I think we have over 200 restaurants in Charlottesville, but we don’t have a Ruth’s Chris Steak House. I’ve heard their ads on the radio for years, and I’ve always wanted to try it, but I never had the opportunity. In Honolulu, I finally got that chance.
It was our last night in Hawaii and we wanted to finish off our 50th Anniversary vacation with a bang. There were two Ruth’s Chris Restaurants in Honolulu, one about 500 feet from our hotel, but it was booked until 9:30. The other, about five miles away, was open for reservations at 7:30, and they asked in advance if this was a special occasion. Nancy said that, as a matter of fact, it was our 50th.
When we arrived, they sprinkled rose petals on our table and brought two glasses of champagne. I knew, right then, I was going to like this place.
Ruth’s Chris has an interesting background. It began as Chris’ Steak House in 1927 in New Orleans. The largely failing business was bought and sold six times over a period of the next 38 years. In 1965, ignoring advice from bankers, lawyers, family and friends, a divorced, single mother named Ruth Fertel mortgaged her house and bought Chris’s Steak House, later naming it Ruth’s Chris Steak House. The diminutive lady – all of 5-2 and 110 pounds dripping wet – rolled up her sleeves and went to work. She thought that every steak should have a sizzle. Today, Ruth’s Chris is the largest luxury steak house in the world.
If you ever eat there, you’ll know why.
The restaurant cooks each steak in an 1800-degree oven-broiler to seal in the juices. It then serves the steaks on a 500-degree ceramic plate over a tablespoon of butter so you can hear your steak sizzling as it is brought to the table. They use only the finest USDA Prime beef and they season only with salt and pepper.
The steaks are huge. I ordered a Rib eye and Nancy got the NY Strip. Our order was enough for four people. Fortunately, we decided to split a Caesar’s salad and share a one-pound baked potato and couldn’t eat all of that.
The next time we eat at Ruth’s, we’ll order one steak and split it. The waiters are more than happy to do the dividing honors. They even recommend it.
My steak was cooked perfectly – they always are at Ruth’s Chris – and it was tender and delicious. The best thing was that it was still warm – not cool – when I gave up and said no more
After dinner, they brought us Strawberries Flambé on a Bed of Chocolate sauce, and we had Ruth’s famous Chocolate Fudge Sundae as a kicker.
I would give Ruth’s Five Stars plus, but if you get a chance to eat at one of their over 150 steak houses, split a steak and the sides. You won’t leave hungry.