Saturday, February 13, 2010

Ruth's Chris Steakhouse: Valentine's Day Special

For Valentine's Day this year, my fiance and I decided to try Cary's Ruth's Chris Steak House as we've never been and it seemed appropriate for a celebratory meal. And since I don't tend to cook a lot of red meat at home, good steak is something we look for at restaurants. Fortunately for us, Ruth's Chris was offering it's Valentine's Day special even though we didn't go on the actual holiday. Had it not been for this amazing deal, we might have left somewhat disappointed. Generally, everything is priced a la carte, which can quickly add up when you include entrees, a side or two to share, and possibly a salad or appetizer, not to mention wine to complement all that food. And since each individual item is rather costly ($29.95 for the addition of a lobster tail to complement your steak), this is definitely a restaurant to save for special occasions.

That being said, if your special occasion comes with a pre-set menu, definitely take advantage of it! For $100 we were treated to a champagne toast, a choice of house or Caesar salad each, two entrees of a 6 oz petit filet and a lobster tail, and sides-to-share of creamed spinach and mashed potatoes. This was definitely a deal we couldn't pass up! The champagne was very good and a great way to toast our special evening. The salads were good sized and very fresh. I was disappointed that we couldn't substitute either of the sides as those wouldn't have been my choices but I understand keeping things fixed when that's the idea of the special, and they were both tasty. Both of our steaks were cooked perfectly--mine at medium rare and my fiance's a cool rare--and they definitely lived up to their Prime-grade standard. We complimented our meal with a good bottle of red wine and finished it off with French-press coffee and a giant 5-inch round cheesecake, most of which we brought home. All in all, this was a great deal and the food was really good, as was the service.

As my fiance is the better steak-judge of the two of us, I am deferring to him for a final assessment. His feeling on the overall night was that Ruth's Chris offers a good experience but, in general, you pay a lot more for the name than you do for the food. He prefers the steak at Watt's Grocery any day and for around $20, including sides, I'll have to agree with him on that one. We definitely enjoyed the fine dining service and the chance to go somewhere new for a special night out. But we probably will leave it at that one experience. It just goes to show, as I've said before, how fortunate we are to have such amazing restaurants right here in Durham. And if you do want a true steak house experience, Angus Barn definitely trumps Ruth's Chris with good food, a great experience, and a massive wine list. So if you want to experience what Ruth's Chris has to offer, try to go on a night when they are featuring a special menu or be prepared to spend extra for the name, service and general experience.

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