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RUTH’S CHRIS Steak House -- Tampa, Florida    

1700 N. Westshore Blvd.
Tampa, FL 33607
(813) 282-1118

SIDEBAR:  In 1965, single mother of two, Ruth Fertel risked it all to buy Chris Steak House in New Orleans. Ruth had a certain way of doing things like treating all guests like family, and the rest is history. 

OUR VISIT:  It was a truly enjoyable dining and evening experience unmatched by any standard.  I was invited as the guest of a friend and even though they were busy this evening, I felt very comfortable, and thats what they are known for in this class of restaurant dining.  

Ruth's Chris is part of a national chain with locations in major cities. Usually near business and commerce areas. Its Tampa location is in a good business section of town amidst tall office buildings in a junction of accessible highways, the International Mall, Westshore Plaza, and Tampa Airport.

This is a chain restaurant and you wouldn’t know it. The smiles are sincere, the banter appropriate, sometimes artificially induced and emphasized in the training sessions, you just don’t feel it at the Tampa location. It's that obvious the staff is out to do a good job,  thats a sign of good management.

It's the kind of place you go to for an occasion, event, or when you and someone special is due for a treat. A beautiful deep wood warm atmosphere combined with excellent service,  good food and drink and the experience begins.

By the time we were seated we had been greeted by the valet, the doorman who opened the car door for my friend, she loved that, and then the entrance door, the reservation manager and the seater, then the waitress, and the manager.  And that was only half the tribe.

Yes, this is moderatly expensive, the higher end for Tampa but worth the price.  Our dinner with drinks and desert ran 120.00 plus tip. 140.00 Total.

It is the sheer numbers of people who make this happen. With that much service you feel that you did pay for this level of service and quality, but not out of reality compared to some other places in the area.  You paid the buck, but got the bang.  I do recommend reservations, with their reputation and proximity to what happening in Tampa, thye are busy.

I don't think you can beat them in terms of service, quality, atmosphere, presentation and everything is scrutinized by the management.  The manager came over to check on us and I asked how they age their beef. There are two theories, dry aging and wet aging.  I got an education.  The major competition across town does it the other way.  So try both and compare.

My RibEye - The food was excellent, I had the biggest Rib Eye I had ever seen.  I ordered it on the recommendation of a friend, another restaurant owner (Italian) who frequents there.  He explained the Rib Eye has a unique flavor compared to the Sirloins and Porterhouse. It's true, tastes totally different, beautifully marbled and cooked to perfection. One word, memorable!

Filet - The most tender cut of corn-fed Midwestern beef.

Petite Filet - A smaller, but equally tender filet.

Ribeye - An outstanding example of USDA Prime at its best. 
Well-marbled for peak flavor, juicy.

Cowboy Ribeye - A huge bone-in version of this USDA Prime cut.

New York Strip - This USDA Prime has a full-bodied texture, 
and it is slightly firmer than a rib eye.

Porterhouse (2) - This USDA Prime cut combines the rich flavor of 
a strip steak, with the tenderness of a filet.

T-Bone - A full-flavored, classic cut of Prime beef.

RC:  If there’s one thing to know about steaks, it’s that USDA Prime is the best of the best. Representing the top-quality beef, these cuts are well marbled and hand-selected for thickness and tenderness. Ruth only served her guests the finest—and that’s why we serve custom-aged USDA Prime beef.

Her Petite Fillet - My friend had the petite filet and she couldn’t finish it.  So I helped out, being the gentleman that I am wrapped in a six foot one carnivore package.  The sides were baked potatoes and baby asparagus. Coffee after and we shared a crumb cake that was delicious, and I didn’t eat till late in the next day.   Our meal also came with a loaf of bread served with butter. The bread is always warm and very tasty.  

Back to the filet.  This fillet appears small, but rather thick.  Thats the way a good medallion of fillet is presented.  They cooked it perfectly to medium rare and it was the most lean, tender, and flavorful piece of steak she said she ever had. 
They also serve their food on heated plates, so the food stays nice and warm when you eat.  
The steamed asparagus came with hollandaise sauce which I can do without. 
In the beginning I had stated that Ruth's Chris was a chain restaurant.  If someone didn't tell you that, you would think it was one of the best private upscale establishments you had eaten in.