The world-renowned dining destination, Ruth’s Chris Steak House, opened its Philadelphia location June 6, 2016. Located in the heart of Center City, the impeccably designed steak house will reside in the lobby level of the Sonesta Hotel at 1800 Market Street, just steps away from Rittenhouse Square, Logan Square and the Benjamin Franklin Parkway.
Featuring custom-aged, USDA prime steaks served on 500 degree sizzling plates, complemented by an award-winning wine list and handcrafted cocktails, franchisee and owner, Marsha Brown, is dedicated to honoring the vision and traditions set forth by Ruth’s Chris Steak House founder, Ruth Fertel. Ruth’s Chris has over 100 steak houses across the United States and several international locations.
Founder Ruth Fertel was a divorced single mother who realized she needed to earn more money in order to send her teenage sons to college. Ignoring the advice of her banker, lawyer and friends, Ruth purchased the restaurant in 1965. She used her brother’s restaurant, along with family recipes to lay the foundation for her restaurant. Fertel personally took a hand in every part of the business. Originally called Chris Steahhouse, for many years it was the only upscale restaurant in New Orleans with an all-female wait staff. In August 2005, under President & CEO Craig Miller, Ruth’s Chris Steak House became a public company and after Hurricane Katrina moved headquarters from New Orleans to Winterpark, FL.
Ruth’s Chris Steak House offers traditional American classics, and takes them up a notch. The constantly evolving menu is executed by executive chef, Johnnie Reynolds while the restaurant will be run by General Manager, Burnie Gaeta.
Hosting 250 seats with indoor and outdoor tables, open for lunch as well as dinner and the lively Sizzle, Swizzle, Swirl happy hour. Additionally, there are three private dining rooms. Designed by Beth Donner Design Group in close partnership with Brown, the new Ruth’s Chris Steak House Philadelphia evokes a sense of intimacy with elements of surprise throughout that intrigue and inspire guests to keep coming back for more. Artwork curated by Brown from famed artists DeVon and Todd White from Galerie Rue Royale located in New Orleans, LA and Ron Rundo from Long Island, NY.
“The art really takes the space to another level; I invested in thought provoking pieces that you wouldn’t typically see in a dining environment but ones that would pay homage to not only my hometown, but Ruth’s Chris Steak House’s roots as well,” stated Brown.
We stopped by for a group dinner and got to try out some of the classic dishes on the menu as well as some new additions. Impress any diner by ordering the Chilled Seafood Tower complete with Maine lobster, king crab legs and knuckles, colossal lump crab meat and jumbo cocktail shrimp served with both Sriracha-lime seafood sauce and cocktail sauce. This tower stands about 18 inches high on the table. We loved the Crab Stack with colossal blue crab peaks atop a mild medley of avocado and mango, combining sweet and savory flavor in every bite.
The Seared Ahi Tuna perfectly complemented by a spirited sauce with hints of ginger, mustard and beer. And if you’re looking for a salad, try the Fresh Mozzarella and Kumato Tomato Salad a delightful blend of locally sourced Kumato tomatoes served with fresh mozzarella and topped with fresh basil, an aged balsamic glaze, and extra virgin olive oil.
The restaurant’s signature is serving USDA prime steaks that are seared at 1800° Fahrenheit and served on ceramic plates heated to 500° Fahrenheit. Half an ounce of butter is added just before the plates leave the kitchen in order to create the signature ‘sizzle’. The founder firmly believed that the success of her steaks was due as much to the sound and smell of the ‘sizzle’ as well as the taste. “You hear that sizzle, and you think, ‘I wonder if that’s my steak. ”
We tried the Bone-in Filet Mignon which is a 16-ounce cut with a blend of marbling and mellowness near the bone and absolutely delicious. For seafood lovers we’d sugest the Chilean Sea Bass served over sweet potato and pineapple hash and topped with citrus coconut butter.
Portions generally are large enough to serve two or more. Family style side dishes include Potatoes Au Gratin, Roasted Brussels Sprouts, etc. Some recipes, like the New Orleans style Creamed Spinach or Sweet Potato Casserole, are traditional 19th century Louisiana recipes that originate with Ruth Fertel’s family. Our favorite was most definitely the Lobster Mac N’ Cheese served as a generous portion of tender lobster combined with their signature three-cheese macaroni.
Save room for dessert because you’ll want to try the White Chocolate Bread Pudding, a beloved classic topped with choice of four spirited crème Anglaise sauces: Orange Cognac, nutty Frangelico®, raspberry Chambord® or coffee Tia Maria®. If you’re more of a chocolate lover there is also the Chocolate Duo, chocolate cake coupled with chocolate mousse splashed with a little sweet cream and topped with fresh berries.
Ruth’s Chris Philadelphia offers lunch and dinner. Stop by for happy hour, Ruth’s Chris $9 Sizzle, Swizzle and Swirl Happy Hour will be featured Monday-Friday from 4:30 – 6:30 p.m. Try a Royal Street Gin & Tonic with Bombay gin and Domaine de Canton ginger liqueur, with fresh rosemary and a splash of tonic, a Pomegranate Martini with Smirnoff® Vodka, Cointreau, pomegranate and cranberry juice, finished with a sugared rim, or maybe a Ruth’s Manhattan with Jim Beam® bourbon, Noilly Prat sweet vermouth, and Southern Comfort®, topped with an Italian Amerena cherry.
Food specials include a Prime Burger with Fries, a juicy, USDA Prime burger broiled to perfection, topped with lettuce, tomato, and onion, and served with hand-cut seasoned fries. The Tenderloin Skewer Salad with succulent honey-soy marinated tenderloin skewers served atop fresh spring greens, mushrooms, caramelized onions and bleu cheese crumbles. A Crab BLT with Zucchini Fries, a twist on the classic includes jumbo lump crab tossed in house-made creole sauce, served with crispy, hand-cut zucchini fries. Or Spicy Shrimp, tender shrimp lightly fried and tossed in a spicy cream sauce.
Additional interior images from Phillymag.com