Warming up by a buttery, sizzling piece of meat in Niagara Falls, anytime of the year, can only mean one thing, that you’re dining at the Ruth’s Chris Steak House. Which just happens to be the largest in the world, and it keeps growing and growing (current expansions are already taking place just west of the current dining room as of this post). Located in the lobby of the 18 story, Four Points by Sheraton Hotel, they sit right in the heart of the Fallsview district, just across the tunnel from the Fallsview Gallery Mall and Casino area.
It was a spontaneous decision, trying to avoid a 20 minute wait at the neighboring restaurant, so needless to say we didn’t have reservations. Thankfully they had room to fit us in at 9:30pm. Not only was the host friendly, professional and welcoming; each person we encountered was friendlier than the previous. It was a fabulous introduction to a night of fine dining.
I was impressed with each employee serving up 5 star customer service, no matter their position.
Gamay Merlot blend wine by Open
While awaiting our table, we sat at the bar and ordered a round of drinks. I try to #shoplocal every chance I can, so I chose a glass of #localWine; the gamay & merlot blend by OPEN, because it was from the Niagara Falls, Ontario region. This blend was a nice and light wine, somewhat see through, with thin, barely there legs; which meant the Alcohol By Volume (ABV) was on the lower end, making it perfect for a casual evening of noshing on delicious food. I truly enjoyed it! My love had a bottle of beer, the name escapes me, because they don’t pull draft beer, it’s all bottles babe.
The gamay merlot blend is not available from their webstore; you can buy other varietals here.
Shortly thereafter we were collected from the bar and delivered to our table, by a pleasant tall blonde host. She walked us to the very rear of the building into the section just across from the speed bar. It felt so jazzy. Our table was dimly lit, setting the stage for a very mellow, relaxing atmosphere; which quickly faded with the onset of a slight headache from the strain to read the menu without any light.
Thankfully our server arrived, with a very inviting smile and a welcoming attitude, to take our order just before delivering a warm big soft pretzel loaf; which has been the softest pretzel bread I have ever eaten to date. It was a humongous loaf too! The inside was moist and a little clingy; while the outside was perfectly toasted yet so soft, it felt like an oxymoron in my mouth, I was happily confused. Sadly, I had to limit myself to keep room for my meal.
Ruth’s Chris Steak setup
Before serving our meal, a heated plate, laced with toasted butter and dotted with parsley, was placed on top of two upside down forks; a plating which allows the butter and juices of the sizzling steak to run down and away from it, keeping them from pooling under the meat. My only qualm with this is the fact that I like my meat cooked to a perfect medium rare and not a bit more. With this setup, the plate continues cooking, it’s essentially a 500 degree hot plate, cooking the bottom side the entire time it lay resting on it.
Porterhouse cut for two
Deciding on the Porterhouse cut for two at $129.00, we opted out of appetizers, soup or salad; as it was a humongous, 40oz, USDA Prime cut of corn-fed beef. Its the best cut of meat you can order (behind kobe beef porterhouse of course!) because it combines two prime cuts. You get the rich flavour of a NY strip steak, with the tenderness of filet; which also makes it a slight challenge for most Chefs to capture the right combination of heat in both cuts simultaneously.
Medium rare was our choice and it was executed perfectly. The steaks natural juices ran rampant throughout each piece, making them flavorful and moist. Every bite dangled silky traces of butter across my tongue, before melding perfectly with those juices. The taste and smell made me think of one of those “Old timers Steak House’s”, one where people could care less about high cholesterol or fat; and i felt transported back there in time, happy to care less, and eat more!
I pulled another large piece of strip off the hot plate after my first bite, it was that good, to keep it from cooking any longer, because in my opinion it could have been a bit more rare. Overall it was so delicious, I didn’t say a thing about the normally unacceptable amount of grizzle (scroll down to read more about my grizzle, for shizzle).
Normally when ordering the Petite filet 8oz at Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse, I request a rare center and let it rest on the plate for a second, before taking my first bite, to prevent over cooking. However being that this Porterhouse was served thick, ordering it rare would have been a bad choice, especially with such a big bone.
Mashed Potatoes & Sauteed Mushrooms
Everything at Ruth’s Chris is served ala carte, so we also ordered a serving of mashed potatoes, as well as the sauteed mushrooms. The mashed potatoes, with just a hint of garlic, were served drizzled with melted butter and parsley nips. Unfortunately the top of the potatoes were hard, as if sitting for too long under a heating lamp, thick and dry. They loosened slightly after I mixed the butter in, but could have used a little more moisture for sure. I think i’ll stick with the creamed spinach, which i’ll review after i’ve eaten it again.
