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Ruth’s Chris emulates southern hospitality

Southern hospitality entered the Central Valley restaurant selection with the opening of Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse, Aug. 14. Since its inception on Broad Street in New Orleans more than 40 years ago, the restaurant continues to prioritize customer service over profit.

The staff of Ruth’s Chris controlled the opening of the restaurant, limiting the number of guests to ensure ideal service. Due to the controlled opening and its recent popularity, my family was not able to get a reservation until two weeks after its debut.

My party of five was seated at a dimly lit table near the hall separating the dining area from the entrance. Rich greens and browns filled the room while pictures of the New Orleans port at night dominated the walls. The dim lighting attributes to the “Night on the Town” theme. In addition, the soft tune of Frank Sinatra hits allowed easy conversation among patrons.

While snacking on warm bread and butter, my family and I ordered dinner. We decided on four petite filet mignons and the chef’s special lobster tail. Because we had already eaten at a Ruth’s Chris restaurant out of town, we knew of the chain’s prized steaks.

My oldest brother, who dislikes most cheeses, requested bleu cheese on his filet. To my surprise, he liked it enough to order it again.

Before the main dish, my dad asked for the caesar salad. He thought the portion was ample, and it was obvious the chefs gave careful attention to the presentation: the lettuce, dressing and croutons were perfectly proportioned.

After time allowed for conversation, the plates came out at a blistering 500 degrees. The steak, drizzled in butter, practically melted in my mouth.

To add to my enjoyment, my mom let me try some of her lobster. I easily removed a piece from the tender tail, dipping it in the small dish of butter that rested over a candle to keep it warm. The delectable taste made me question my decision to order the steak. Both dishes were extraordinary, although the large amounts of butter may threaten cholesterol levels.

For dessert, we ordered four servings of the chef’s chocolate selection and one warm apple crumb tart. In the past, we were able to each order our own because of the small size; however, we were unaware that the desserts were portioned for two people. The dessert, although not disappointing, failed to match the quality of the main courses.

The menu of Ruth’s Chris includes everything from grilled portobello mushrooms to signature steaks. The desserts, chosen by the chef, vary by day.

Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse is open for dinner Mon-Thurs. from 5-10 p.m., Fri-Sat. 5-10:30 p.m. and Sun. 5-9:30 p.m.

Entrees range from $26-48. The total cost for my party was just under $300.

For more information on Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse, call (559) 490-0358 or visit its location at 7844 North Blackstone Avenue in Fresno, CA. Ruth’s Chris is located in the River Park, just south of Gottschalks department store.

For more restaurant reviews, visit the Sept. 16 article, Jimy Wen’s seasons simple menu.

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