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Restaurant Insider with Anne Lee: Ruth’s Chris Steak House

Restaurant Insider

May 12, 2019

Story By: Anne Lee | Photos by: LAWRENCE TABUDLO

Executive sous chef Darwin Ballesteros, left, executive chef Leighton Miyakawa, Anne Lee and general manager Eric Hill are ready to sink their teeth into Ruth’s Chris’ delectable menu.

ANNE LEE speaks with general manager ERIC HILL

Widely known as “the great American steak house,” Ruth’s Chris Steak House’s beginnings certainly live up to its reputation, which was started by a single mother of two, Ruth, fighting to achieve the American Dream. Full of determination and drive, combined with her hard work and intelligence, Ruth went from a single location in New Orleans to having steak houses spanning the globe.

To the delight of many, Ruth’s Chris churns out American favorites that satisfy several palates, including mouthwatering slabs of steaks that are served to customers’ tables sizzling hot on a 500-degree plate.

“We serve USDA Prime beef and have special broilers that Ruth invented with porcelain inserts, which makes the broilers as hot as possible, and cook at 1,800 degrees,” explains Ruth’s Chris Waikiki’s general manager Eric Hill. “This makes the steaks as juicy as possible — you can order a well-done steak and it’s juicy, but cooked all the way through and that surprises a lot of customers.”

On top of serving irresistible flavors, the folks at Ruth’s Chris also ensure each customer’s experience is grand and unforgettable. The goal is always to enhance celebrations, according to Hill. For example, the team adds orchid or rose petals on a table, or sends out flaming strawberries and complementary champagne during special occasions.

USDA Prime Cut 22-ounce Cowboy Ribeye ($68)

He continues, “We are all about guests. My favorite part of the job is when we surpass customers’ expectations and when I see people smiling and happy.”

AL: What specials do guests love? EH: Our Waikiki location has outside seating, to be able to seat walk-in guests. We have wine Wednesdays that offer 25 percent off bottles of wine. We also have Prime Time dining — a discounted special prix fix menu from open to 6 p.m. Furthermore, try our happy hour featuring discounted pupus and select drinks runs daily, 4:30-7 p.m. at the bar counter only.

Wine dinners are available at all of our locations (with the exception of Waikiki). Our next one is a Duckhorn wine dinner on June 20. To find out more about these dinners, log on to our website and sign up for our newsletters.

AL: What is the restaurant’s most popular dish?

EH: The Filet and Tomahawk Ribeye. Our Waikiki Beachwalk location also sells the most porterhouse steaks in the Ruth’s Chris chain of restaurants. The sweet potato casserole is another favorite, as it’s versatile — diners can order it as a side dish, and then have the leftovers warmed up with a side of ice cream for a dessert.

AL: What future plans are in store for Ruth’s Chris?

EH: The last two years, we’ve rolled out the Ruth’s Chris 2.0 — the first menu change in 20 years. It was designed to attract a new generation of customers while satisfying our current clientele base, adding more appetizers and items like a seafood tower and other seafood choices.

We stay with our core, but we change our wines by the glass quite a bit, and our cocktails are top-notch. Our bar managers, in correlation with our GM, taste and choose the wines that we eventually put on the menu, and also keep up with and find the current wine trends.

White Chocolate Bread Pudding

White Chocolate Bread Pudding ($11.50)

Ingredients

• 1 stick sweet butter
• 1/2 cup light brown sugar
• 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
• 1/2 quart milk
• 1/2 cup raisins
• 1/2 tablespoon cinnamon
• 1 pinch of nutmeg
• 1 pinch of salt
• 1 tablespoon bourbon
• 6 eggs, beaten
• 1 1/4 cups sugar
• 1 8-ounce loaf French bread cut into 1/2-inch cubes
• 1 small apple, peeled, cored and cut into 1/2-inch dice
• 1/2 quart half and half cream vanilla ice cream as needed

Process:

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

2. Combine sugars and divide in half.

3. Add cinnamon, eggs, vanilla, bourbon and salt to half of the sugar.

4. In saucepan, combine milk, half and half and butter with the other half of the sugar and bring to a boil.

5. Whisk milk mixture into egg mixture, add raisins and apples. Add bread cubes and let stand until soaked through to center.

6. Stir in a few raisins from the bottom and sprinkle a few on top.

7. Pour into buttered baking dish (10-by-13-by-3 inches) and bake at 375 degrees for 45 minutes.

8. Serve warm with vanilla ice cream.

Sweet cream

• 2 cups heavy cream
• 8 egg yolks
• 1 1/2 cups sugar
• 1 teaspoon vanilla

Process:

1. Place cream and 3/4 cup sugar in pot. Mix and heat until it starts to boil.

2. Place egg yolks, remaining sugar and vanilla in separate bowl. Mix until well blended.

3. Whisk simmering cream into egg mixture and mix.

4. Transfer mixture into double boiler for 8-12 minutes, stirring constantly

5. Pass through strainer and cool.

Whiskey sauce

• 2 cups sweet cream sauce
• 3 tablespoons Jack Daniel’s

Process:

1. Measure out sweet cream and whiskey and whip together well

2. Refrigerate.

*Makes 4 servings

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