Monday, August 4, 2008

Best. Steak. Ever.

Ruth's Chris Steak House- 145 Richmond Street West


Marry me Ruth.

That's how I felt after our meal. Sorry to my wife to be, but if Ruth was there, I would have gone home with her that night.


I've only heard great things about Ruth's Chris Steak House, but in all honesty I never have a good read on places until I've actually eaten there. And let me tell you, everyone who told me this place was good, really underrated it. I wish we would have come here sooner, as my brain, taste buds and stomach have all been harassing me since.

Ruth is located inside the Hilton Hotel in downtown Toronto, and since I booked our table through Open Table, I of course reserved it for the next day. For once, I was early for something. Regardless, they had room for us since it was 930 on a Friday night.

Their dining room resembles a large, dim lit banquet hall, with high back chairs, large tables and linens without a crease in them. We definitely felt special as we walked to out table. Ruth gives that ambiance of a very upscale establishment, with many rooms, and a nicely decored bar with a huge flat screen playing the Jays' game. Nice touch. Fine leather creaked as we sat down, and the backdrops were set to mimic a simple, yet elegant dining experience.

Our server was on point. I've never had service like this before. He knew everything on the menu, offered to split salads for us that we shared, and recommended the best selections for us. He was always there to fill our wine and water, and made sure everything was perfect. Any special requests were handled without any doubt at all.

On to the food.

We decided to order some apps to start, each couple sharing a salad. We ordered the House Caesar, Caprese, and Ruth's Chop Salad. The first two were standard, fresh ingredients, nothing too fancy, just the way it should be. The Chop Salad was very nice, an interesting combo of onion, radicchio, cherry tomatoes, boiled egg, and some other good stuff mixed together with a creamy dressing.

As for the steaks, all I can say is- wow. Broiled at 1800 degrees, these bad boys came out on sizzling plates, that kept the steak warm throughout the meal. As most of us went for the New Yorker at $49.95, I opted for the Cowboy Ribeye, which is basically the ribeye with the bone-in. As the title of this blog described it best, as in best, steak, ever. No sauce, no sides, just meat. And butter. I've never really had a steak like this before, I mean, at Barbarians, our steaks were also served naked, but literally naked. Just meat on the plate. Although Barbarians' cut of meat was great, I still felt "This is Boring" when I was served. However, they did offer a $5 Peppercorn Sauce which may have helped the boringness... Ruth did not even offer any sauces, much to the dismay to one of our diners, but honestly, no sauce was needed. (Editor's note- as per their website, Ruth does offer a sauce: Au Poivre Sauce- which is a Brandy Pepper Sauce, for a mere $2.95) The butter topped on my steak created a rich, crispy coating to a perfectly cooked steak. The doneness of the Ribeye was perfection to a T, crispy on the outside and slightly pink on the inside... I was in heaven.

What more can I say? Even the Chap who didn't eat beef ordered the chicken meal, and he got almost a whole bird! Double breast, on the bone, perfectly roasted, putting Swiss Chalet to shame.

We decided to order a bunch of sides to share, and we got the sauteed mushrooms, creamed spinach, potatoes Au gratin, and baby asparagus. All were devoured between bites and provided a simple break between mouthfuls of meat. Personal fave was the Potatoes Au Gratin, which was rich, creamy and heavenly...we should have ordered two.

On to dessert. Again, the share-age had to be done. This time we went for each realm of the sweet spectrum, including:

Chocolate Sin Cake- Espresso and Chocolate, not really 'cakey'...This I didn't enjoy too much, not really my cup of tea...

Caramelized Banana Cream Pie- White chocolate Banana custard on a flaky crust- the crust was not so flaky but the banana custy was divine...

Homemade Cheesecake...absolutely divine...How a cheesecake should be...

And my personal Piece de Resistance- Creme Brulee...I have never had a creme brulee like this before, and usually I'm not too big a fan of brulee's, but this one was heavenly. Sorry guys but I dealt with this before anyone else could have a taste...

Okay so all in all our experience at Ruth's Chris Steak House was phenomenal. Hands down, one of the best meals I've ever had. And I'm hard to please, to say the least.

The decor at Ruth's was elegant yet welcoming, not too cliche and just enough subtle touches to make it fancy and down-to-earth at the same time.

Service was second to none, overly accommodating server, generous and helpful, not to mention friendly and approachable.

Steaks- as I said before, best I've had. One of our diners felt his sizzling plate overcooked his steak, but I beg to differ. Another diner preferred a sauce to accompany their steak. I don't know what they were smoking.

Price was definitely affordable for what we ate- our bill came to $950 for 9 diners, including 2 bottles of wine, appetizers, main and dessert. So basically at $105 a pop for a great steak and a complete meal...Amazing.

Okay, I know you're thinking- $100? So for a couple its easily $200...That's kinda steep. But the way I see it is skip on the Kelsey's or Boston Pizza that week, and don't go out next weekend, save your money and enjoy a proper meal. Ruth's Chris' is where it's at, and then some. You're worth it, and your belly deserves to be spoiled once in a while, too.

FYI- Check out their website for some great tips on steaks, recipes and general knowledge every diner should know about...

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