The Ruth’s Chris Steak House atmosphere is defined by the tantalizing sizzle of melted butter on 500-degree plates as the wait staff whisks their signature steaks to every table.
We were led through the atmospheric lightning and smooth, dark wood tones so emblematic of a classic steakhouse and were seated in a lovely private booth framed within a large wooden arch.
From the appetizer menu, we selected the Veal Osso Buco Ravioli, pillowy, saffron-infused pasta lined up along a plate in a white wine demi-glace butter sauce with sautéed baby spinach. The veal inside the ravioli is very tender. Soaking in the sauce, it’s rich, decadent, and supremely garlicky. As garlic lovers, we reveled in the intensity of flavor. The sauce also teases out an appealing bitter bite to the spinach and is a perfect adornment to the table bread. We didn’t want any of it to go to waste.
We followed the deep flavors of the ravioli with the light simplicity of the Fresh Mozzarella & Kumato Tomato Salad. With thick slices of fresh mozzarella cheese, juicy purple kumato tomatoes that are slightly sweeter than Roma tomatoes, fresh basil, and picturesque drizzles of aged balsamic glaze and extra virgin olive oil, all you need to do is assemble all of the fresh, delicate ingredients into one bite. It’s pure and succulent with a lilting balsamic sting, the perfect palate cleanser between a hearty starter and the main event.
Then we came to the big decision of the evening. With a full selection of USDA Prime beef—the top two percent in the nation—from the signature steaks and specialty cuts, which do we choose? The options range from the delicacy of the 8-ounce Petite Filet to the incredible 40-ounce Tomahawk Ribeye with 12-inches of bone sticking off the plate, deboned tableside by a manager. We decided on the happy medium of a 16-ounce Kansas City Ribeye. All of their steaks are cooked in a patented 1800-degree double broiler and served on the aforementioned 500-degree sizzling plate of butter. The meat is exceptionally juicy and perfectly prepared. There’s a reason Ruth’s Chris keeps the word steak above their door.
We also tried the Sizzling Blue Crab Cakes, three petite cakes made from large lumps of fresh blue crab meat served in sizzling lemon butter sauce. Like the steak, they let the high quality ingredients take center stage with just enough cracker meal and egg to bind them together and deliver a crisp, satisfying exterior.
From the vegetables menu, we had the Grilled Asparagus with hollandaise sauce. The grill infuses the asparagus with a nice olive oil smokiness and there’s a thread of citrus zest running through the creamy hollandaise sauce.
Our favorite side, however, came from the potatoes & signature sides section of the menu in the form of Au Gratin potatoes. They’re large slices of Idaho potatoes enrobed within an unbelievable three-cheese sauce. It creates a comfort food impression like garlic-infused macaroni and cheese, thick, rich, with a grilled crust of cheese over the top.
For dessert,ww we had the Chocolate Duo, a little molten lava cake and tiny cup of chocolate mousse. Each represents the opposite ends of the chocolate dessert spectrum. The cake has a truly molten center, piping hot, flowing across the plate as soon as you cut into it. It’s so warm and rich with a touch of brightness from a raspberry sauce and a couple of mint leaves. The mousse is cool, creamy, and not overly sweet. It has a fantastic maturity of flavor we don’t usually associate with chocolate desserts.
Everything about the evening was lovely, generously portioned, and expertly considered to make up the very best kind of dinner date.
Ruth’s Chris Steak House has more than 130 locations, including in the Arboretum of South Barringtion at 100 W. Higgins Road, Suite U-1 in South Barrington, 847-551-3730, ruthschris.com.