There are so many better restaurants in Bethesda.
We chose Ruth's Chris my mother wanted whole lobster. I couldn't find it anywhere else - plenty of lobster tails but no whole lobster.
Avoid Ruth's Chris at all costs. I've lived here 25 years and had never been there. It must have been good at one time, because a lousy restaurant with high prices doesn't usually have much of a chance in a town with so much competition. So perhaps they are coasting on former glory.
Off to a bad start when we called to ask if they require jacket/tie for men. We were really surprised that they said yes. Suburban restaurant on a Sunday. Really? Lots of grumbling from husband, and even more so when we got there and he was one of two men with jacket and tie. Others were in jeans and polo shirts, casual shirts (flannel), or sweaters. I spoke to the hostess and she said "oh no, it is business casual." That was one hour after we'd called. Business casual is slacks and a polo shirt or sweater. Big diff when you are married to someone who has worn a tie only four times in 15 years.
The place is empty. Only two tables occupied. They seated us near the door (yes, this was before I spoke to the hostess, so it wasn't revenge). It was a distance from the entrance, which had a double door so I thought it would be fine. It wasn't. Fortunately, the door didn't open very often. Because at no time were there more than three tables occupied.
Time for drinks. They have cocktail made with Woodford Reserve but that brand isn't on the spirits list and the waitress isn't sure they can give me a Woodford Reserve neat. So where does the Woodford Reserve in that drink come from? The bartender managed to pour a Woodford Reserve neat for me.
Now time to order. They don't have any lobsters under 3 lbs. Large lobsters are chewy, and that's too big for mother in any case. Worse. They won't broil it. They won't roast it. Has to be steamed. I can't imagine why not except that maybe the guys in the kitchen have never been taught how to broil or roast a lobster. She decides to have something else. I am about to get up and leave and go to McDonald's. She decides to go with the lobster after all. Husband and I each order a special - seared scallops with lobster sauce.
Eventually they bring some bread. It has a nice crust but is flavorless and mushy inside. Our Caesar salads arrive. Hardly fresh romaine topped with sub-par pecorino cheese shavings.
Then, one hour and fifteen minutes after we were seated and a full hour after we ordered, the entrees arrive. I like a leisurely meal but this was ridiculous. And when it arrived, we wished it hadn't. The lobster was not water-logged (thank goodness!) but it was indeed chewy. The scallops were charred, not seared, and lacked the sauce. On the 500-degree plate (we'd been warned - this apparently a claim to fame at Ruth's Chris - sizzling plates) were some things that looked vaguely like snow peas and carrots but looked definitely unappetizing. The roasted brussel sprouts were cold. Not lukewarm. Cold. The fries I'd asked for "crisp" were anything. They were limp and soggy.
We couldn't wait to leave.
The only bright note was a terrific waitress who tried her best. She tried three times to convince the kitchen to broil or roast that lobster. She checked in a couple of times to let us know she had checked on our entrees. However, the busboys were horrible. No one ever filled our empty water glasses and they left serving trays blocking the aisle so two very large gentlemen from the next table had to squeeze by us, which they did without even bothering to say excuse me. It really isn't all that much fun suddenly having someone's flannel-shirt clad large belly in your face, though I suppose it is better than the other side.
Complete waste of $200.
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