Tuesday, 7/20/11 - Last night, in celebration of our 36th anniversary, we dined at Ruth's Chris Steakhouse in Wilmington, NC.
The restaurant is located within the Hilton Hotel of Wilmington.
Our reservations were for 8:00 PM. We arrived promptly at 8. We were seated in a corner location that proved to be very cool, as it funneled all of the cold air from the various cold-air registers into the corner then down to our table. It was a little bit much, but not too bad.
Our waitress, Brook, was very pleasant and professional. She presented the night's specials to us, along with some personal suggestions.
We opted for salads (I chose Ruth's special salad at approximately $11, and a regular salad for my wife at about $9). We each chose Filet of Tenderloin; my wife got the petite at about $36, and I chose the regular size filet at $40. We each chose to have our steaks cooked medium-rare. At Brook's suggestion, we also chose mac-and-cheese with lobster bits - I think this was about $12.50, but couldn't locate my receipt. We added a bottle of Pinot Noir at $85. For dessert, I had cheesecake, while my wife chose creme brulee, along with French-press coffee. We were also presented with a complimentary slice of chocolate cake for our anniversary. Since I don't have all of my receipts, I can't give a complete individual item breakdown. However, with tax, the bill came in at $233.42. We added $46 for the tip, for a total of $279.
We both enjoyed the salads. Mine was totally different from anything I had before; it was julienne and placed into a mold; it was interesting and I enjoyed it.
The steaks were cooked precisely to our desired temperature of medium-rare. This is aged beef, so it was fork tender. It was USDA Prime. It was exactly what I would expect for a premier steakhouse. The outer sides were blasted with high heat to form a light crust, while the interior was uniform in its color and temperature. I did software development for Bern's Steakhouse in Tampa FL, so am familiar with how a great steak should be cooked. This was on-target, and the meat was a top cut. We were both very pleased with our steaks. I requested sea-salt instead of the regular table salt, and it was delivered to me in a side dish to add to our steaks.
Our desserts were very good. The extra chocolate cake, which we could only sample because we had already eaten the other desserts, was also good.
The only disappointment was the coffee. We are used to being served really great coffee at a premium restaurant, but this was not up to snuff. Brook brought a 2nd pot to us, but it was only slightly better. I'm not an expert on preparing coffee, but I expect the beans were not as high of quality as we are used to being served.
Summary: We enjoyed the dining experience, our server was very good, the food was excellent, our steaks were prepared spot-on, and the wine was incredible. We would be happy to return for a future special occasion.
Ruth's Chris Steakhouse link