Although I’ve certainly been familiar with Ruth’s Chris Steak House for years, I had never actually eaten in one until last week. On a Monday night during a weekend getaway to Palm Springs, we decided to head to Ruth’s Chris in Palm Desert, California.
There really is a Ruth of Ruth’s Chris Steak House and her name was Ruth Fertel. As a single mom in New Orleans in 1965, she found herself out of a job and looking for new opportunities. A local steak house was for sale and Ruth mortgaged her house to buy it. Shortly after that, a fire burned it to the ground, forcing her to find a new location. During the process of moving, she learned that legally, the restaurant name was connected with the old location and could be used anywhere else. As a work-around, Ruth decided to call the new place Ruth’s Chris Steak House to retain the clientele the restaurant had built over the years.
Ruth always focused on fresh ingredients and always made everything in-house. It was all about the details, even the juices for the cocktails were fresh-squeezed at the restaurant. This focus on quality paid off and the rest is history.
The steaks are all USDA prime, custom-aged and hand-selected for the restaurant. Steaks are broiled and served sizzling with butter and parsley. You can also get them with a variety of finishes like Oscar-style, topped with shrimp or a lobster tail, with a truffle crust and several more.
Aside from steaks, they also serve seafood, a few poultry dishes and local vegetarian selections. There are even keto and gluten-free options on the menu.
We really went to town starting with two of the restaurant’s appetizers. First was a plate of fried calimari, which was awesome. These were thick, chunky pieces, a lot thicker than anything I had before. They were perfectly breaded and cooked, tender and almost crunchy when you bit into them. The sauce, an Asian chili recipe, was seriously amazing. We also got the BBQ shrimp which were big, fresh and again perfectly cooked. They were served in a creamy, tangy barbecue sauce.
Next up were the starters, I went with the chopped salad, with blue cheese dressing and some extra bacon. This was a bit of a weak point as the bacon was dry, too crunchy and just bland. We also had a bowl of the lobster bisque which I didn’t try, but my partner said was “good, not great, just good.”
Finally it was steak time and they arrived sizzling on the hot plate. One of the signature elements of dinner at Ruth’s Chris are the hot plates. The steak is served sizzling on 500 degree plates. The idea here is that the hot plate keeps your steak hot throughout the meal. It works.
I had the petite ribeye, done medium rare. It was just delicious, perfectly cooked, nicely pink inside and nicely done on the outside. I prefer steaks cooked on the broiler as I’m not a fan of black char on my meat. My girl had the petite filet with shrimp, also done medium rare.
To go with the steaks, we of course had to have the creamed spiniach, which was delicious, and the sweet potato casserole, a house specialty. Although the casserole was good, to me it was too sweet to be a side dish and would have worked better as a dessert.
For dessert, we had a bowl of fresh berries with sweet cream, along with some premium ice cream (vanilla) and sorbet (raspberry).
The restaurant has a very, very deep wine list and is known for their hand-crafted, signature cocktails. At the recommendation of our server, we enjoyed a very tasty bottle of Belle Glos pinot noir from Las Altruras Winery in the Santa Lucia Highlands near Monterey.