‘Tis The Season For Steak Houses
Happy Holidays, everyone! I hope an abundance of love has found its way into your hearts during this joyous time of year. And I know we may not be kiddos anymore, anxiously awaiting Santa’s arrival with a glass of milk and plate of cookies in hand, but as adults, we can still feel the magic and wonder of the season with a little extra sparkle that comes from a fine-dining feast.
The festive nature of the holidays goes hand in hand with steak house dining, in fact, considering there’s no better time to get dressed up and go out for a truly special meal. Plus, just as Christmas is a holiday rich with history, steak houses, too, are full of tradition. At some of the most glorious ones around town, there are holiday specials to look forward to, as well as the good old-fashioned classics so fitting for this grand time of year.
And just in case you didn’t notice by the photo above, this spread is something of a gift for the carnivores in the family.
RIBEYE ON THE PRIZE
Here in the Islands, ribeye reigns supreme when it comes to popular cuts of meat. But if you want to take things to the next level and get even more flavor out of this well-marbled, juicy slab, go for the Cowboy Ribeye ($56) at Ruth’s Chris Steak House.
In addition to rendering more succulence from keeping the bone on the meat, this USDA Prime piece — in the top 2 percent of meat, according to general manager Don Asam — comes with the added expertise of a most welcoming wait staff, who are ready to assist in showing you how to optimally revel in this hunky affair.
“Because of the marbling of the fat — and that’s the flavor — if you don’t give it a chance to cook and melt down, you’re not going to get that flavor,” says Asam. That’s why it’s best to enjoy Cowboy Ribeye medium rare or higher, while executive chef Eser Domingo will take care of the rest by broiling it to perfection at 1,800 degrees.
But what will you have with this melt-in-your-mouth ribeye? Some first-class seafood, of course! Start your dinner with a Crab Stack ($21) appetizer, which pairs top-ofthe-line colossal lump blue crab meat with a vivacious mix of fresh mango and avocado morsels on a bed of namasu-style cucumber salad. The sweet, supple crab meat also gets a nice kick of spice when dipped into the Sriracha lime sauce on the side.
Ruth’s Chris reminds readers that it’s not too late to plan the merriest of holiday parties, so be sure to call for a reservation. The steak house will be open Christmas Eve and Day, as well as New Year’s Eve, starting from 4 p.m. (normally open 5-10 nightly). Other specials to take note of include happy hour daily from 5 to 7, a special three-course Prime Time Menu available from 5 to 6 daily, and on Wine Wednesdays, guests receive 25 percent off all bottles of wine.
Ruth’s Chris Steak House
Waterfront Plaza (and in Waikiki)
Though many steak house favorites we know and love today hail from the classic restaurants of New York City, we can all be thankful that we don’t have to travel all the way to the Big Apple to dine on them. In fact, you can chomp away on authentic preparations of USDA dry-aged meat at Wolfgang’s Steakhouse in Royal Hawaiian Center — founded by restaurateur Wolfgang Zwiener of New York — while overlooking breezy views of Kalakaua Avenue with its tall, rustling palms.
Ever since Zwiener opened his Waikiki steak house in 2009, patrons have fallen in love with thoughtfully prepared and carefully executed meals of supreme quality. During the holidays is an especially great time to venture there for a Prime Rib special that’s only offered during Christmastime and a few other occasions during the year.
Ono, You Know was lucky enough to get a sneak peek at the mammoth piece of meat, which may be savored Dec. 24 and 25 from 11 a.m to midnight. It showcases 22-24 ounces of tender oven-roasted prime rib, juices flowing and all, dressed up with Caesar salad, mashed potatoes and creamed spinach fixings for $69.95.
Now, Wolfgang’s is not joking around when it comes to its Prime-rated steaks. “We’re a USDA Prime steak house,” says general manager Bill Nickerson. He adds that a lot of restaurants try to pass off Choice-rated meat as the top-graded Prime when serving prime rib, but he assures guests that that’s not the case at Wolfgang’s. “We serve only Prime meats — even our tenderloins and hamburger are Prime, which you do not find in most steak houses.
“We buy from a purveyor in New York City (Master Purveyor’s), which buys the top 1 percent of the 2 percent of all the Prime meat form the Midwest,” he continues.
So throw on your dress and heels, or suit and tie, and head to the Waikiki eatery, which also offers happy hour daily from 11 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Even late-night munchers are welcome, as the steak house stays open until midnight (last call for dinner) every day. Or if a leisurely brunch is more your style, head to Wolfgang’s Saturday and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
Royal Hawaiian Center
2301 Kalakaua Ave., third level, Waikiki