We came for the crabcake; we'll be back for the Cajun.
First the bad news. We had heard (and read) that RT's made the best jumbo lump crabcake in Northern Virginia--as good as any in Baltimore. Answer: Oh my goodness no. It might be the best in NoVa, but I sure hope not. And it doesn't hold a candle to any Baltimore crab cake. Not white. Not fluffy. Not golden brown. Not jumbo and barely lump. Plenty of filler. And they squished it down like it was somebody's hamburger. I think they must have mixed in some of the Cajun étouffée sauce, because it had that whole smothered-in look to it. After thinking about it, I really do think the last time I had a crabcake like this was just outside of New Orleans. Which raises the whole Louisiana vs Baltimore crab debate again. Final answer: we came here specifically for the crabcake and didn't even finish it. Wow.
Now for the good news. Wow! This is an amazing Cajun restaurant! Who would even make up a dish like crawfish and shrimp beignets? They were astonishing! Put together the two iconic shellfish from bayou country, fry 'em up lightly with some crispy extras, all on a spicy dipping sauce that I shouldn't have let leave the table (would'a been perfect with the breads)--what a batch of Cajun magic. We also had the popular Death by Gumbo. *Now* the dark brown sauce belongs! Plenty of andouille and crawfish, plus a head-on NoLa BBQ shrimp in the bowl--all wonderfully seasoned.
The menu boasted several Cajun classics, as well as inventive should-be classics. Pecan-crusted haddock is already singing to me. The jambalaya looks amazing. And the Catahoula with an Andouille-based cream sauce? The special today (which we should have gotten) was low country shrimp and grits.
Service was spectacular. And I love RT's down-home reminds-me-of-bayou-country neighborhood-place atmosphere. This is what Cajun is supposed to be, and this is how it's supposed to be served. It's a bit of a drive for us, but we will *so* be back. RT's is a true winner, and we are total fans.
Let's see what else would be helpful? Back to the beignets. First, don't be tricked--they're not the dessert beignets that you want with your coffee on Jackson Square :-). But they're amazing. If you *do* get 'em, ask for an extra basket of bread but *don't* let them clear your beignets plate--keep it for some wonderful bread dipping. ... Seriously.
Hope this helps!