Apparently, this is not to be my year of Peruvian dining, but rather eating at steakhouses. Given we’re barely two months into 2017, I’m already on my fourth red meat emporium (no complaints here). Anyway, with Hubs running the Sandstorm Marmoum, celebrating at Ruth Chris’s Steakhouse was the perfect fit for his 10km calorie deficit (my Flywheel effort in the morning was just not at the same level).
Also, let my foodie record show, when I was a very young 22 and living in Los Angeles, Ruth’s Chris was the first ‘fancy’ dinner Hubs and I ever went to. We were talked
bullied into dining here, and the bill was the largest I had ever seen. I almost started crying when I saw it (our half was probably something like $200). Since then I have spent a lot more money on food dined at the Ruth’s Chris Kuai as well as when Ruth’s Chris Dubai used to have its home in the Monarch (see, I have been here awhile). It’s a brand that in my mind, is synonymous with a high-end quality steak dinner.
What’s in a name, by the way?
Over four decades ago, Ruth Fertel, a divorced mother of two, mortgaged her home for $22,000 to buy a small 60-seat restaurant in New Orleans, Louisiana named Chris Steak House. Shortly thereafter, a fire forced her to change the original location and she renamed the restaurant, “Ruth’s Chris Steak House.”
Bypassing the lounge area (which sees lots of action), we requested to take our seats in the dining room, decorated in dark wood, white tablecloths, and red accents, much as you would expect it to be. For starters, although we were encouraged to try the newly launched Seafood Tower (AED195, in line with similar pricing for other establishments of this nature), we opted instead for a plate of Oysters (AED98) and Beef Carpaccio (AED70). Hubs was happy with the oysters (not a fan of the bivalve, I tasted the sauce, which was tasty, but did not surpass the insane goodness we had last summer at Kimball House). As for my carpaccio, while technically all of the elements were in place, I think Todd English’s Olives and Ronda Locatelli do the dish quite a bit better, mostly in the form of more texture and cheese, with larger portions. Still a bit peckish, we added an order of Sizzling Blue Crab Cakes (AED110, served piping hot). With Hubs growing up on the Savannah coast and my recent high from the 99% Crab Cake at Butcher & Still (which is a far better deal at AED80), we both agreed it was not a dish we would order again. Perhaps a personal decision, but I prefer much more of a crust or sear on the starter (this dish needed more breadcrumbs to provide some kind of texture), along with lemon and larger chunks of crab in my crab cakes.
For our mains, I stuck with what the restaurant is best known for, an 11 oz Filet (AED310, cooked medium rare, served sizzling). Hubs chose again off the new menu, Filet and Snow Crab Leg (AED280) and while the presentation was impressive (including a small bowl of lemon water), he wished for correct cutlery to really dig into the crab meat. I also thought it strange there was no specific or longer list of sauces available (I’m a bit of a traditionalist, and by now we’ve established I like Bernaise sauce with beef). While there are three sauces on the new menu (red wine, mushroom, and truffle butter), they seemed a weird afterthought. While I ordered the truffle butter (AED25), I ended up mostly using the hollandaise sauce from the grilled asparagus (AED45) to compliment my dish. For his side, Hubs ordered broccoli, served perfectly steamed (AED45).
Although we really were full (and the dessert selection to me was mostly too heavy — all cheesecake and chocolate), a refreshing combination of raspberry and lemon sorbet was the perfect choice to end the night on.
On a final note, while the service was absolutely fantastic (engaged, professional, and knowledgeable), I thought we had some weird timing/pacing issues. In Dubai, to me, it’s one of the biggest hurdles to overcome. Truly outstanding pacing, where a server reads the table by anticipating their needs and delivers accordingly, is a difficult element to come by.
So, does Ruth’s Chris beat out Graze, Butcher & Still, or Lexington Grill? Not in my opinion, but that doesn’t mean it’s any less a reliable place for an enjoyable night out and a great steak. Furthermore, I’ve heard the ladies nights here are legendary, so I think I’ll definitely be back for another visit.
What’s your favorite steakhouse in Dubai?