December 16, 2010

BEST Meal Contender

Lobster bisque

Fresh BUFFALO mozzarella and tomato caprese salad

Heavy cream mashed potatoes

Creamed spinach

Filet mignon and shrimp

Fresh berries in sweet cream

Happy Birthday dessert platter

Confession: I just made up the "BEST Meal Contender" category because we had four incredible courses at Ruth's Chris Steak House, each one better than the next. So do I label this as the BEST steak? Or caprese salad? Or berries in sweet cream? because everything I had would certainly top my lists right now. Instead, in honor of this 3-hour and thoroughly enjoyable meal, I'm just calling the experience as a whole one of the best.

The lobster bisque was creamy with a nice tomato-and-seafood balance of flavor. The caprese salad, sitting over a bed of greens in a syrupy balsamic, had buffalo mozzarella - and it was as good as the mozzarella in Italy. It's the first time I've had it since returning: this is fresh cheese that melts in your mouth it's so soft and fresh - I've literally seen people eating it out of a bag with a spoon. My only complaint about their salad though, was the tomatoes were run-of-the-mill, the same flavor as you find at the supermarket - and they NEEDED to be homegrown tomatoes to be sitting next to the buffalo mozzarella.

Moving onto the side dishes, the mashed potatoes are like a dream, so creamy they're like a dream drizzled with butter, and clearly made with heavy cream (none of this low-fat milk stuff!). The creamed chopped spinach was also great (though the potatoes outshone them) - and now we come to the main entree. The Victoria Cut Filet Mignon at Ruth's Chris time and time again is my favorite filet mignon. The spices and marinades rubbed into the meat are rich and flavorful - and a nice medium-rare is PERFECT if you like your steak red in the middle. (I actually had some trouble with this, not remembering that the filet will cook another minute or so as it sits on your plate in front of you, so be sure to cut to check the temperature after waiting a few seconds at least.) The shrimp had a bit of Cajun seasoning (not my favorite flavor), but were succulent and perfectly cooked, nonetheless.

The desserts also did not disappoint - I can't tell you how sad it made me that I was too full to actually finish my sweet cream and berries dessert. It was SO good - the syrupy sweet-but-not-too-sweet cream hugged every crevice of the berries with a delicate vanilla accent, and it was impossible to comprehend that three or four bites in I just couldn't eat another bite. But it was heavenly.

Ruth's Chris is an upscale steakhouse, where it's a good idea to call ahead for a reservation, just in case. We were celebrating a birthday - the guest of honor's dessert was a small sampling of the berries in sweet cream, homemade berry sorbet (quite akin to the gelato I had in Italy), and chocolate mousse in a chocolate cup. Our server was great, but it was a long meal by choice, and I couldn't imagine it any other way. Ruth's Chris is an expensive restaurant, but the quality of food and service lives up to every expectation. In my opinion, it's worth saving up to go to for a special occasion.

Where you can enjoy this yourself:

Ruth's Chris Steak House
148 West 51st Street
New York City, New York
(Note: Check their website, they have locations all over the country!)

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