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.