Who doesn't love a good steak? I certainly do! In the fall, Mom and I planned on making a trip to The Keg to celebrate both of our birthdays. However, I won a gift certificate for Ruth's Chris Steak House at our office's annual Christmas party so we changed our plans. Definately what I'd call a high end steak house, its not a restaurant we would likely have visited without the gift certificate so we were feeling pretty lucky (and excited).
The interior was subdued but classy - muted colours of cream and beige with wood panelled walls and a huge fireplace we were lucky to be seated beside (sorry no picture). It would have been nice to be able to see the fireplace while we were dining but the spot was cozy and near the windows which was quite nice.
|Lots of Light|
In addition the large windows along two walls, the lighting is provided by these bad boys hanging from the ceiling, offering a muted yellowish hue that simply added to the overall ambiance of the restaurant.
First up was a complimentary dish of cheesy breadsticks. I'm not a big fan of cheesy garlic toast but these were nice and light. Perhaps a few too many for two people but would have been a perfect size for four. Of course, that didn't stop us from polishing off the ENTIRE plate of breadsticks.
|Oooey Gooey Garlicky Goodness|
The bread was followed by caesar salad. At first taste, a bit disappointing. I was really hoping for bacon but alas, there was none. And the dressing was not very garlicky. However, with each bite, I slowly fell in love with it. The dressing, while creamy, had the zip of a vinagrette with a slight citrus undertone which took a while to develop on my palatte (listen to me!). Ruth's Chris, please consider bottling this!
|Why one little half of a grape tomato? I don't know either but it was cute.|
Our server (waiter? I don't know the PC term anymore...), David G, was absolutely incredible: charming, polite, helpful. When I asked for my steak well done, he recommended having it butterflied as they were quite thick. Wow. They don't do THAT at The Keg. Kudos to him!
The timing of each course was fantastic. Have you ever gone to a restaurant and the entree arrives while you're still working on the appetizer? Or it takes forever between courses? Not at Ruth's Chris. They seemed to time everything based on our speed not on that of their kitchen. Perhaps its just because Mom and I don't tend to eat at places that are overly "fancy" but it was nice to feel as though we were controlling the pace of our feast.
|HOT HOT HOT!|
If you've ever ordered a steak welldone (I know, I'm in the minority), you know that when you try to cut into it, its often a bit tough. Not at Ruth's Chris. In fact, I was worried it wasn't cooked through because when I went to slice into it, the centre was slightly squishy. Imagine my surprise when it turned out to be the most perfectly moist, perfectly cooked, perfectly charred piece of beef I have ever eaten! With every bite, I raved to Mom about how delicious it was. THIS is how steak is supposed to be cooked. I guess the kitchen was worried though because even the restaurant manager stopped by to make sure it was ok. Everyone seemed surprised when I told them how overjoyed I was with their efforts. Divine!
|The side dishes - broccoli and Lyonnaise potatoes|
We had a choice not only of starch to go with our steaks but the veg as well. I opted for steamed broccoli with fresh black pepper and fried potatoes with sauteed onions. The broccoli was fresh and light with almost no butter (YAY!) and the potato/onion combo was heavenly with just a hint of salt. Mom's sides (background) were sauteed mushrooms and mashed potatoes. She was so full (yes, Mom ... full!) that she couldn't finish either of her side dishes. And she absolutely loves mushrooms.
Despite feeling absolutely stuffed by the time David cleared our plates, we decided to split a dessert.
|Trio of birthday treats|
When I initially made the reservation, I had completely forgotten that I had indicated we'd be celebrating both our birthdays. The restaurant though remembered and surprised us with this lovely trio of treats. Top to bottom, a sampling of their bread pudding with whiskey sauce, berries in cream, and a chocolate cheesecake mousse (VERY rich).
And the dessert we decided to split? The caramelized banana cream pie. Oh yeah baby.
|Yes Virginia, there is a Santa Claus...and he made this.|
Fresh sliced bananas topped with little bits of crunchy sugary bits overtop of a banana/white chocolate custard in a light flaky crust. OMG. I cannot begin to describe how much I loved this. The custard was far too rich for one person to eat the whole thing so I was very happy we split it. The bananas were perfectly ripe and the sugar reminded me of marshmellows burnt over a campfire. If nothing else, I would go to Ruth's Chris JUST to have this again.
My recommendation? This was easily the BEST meal I have ever had in a restaurant. I cannot stop raving about how incredible this experience was. Every aspect of the meal tied together perfectly, the food was cooked to perfection and the service impeccable. If you get the chance, go to Ruth's Chris. You won't regret it. And if you can, ask to be seated in David G's section. Trust me...you'll thank me.