The sauteed mushrooms were wild and oh so delicious! A mix of shiitake, cremini and oyster mushrooms were tossed in a silky, buttery brown sauce, which had a hint of wine (maybe?). They were tender and full of flavor, each bite different in texture and flavor. I couldn’t stop eating them, it was like a game; or a pez candy dispenser, only this time it was dispensing new concoctions of wild mushrooms with each cock of the head, anticipation, exhilaration and excitement were just a few of the feelings running through me. I always feel this way when I find something new, especially with food; and what’s not to love about potent Cancer fighting mushrooms that taste this delicious? Thankfully they were some tasty wild mushrooms, because they ended up being a great pairing to the mashed potatoes, acting as a gravy to moisten them just enough to go down smoothly.
After so much rich food, we were stuffed to the max and opted out of desert.
We returned two days later…
Two days later we returned for dinner, because we were snowed in and didn’t want to venture far from the hotel. Not in the mood for more red meat, I decided to go with a salad and two appetizers as my entree. I chose the BarBeCued Shrimp, Seared Ahi Tuna and Ruth’s Chop Salad. Brian ordered the 11oz Filet with fresh asparagus with hollandaise sauce. Unfortunately my camera died before his food arrived, however I was lucky enough to photograph all 3 of my dishes.
Ruth’s Chop Salad
To start, I chose the original Ruth’s Chop Salad $15.50, which was a slimy and poor demonstration of the chopped salad. It consisted of julienned iceberg lettuce, spinach and radicchio, tossed with sliced red onions, mushrooms, green olives, bacon, eggs, hearts of palm, croutons and Blue cheese; before it was tossed in a thick and sloppy layer of lemon basil dressing. Afterwhich it was topped with crispy fried onions and dotted with sliced cherry tomatoes. The 3 types of onions, blue cheese, lemon, eggs, bacon and hearts of palm were battling something fierce in this dish, and they weren’t cooperating with each other at all. Instead each bold flavor tugged at the others; trying to push their flavors around like a sumo wrestler shoves another in the ring. It was sloppy, explosive and unattractive. The Ruth’s Chop Salad consistency was more like that of a coleslaw, not a chopped salad, it was definitely a waste of stomach room so I’ll never order that one again! I’ll just stick to their delicious and consistently mouthwatering Lettuce Wedge salad for $12.00. You can go wrong with tradition.
The Lettuce Wedge salad is a crisp wedge of iceberg lettuce, served on field greens topped with crumbled Blue cheese and bacon bits, accompanied by your favorite dressing. Not only is it a better salad, but just one cup of iceberg lettuce has:
- 8.0 calories
- 0.5 gram protein
- 0.7 gram fiber
- 10 milligrams calcium
- 78 milligrams potassium
- 1.5 milligrams vitamin C
- 16 micrograms folate
- 13.3 micrograms of vitamin K
- 164 micrograms beta carotene
- 152 micrograms of lutein + zeaxanthin
In cancer terms, those are okay nutritional values, but Romaine lettuce levels are so much higher!
Luckily the first to of two appetizers to arrive was the BarBeCued shrimp for $20.00. It consisted of 5 medium sized shrimp (26/30?), sautéed New Orleans style, before being placed on a reduction of white wine, butter, garlic and spices, before being drizzled with flat parsley and accented by a single triangle cut, piece of white bread, which had soaked up some of the juices en route to the table. I wish they served it with more bread, because that sauce was so succulent it begged to be soaked up by some good dough.
Seared Ahi Tuna
Next came the seared ahi-tuna for $23.00. The tuna was slightly seared, leaving a nice block of pink rare fish in the center, before it was dusted with Cajun spices and sliced on the bias. After which it was rested on a spirited sauce which had hints of ginger, mustard and beer. I squeezed my lemon over the entire plate, which made the mustard pop very sharply against the brew. As fresh as it was, the tuna was definitely sushi grade, fresh off the hook, but very fatty so it must have been the toro cut.
Not a fan of grizzle, for shizzle
I don’t normally eat red meat, so when I do it has to be porterhouse, filet or NY strip, plus it has to be cleaned of all fat, as much as possible before cooking, i’m okay with the butter, its just the fat I can’t stand. So when we received this fatty, grizzle laden $129.00 Porterhouse for two I was very disappointed. Thankfully the flavor more than made up for the fact that my plate ended up with so much fat and grizzle. I’m not sure if it may have just been a cultural difference in the way we eat our food in America versus Canada.
If your like me and only eat lean steaks, make them aware before hand and you should be “Aye” okay. Overall this place served up phenomenal 5 star service, they were friendly and welcoming, the decor and ambiance was upscale and inviting. Take note of the few tips I shared above and you will have a fabulous upscale dining experience, which began in New Orleans in 1965, and carry’s on in tradition around the world.
If you’re a meat lover, you may start salivating when you read that they cook each steak in a 1800 degree oven, which sears in the natural juices perfectly each time. There is something for everyone on the menu, just remember that the Niagara Falls location is the largest in the world, so plan accordingly.
Ruth’s Chris Steak House
6455 Fallsview Blvd.
Niagara Falls, ON L2G3V9