Having eaten at two different Ruth’s Chris locations in the Palm Springs area I had high expectations of both the food and service at their new Anaheim location. While our visit was pleasant overall, the Anaheim location did not fully meet my expectations.
Drinks: Have you ever tasted flat Coca-Cola with too little syrup? This location’s soda fountain just couldn’t serve up a good Coke. Other soft drinks, however, were unaffected.
Their wine list reported five or six vintages of sparkling wine available by the glass. Yet, when my wife ordered one of the brands listed we were told that they no longer offered that brand. Instead, I was shown the menu which listed fewer vintages. They could have avoided this set back by managing my expectations. That is, they could have simply updated their wine list and we wouldn’t have been disappointed.
Sadly, our drink experiences set the tone for the rest of the meal.
Food: Our steaks were presented in Ruth’s Chris’ traditional fashion: sizzling hot. My wife’s filet, however, was not cooked to the temperature she ordered. Despite being “butterflied,” her “well-done” filet arrived with significant amounts of pink. I’m surprised she didn’t send it back for some additional time on the grill. Conversely, my steak was perfectly prepared. Once we began to eat, bite after bite we were reminded of how a great steak should taste. (“Yum!”)
If you’ve eaten at Ruth’ Chris you know that their side dishes are prepared with the same artistry as their steaks. Our broccoli au gratin and lyonnaise potatoes were simply amazing. It appeared that the lyonnaise potatoes were deep fried before being sautéed.
Service: Kathy, our main server, was pleasant and efficient. She--and the interest of her manager--are the only reasons we left with happy hearts. Their support staff, however, was uninspiring. The runner attempted to serve the incorrect entrees and neglected to deliver my wife’s béarnaise sauce. Luckily, Kathy corrected both problems.
In toto, the meal was delicious and the service acceptable. When we go out for fine dining, however, we expect a bit more than we would from a quick-service establishment. It was that little bit extra that we found lacking.