Park City is famous for two things – great ski resorts and Sundance. So when you visit in October, you get neither of both. Luckily, you still get a beautiful town without the crowd and the excellent service at Ruth’s Chris.
It all started in New Orleans. In 1965, Ruth Fertel, a single mom looking for an opportunity, saw a steak house for sale in the classifieds. She didn’t know much about restaurants or steak, but she took a chance and mortgaged her home to buy Chris Steak House. Ruth mastered all the ins and outs herself, from butchering and broiling steak perfectly to serving guests. From the opening day, the special sizzle she created was a huge local success. And 50 years later, that tradition continues.
When a kitchen fire destroyed Chris Steak House in 1976, Ruth was forced to relocate the restaurant to stay in business. But the Chris Steak House name wasn’t allowed to move with it. So, with little time and a mischievous smile, Ruth added her own name to the sign, making it “Ruth’s Chris Steak House.” And it worked—that tongue-twister of a name was born.
Crab Stack, colossal blue crab peaks atop a mild medley of avocado and mango, combining sweet and savory flavor in every bite – despite the really long description in the menu, this was a simple stack of goodness. Each layer was clearly sectioned, well seasoned, and so pretty you wouldn’t want to tear it down. Tear it down you must, so that you can mix the sweetness of the mango, the creaminess of the avocado and salty sweet crabmeat together. It is a simple recipe, but works together every time.
Calamari, lightly fried and tossed with a sweet and spicy Asian chili sauce – I usually cringed and rejected anything in the US that said Asian chilli sauce. It is never the Asian chilli sauce that I know. So when they said “sweet and spicy Asian chili sauce”, Maggi chili sauce came to mind. And I was right. It was the simple, mass produced sauce that we poured liberally on our fried beehoon growing up. Here, a slight amount was tossed with the lightly floured deep fried calamari, just enough to still remind you of Maggi.
Mushrooms Stuffed With Crabmeat, broiled mushroom caps with jumbo lump crab stuffing sprinkled with Romano cheese – Cheese galore, you could not see the crabmeat, nor the mushroom.
Cut cross-section, you can see the generous stack of crabmeat on a portobello. The stuffing included parsley and crabmeat bound together by more cheese. The cheese-panko crusted portobello was then baked. Will try this at home, really delicious.
Seared Ahi Tuna, perfectly complemented by a spirited sauce with hints of ginger, mustard and beer – Not sure about the sauce, but the seared tuna was quite delicious. But again, Utah has no seaside, so do not expect the same level of tuna goodness as SF.
Shrimp Cocktail, jumbo shrimp dressed with our spicy New Orleans homestyle cocktail sauce – The quintessential steakhouse standard that defines the place. This, to me, was too spartan. And where’s the cocktail sauce? Oh, the tomato-based sauce was more like a salsa then the thousand island cocktail sauce that we grew to be accustomed to. This was the only starter that did not favour.
Lobster Bisque, a classically prepared warm and creamy bisque topped with a sprinkling of freshly chopped parsley – Loved it, but found no lobster. And the portion was definitely American sized. You get full just with the soup. And with the other starters, we have a problem, Houston.
Anyone that has savored a USDA Prime Graded Steak knows that it is delightfully tender and juicy with a buttery flavor which makes it distinctively superior to any other steak. Of all the beef produced in the US, less than 2% is certified as USDA Prime. Typically you will not find USDA Prime in the supermarkets since its limited supply is gobbled up by fine meat purveyors that retail it to upscale restaurants and affluent consumers.
And I love US beef vs Wagyu as they are usually juicier and more flavourful per mouthful. However, the cattle is corn-fed, making them not as healthy as the NZ Beef, the cattle are grass-fed. These days, you can’t get USDA Prime very often outside of the US because the market is flooded by cheaper Aussie equivalent. So I always have as many steaks as I can eat during my travels to US.
USDA Prime beef is served in Ruth’s. USDA Prime is the superior grade with amazing tenderness, juiciness, flavor and fine texture. It has the highest degree of fat marbling and is derived from the younger beef.
Bone-In New York Strip, 19 ounces of sheer perfection—full-bodied and full of flavor. Ruth’s favorite cut, each steak is seared to perfection, finished with butter and freshly chopped parsley and served sizzling on a 500-degree plate.
Perfectly seared on the outside to lock all the juiciness in the medium rareness. I loved steaks in the US, unpretentious and grilled perfectly most of the time. And in a proper steakhouse like Ruth’s and Morton’s of Chicago, justice was done to these animals.
Sweet Potato Casserole, whipped sweet potatoes topped with a savory pecan crust – skipped that, going light on carbs.
Cremini Mushrooms, roasted mushrooms seasoned with fresh thyme and garlic – again, I was told mushrooms had carbs.
Creamed Spinach, chopped spinach in a New Orleans style cream sauce. A Ruth’s Chris classic – looked sinful too, skipped.
Crème Brûlée, the classic Creole egg custard topped with fresh berries and mint – A smooth custard with a thick sugar crust. Pass.
I totally enjoyed the Park City hospitality. Granted it was a quiet period for Park City, the skiers were not in town, and the Sundancers were not there too. But I did appreciate the smooth service and left a big tip.
Remember, the service staff were not paid well and your tips were appreciated. Don’t feel that you are short-changed, you pay peanuts, you get monkeys.
Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse Park City
2001 Park Avenue, Park City, UT 84060
Tel : 435-940-5070
Date Visited : Oct 2017