My first trip to this renowned steakhouse at the downtown Hilton just may be a once in a lifetime experience. I really can’t imagine going back. Now let me say upfront that nothing I ate was bad! It was all good–but that’s all. For a restaurant to command the level of pricing that Ruth’s Chris does, I really thought it would be much better.
My reservation was taken efficiently, we were greeted warmly and seated promptly. We waited for a bit before someone brought water, and afterwards our drink order was taken. After taking our drink order, our server explained the menu and how things are done here.Several minutes later, our drinks arrived and our server informed us he would be back shortly to take our order. It seemed quite a while before he returned to take our order and our glasses did run dry.
He eventually did return, took our dinner order, and left again. Someone brought bread. It was good. And then we waited…and waited. Our salads finally came and they were well prepared and tasty. I did like the touch of having the cheese sliced rather than grated over my Caesar. It gave it more bite.
Someone removed our plates and we waited again. Longer. When our steaks arrived, they were presented on sizzling plates. (This is supposed to be a major selling point.) My wife’s steak was supposed to be a filet cooked to medium. It was almost well-done. What pink there was remaining was quickly seared by the hot plate. My chop was a very satisfying size, but a little dry and just not that remarkable. The sides (veggies, etc) were all a-la-carte and I maintain that if you are paying extra (when compared to regular restaurants) you should get something extra–flavor, value, helpings,– something!
After clearing our table, we waited for dessert. This time we waited so long the server who finally brought our cheesecake apologized with a “sorry-about-that.”
And here begins my list of negatives: we spent more time waiting than eating. The room was not busy–why all the slow service? In fact, the pacing of the entire meal was off. Granted, if the idea is to create a leisurely meal that’s one thing, but I felt simply ill-attended. And–my meal was just ok–that’s all. I have in fact had better steaks at several other restaurants. Other than the fact that I was downtown, at a nice venue with a nice river view, it was a bit of a letdown.
The Good: setting and ambiance, courteous staff, the salad.
The Could be Better: pacing of the meal, attention to guests, less hype and more substance.