When my girlfriend suggested that we try out Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse for Valentine’s Day dinner, I didn’t object. What guy doesn’t love a great steak? I had heard a lot about Ruth’s Chris before and knew its reputation as the best fine dining steakhouse chain in the nation so I was all in…as long as we could get a reservation that is.
It turned out we could. The only stipulation was that I had to settle for a 10:30 p.m. reservation because I made the preposterous error of calling them just a week before Valentine’s Day. Oh well, I reasoned that the late time might actually make the evening more memorable as the restaurant probably wouldn’t be as crowded and the wait staff would not be as stressed. Yesterday I spaced out a couple of light meals throughout the day so by the time 10:30 p.m. hit, I would be in prime dining form for a fabulous dinner.
Sidney and I arrived at the Myrtle Beach Ruth’s Chris and checked in. We were about 10 minutes early so we went to the bar and had a drink. The bar itself was inviting and the bottle arrangement was aesthetically pleasing. Mixed drinks ran at least $12.50 but beers were only $4.50. Sidney sipped on a Fuzzy Navel while I enjoyed a Budweiser. A few minutes past 10:30 p.m., a staff member came and took us to our table.
We sat down at our table and the wait staff warmly greeted us. As is the case with most fine dining establishments, you have a team of people taking care of you, all with different roles. The person who sat us, the person who set our table, and the person who checked on us for drinks all told us that Maureen would be our main server. When Maureen came over she asked us if anyone had called to ask if we wanted to come in earlier. I said no. It was the last time we would see Maureen.
You see, her question made sense. As Sidney and I looked around the dining room, it was probably 35% full. Open tables and booths were all over the place. If this was the case, why couldn’t they have called us for an earlier reservation (I had requested that if an earlier slot came open I would like to be contacted) and why were we seated late? It wasn’t that big of a deal, though. We did wonder what happened to Maureen, however. After her brief appearance, a man named Saul came by and announced that he would be our server. This gentleman did a fabulous job.
The bread served at Ruth’s Chris is outstanding. They come in loaves with a delectable spread. We ate the first loaf (well, I ate most of it) and they brought us another one right away. Sometimes at these types of places they can be a little stingy on the complimentary bread. Sidney had her eyes set on a ribeye but unfortunately they had ran out. She settled with a petite filet while I ordered the regular filet. We decided that we would each decide on a side to share. I chose mashed potatoes. Sidney narrowed her choice down to two options and let me choose…asparagus or onion rings. Naturally, I chose onion rings.
The wait for the food was perfect. Not too long, not too short. Because the restaurant had a closing time of 11 p.m., I thought the food might be out in lightning type speed but it wasn’t. In fact, we never felt rushed at all, even though we left the restaurant at around 11:45 p.m. Our steaks came out sizzling on their plates, a signature trademark of Ruth’s Chris. The onion rings were outrageously gigantic. When the staff set them down for us, a girl at the table next to us exclaimed “Why didn’t we order those?!”
My steak was delicious. It was cooked perfectly and I could cut it with my fork. However, while it was very good, it wasn’t the best steak I have had in my life. I was expecting a little more flavor. I have ate at steakhouses where no matter how full I was, I would eat my whole steak just because it was so phenomenal and I wouldn’t want to ruin the taste by taking it home. Last night, I ended up taking a good chunk home. The mashed potatoes were good, nothing too amazing though. As for the onion rings, they had to have been the best value on the menu. For just $9 you received seven enormous rings. Eating just one could almost act as a meal itself. We ended up taking four home.
Saul came back and asked us if we wanted dessert. We declined. The staff member responsible for bagging up leftovers and clearing the table of crumbs then came by. He made a show of perfectly packing up the remaining food and cheerfully obliged when we asked him to take a photo. Saul then came back with a surprise.
Even though we had passed on dessert, Saul came to our table and said he wanted to provide us with a complimentary treat since it was our first time dining at Ruth’s Chris. He placed in front of us a plate with chocolate mousse cheesecake on one side and bread pudding on the other. Even though I was full to the brim, I still dug in (Sidney watched me). It was an edible joy taking a bite out of the cold cheesecake and then switching to a bite of the hot bread pudding. It was exhilarating going back and forth. Even though I was full it was absolutely delicious and definitely my favorite part of my meal. With the very nice gesture, Ruth’s Chris secured a repeat customer.
We walked out of the restaurant satisfied with our special dining experience. While my steak maybe didn’t live up to all the hype I had heard over the past week, the atmosphere, service, and other food did. Most importantly, I had an amazing girl to share it with. It was a good first Valentine’s Day for me in Myrtle Beach and a good first Valentine’s Day with Sid. Don’t Blink.