Ray’s Gourmet Grill

January 28, 2011 by  
Filed under Dining

Ray’s Gourmet Country, brought to Fulshear by Fort Bend businessman and resident, Raed “Ray” Salti, opened its doors two years ago. Ray’s idea was to create a unique atmosphere with a neighborhood ambience that serves the freshest ingredients available throughout the year. Since then, he has grown a following of true “foodies” with his concept of “field to table” menu items.

To bring his concept to life, Ray teamed up with Executive Chef Soren Pedersen who finds inspiration in all ingredients that are natural and organic. The ever-changing menu items are directly dictated by seasonal availability of both organic and natural fruits and vegetables, as well as certified natural cuts of meats and seafood. The kitchen features an open dining experience, emphasizing a direct connection with Chef Soren and his staff.

To complement the perfect meal, Ray’s has an extensive wine list, including several organic wines. Complimentary wine tasting events are held every Thursday evening from 6-8 pm. For our meal, Chef Soren suggested we start with an Appetizer Sampler. The sampler included the Crab Cake with Watercress and Lemon Butter Sauce, the Iron Skillet Seared Fois Gras and, my personal favorite, the Antipasto plate with Serrano ham, marinated vegetables and a wonderful, homemade sausage.

For my main course, I chose the Wild Boar Osso Buco with a parsnip puree kumquat chutney and natural jus. It was by far the finest plating I have seen presented at a restaurant in quite some time. For my wife, the 25 year-old red balsalmic sauce on the Green Peppercorn Crusted Lamb Rib Chop was rich without being overbearing. It was served with a wonderful squash puree. We also tried the South Texas Antelope Mignon & Elk Sausage (purchased from local ranchers) that was cooked to perfection and complimented with a savory appletart and cinnamon spiked pinot noir. Our favorite side was the White Truffle Macaroni and Cheese; a must have at Ray’s.

Chef Soren also provides complete Vegan dishes. The Seasonal Vegetable Lasagna is amazing and is baked with tofu. The Fresh Vegetable Curry sautéed with quinoa pasta and leeks is also delicious.

If it is seafood you crave, you’ll have to ask your wait staff. Chef Soren provides only the freshest fish available to our area, so the seafood menu changes daily.

To finish the perfect meal, Chef Soren prepared for our table an array of desserts. Our favorite was the Warm Anjou Pear Tart with Crème Fraiche.

Along with amazing fare, Ray’s Gourmet Country also presents a number of activities–“Jazz Night” every Thursday, with the complimentary wine tasting from 6-8 pm, a “Brunch Buffet” every Sunday from 10:30 am to 2:00 pm (only $20 per person) and a cooking class, “Ray’s Grill and Royal Prestige,” with Chef Soren Pedersen, held on the last Wednesday of every month (only $35 per person). Reservations are strongly recommended for all activities, for although it started as a small town concept, Ray’s has quickly become a favorite among not only Fort Bend County residents, but greater Houston area dwellers as well.

“We do have plans underway for a brand new concept at West Alabama and Greenbriar, as well,” confides owner Ray Salti. “The restaurant will be named Sorrel after the slender plant, with juicy stems and edible, oblong leaves.
I will leave the rest up to your imagination, but it is sure to please the palate.”

Visit www.raysgrill.com for the menu, directions to the location, or to learn more about the specials, wine dinners, tasting events, private rooms and more! To Ray Salti, Chef Soren Pedersen and the entire staff at Ray’s Gourmet Country…thank you! To H Texas readers, this eatery is well worth the short drive to Fulshear.

Rare and Well Done

June 1, 2010 by  
Filed under Dining

More than 30 years ago, Perry’s began as a modest meat market and deli, and quickly became known for its quality cuts and impeccable service. Today, Perry’s continues to gain loyal fans by crafting an award-winning menu set in comfortable, casual elegance. Our staff decided on the Sugar Land location for our dining experience. The General Manager, Jeff Halford, and his staff treated us with impeccable service the moment we walked through the doors.

From the intimate settings to patio dining, to the timeless piano bar with live entertainment, Perry’s is simply perfect for a gathering with friends after work, a casual weeknight dinner or even a special occasion. An innovative menu features their famous pork chop, chateaubriand, and flaming desserts – all with a tableside presentation – as well as signature items including an herb-stuffed Filet Mignon. Of course, as with any steakhouse worth its salt, Perry’s hand-selected, USDA prime beef is dry aged in house for 28 days and is always mouth-wateringly perfect.

To complement the perfect meal, our Sommelier, Paul, started the evening with a wonderful Chardonnay. Perry’s presents a spectacular selection of world-class wines including Perry’s own private-label reserve Chardonnay, Meritage and Cabernet Sauvignon.

We decided to start our meal, as suggested by our server, Mike, with an Appetizer Sampler. This array of mouth-watering samplers included the cherry pepper calamari, fried jumbo asparagus topped with colossal lump crabmeat, seafood stuffed mushrooms, and my personal favorite, the homemade polish sausage.

The main course goes without saying, the best tableside presentation I have had the pleasure of experiencing in some time. From the plate presentation of the Symphony Kabob, to the carving presentation of the succulent pork chop, the staff at Perry’s is second to none. Their attention to detail is to be commended. Another favorite was the tournedos béarnaise. The béarnaise sauce was so rich and creamy without being over bearing on the tournedos of beef tenderloin. It is served with jumbo asparagus that is the perfect compliment. We also had a side of lyonnaise potatoes that was perfectly textured to compliment the goodness of the tournedos.

Perry’s Bar 79 has it all –live entertainment, rare vintages, intriguing bar menu and inviting social hours featuring half-price signature appetizers and specials on wines and martinis including a mini-martini flight of three!

Each Perry’s Steakhouse & Grille has its own special ambiance and features that provide the most unique private dining experience in Houston. It is the perfect venue for your most important business and personal moments, all of the Perry’s restaurants feature private rooms ideal for accommodating six to one hundred guests. The five-star service and attention to the smallest details will ensure your event is a splendid success.

What began as a small butcher shop in 1979 has grown into one of the premier steakhouses in Texas, featuring locations in Clear Lake, Champions, Katy, Memorial City, Sugar Land and The Woodlands as well as Downtown Austin and Uptown Dallas. Visit PerrysSteakhouse.com to view the menu, locations and private rooms. To Chris Perry and the entire family of staff at Perry’s Steakhouse….thank you, the title to the review says it all! Rare and Well Done!

photo courtesy Perry’s