017 you’ll receive a $20 gift card for every $100 spent on gift cards at Ray’s!

Gift cards can be used in the Boathouse, Café and towards Ray’s merchandise all year long.

We also have online ordering to make it even easier to send the gift of Ray’s to your friends, co-workers, family and more!

You can purchase Ray’s gift cards three ways: in person at our Guest Relations desk in the Boathouse, over the phone at 206.789.3770, or online at rays.com. Happy holidays!

Sip & Savor Oregon Pinot Noir this Fall at Ray’s!

Welcome to Fall at Ray’s!

As the seasons start to change, we find ourselves at Ray’s looking for wines and flavors that capture this unique time of year. And nothing encapsulates the change of season quite like pinot noir. The bright fruit flavors and acidity of pinot noir pair perfectly with a variety of seafood, but one of the most ideal is wild, fresh salmon.

We have the privilege here at Ray’s to be in such close proximity to one of the greatest pinot noir regions, the Willamette Valley, just four hours south.

rexhill

Courtesy of Rex Hill Winery

This September we will be showcasing a variety of pinot noir wines from the Willamette Valley in both the first floor Boathouse and upstairs Cafe. We recently had the opportunity to visit with Rex Hill Winery and A to Z Wineworks and discover how these beautifully crafted wines are created. First off, the teams at both wineries really took care of us, our wine glasses were certainly never empty. But, seeing the joy and dedication that the Willamette Valley wine community has to perfect each an every bottle of wine was truly humbling.

The care that they have for their land and the product that’s sourced from it, reminded us of how we at Ray’s are committed to always sourcing the freshest fish and using local seasonal ingredients to create flavorful and inventive dishes for all of our guests to enjoy.

Combined Logo WPSo, this fall take advantage of all of the beautiful local offerings that the Pacific Northwest has to offer. Come into Ray’s Boathouse or Cafe to try a variety of our featured pinot noirs by the glass or bottle with your next meal. And if you’re not quite sure which one of these delectable wines to partake in, have one of our sommeliers help you find your next favorite pinot!

Make your reservations today! For the Boathouse call 206.789.3770 or click here. For the Cafe call 206.782.0094 or click here.

Cheers!

Chip Croteau, Boathouse Manager & Wine Director

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.

 

Featured: Olympia Oysters and Schramsberg sparkling wine, extended through Valentine’s day!

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Feb 10-14 while they last, savor your chance to taste a rare Northwest treasure: the Olympia oyster!

The Olympia oyster (Ostrea lurida) is one of the rarest, most treasured of our Pacific Northwest native species. James Beard, champion of American cuisine, called the petite Olympia “the most distinguished of the oysters” for its distinctive sweet taste and coppery finish.

Ray’s, in conjunction with Seattle oyster enthusiast and historian Jon Rowley, first introduced this treasured oyster to the restaurant world in 1983.

“Up to that point,” Rowley recalled, “Olympias had only been available in jars, if you could find them at all. Then Clam Cove Oyster Company brought us some live ones. I sent out a letter to the people who worked in the food press, and we served nothing else that night — just Olympia oysters and Schramsberg sparkling wine. It was one of the best parties I’ve ever been to.”

After two near-brushes with extinction (first from over-harvesting in the gold rush era, then in the 1920s and 30s threatened by pulp mill pollution), the Olympia oyster, which takes five years to reach maturity, is available in limited supply thanks to careful cultivation and sustainable harvesting!

Take advantage of a six-pack of shucked Olympia oysters from Taylor Shellfish with a glass of Schramsberg sparkling wine for $29. Make it a memorable Valentine’s weekend, or just try it because it’s not something you’ll find here every day! See you soon!