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Nearly 45 years ago, Ruth Fertel, a single mother, mortgaged her house and invested her life savings to buy a restaurant named “Chris Steak House.” Shortly after taking ownership, Ruth added her name to the restaurant, becoming Ruth’s Chris Steak House. The Ruth’s Chris empire has expanded to well over 100 restaurants spanning several countries.
Although Ruth’s Chris had humble beginnings, the cooking styles, recipes and overall hospitality and top-notch service are still evident when visiting Ruth’s Chris Steak House. I felt that immediately when walking in the door. Originating in New Orleans, many menu items have a Cajun-style influence to them – shrimp cocktail with Creole remoulade or bread pudding with whiskey sauce. The New Orleans influence is even more evident in the lunch menu with items like French Quarter Steak Skewers and Chicken La Louisianne.
I had been to Ruth’s Chris once before and remember it being a fantastic and pleasurable meal. So, I was pretty thrilled when I was invited to check them out for the debut of the Kennesaw location of Ruth’s Chris. Open just over a week, the restaurant was fairly busy on a Wednesday evening when I visited. Most tables seemed to be comprised of business diners, with a few couples scattered in the mix.
The appetizers at Ruth’s Chris are comprised entirely of seafood. You can find the usual suspects – calamari, shrimp cocktail, and stuffed mushrooms. But I decided to veer away from that and order the Crab Cakes and the Ahi Tuna.
The steaks aren’t the only things that get delivered on a sizzling plate – the Crab Cakes were delivered the same way. These were full of lump crab with not much else and no iota of filler or breading. My only recommendation is to leave them on the sizzling plate and eat off of that. Otherwise, they will tend to get cold rather quickly. Still tasty, mind you, they are just much better when hot.
The Ahi Tuna is equally as delicious served atop a ginger/ mustard sauce. I love sauces, but I would go easy on this one. Don’t drown your tuna in it; otherwise the sauce will tend to overpower the tuna. In fact, I would ask for the sauce on the side, was I to order that again. Then gently dip the tuna slice in the sauce, so as to enhance the tuna NOT overpower it.
Up to this point, portions seemed decent – not huge. But that all ended after the appetizers. We ordered the Buffalo Mozzarella and Tomato Salad, which were split between the two of us. At the recommendation of our server, we had them split it in the kitchen and deliver it to us. Nice thick pieces of mozzarella sat on fresh sliced tomatoes. Again, the dressing was little overpowering here, I’d ask for it on the side.
For mains, there truly is something for everyone with seafood selections, lamb, chicken, but of course, steaks are the stars at Ruth’s Chris. They only serve USDA Prime steaks, which are only 2% of the steaks produced in the country. These steaks are cooked at 1800 degrees to lock in the flavor, and then served on sizzling plates to ensure that the meat stays hot the entire meal.
The two steaks we sampled were the Ribeye and the Tournedos and Shrimp. The Ribeye was huge and had excellent marbling. Steaks can be complimented with a sauce of your choosing – blue cheese, Au Poivre, Bearnaise, Hollandaise, but I prefer mine just as they are with Ruth’s Chris butter toping and I wasn’t disappointed in the slightest.
The Tournedos with Shrimp are two small 4 oz filets that come with jumbo shrimp on top. The filet was melt in your mouth tender and the shrimp sweet and full of flavor. The side dishes are large and one will most likely be plenty for two people to share. Potatoes come in 7 varieties, and the standout is the sweet potato casserole with pecan crust. The slightly sweet side was a compliment to the buttery steak.
While there is no shortage of au gratin, creamed or cheesy sides, I took a pass on these as I felt they would be too heavy with all I had eaten up to this point, so I opted for the simpler sautéed mushrooms. Simple, yes, but they weren’t lacking any flavor. And they were huge. Ruth’s Chris doesn’t do anything in small way. Had I not had such a filling start to the meal with two starters and the salad, I would have chosen a more rich side like creamed spinach or potatoes au gratin, which are specialties here. But there’s always next time.
When they wrap up your food at the end of the evening, and I say when because it is inevitable, not one group left without taking some food home, they refer to it as a food souvenir rather than a doggy bag. We were no exception, with half of our steaks wrapped and most of the side dishes as well.
But we still had to have a bite of dessert. The Chocolate Mousse Cheesecake and the Apple Crumb Tart were colossal and individually more than two people could eat. So, after a couple delicious nibbles we had to pack those up as well.
If you are a coffee lover, don’t miss the French Press coffee at Ruth’s Chris. Served in individual carafes, it is such a treat to have this freshly brewed coffee. My intent was to have one cup as it was already 9 pm, but it was so wonderful, I ended up having 3 cups, hence, here I am at 1 AM writing this article.
It’s nice to have a restaurant like Ruth’s Chris in Atlanta and even closer to us OTPers in Kennesaw. You probably know Ruth’s Chris isn’t cheap. But once in a while, it is worth the splurge to have a steak so high in quality, you’re reminded why you’re a carnivore and prepared so well, it just melts in your mouth. Everyone that we encountered seems to not only be well versed in the menu and professional, but genuinely proud of where they work.
Extras: They are open Thanksgiving Day from noon until 9 pm and are offering a 3-course meal for under $30 per person.
620 Chastain Rd
Kennesaw, GA 30144