With its signature 500-degree sizzling plates at the ready, Ruth's Chris Steak House opens its doors Monday in a spanking new multi-million dollar locale on Westheimer, right in the middle of H-Town's show-me-the-beef corridor.
Rising in glassed splendor just a few blocks west of the Galleria, the eatery joins no less than seven other steakhouses with Westheimer addresses. It's closest neighbors are Capitol Grille and Pappas Bros. Steakhouse, while the competition along the east-west artery includes the newly refurbished Palm, Del Frisco's, Sullivan's, Morton's, Smith & Wollensky and Frank's American Revival.
Thursday afternoon, Ruth's Chris execs from headquarters in Winter Park, Fla., (yes, the original opened in New Orleans in 1965) welcomed guests for a "steak cutting," the Ruth's Chris version of the traditional ribbon-cutting. Joining Houston GM Jason Perkins and regional chef Tony Gale with steak knives were City Councilman Oliver Pennington and Billie Sue Parris, Leukemia & Lymphoma Society executive director. (The steakhouse is partnering with the non-profit, which is located in an adjacent office building.)
Sure enough, they sliced into perfectly-cooked filets straight from chef Carlos Padilla's kitchen. The champagne corks popped and toasts to the new restaurant were made.
Those familiar with the original Ruth's Chris on Richmond will find the new restaurant in the old Prosperity Bank location an appealing improvement over the dark and enclosed eatery that opened in 1977. Harrell Architects and Beth Donner Design of Huntington Station, N.Y., have created a sophisticated light and airy environment covering 9,578 square feet. Larger than the Richmond locale, the new site, number 139 in the international chain, includes three private rooms with one accommodating up to 60 guests.
According to Michael O'Donnell, Ruth's Chris CEO, the new design is all about "light, energy and excitement."