Upon arriving at the understated entrance of Ruth’s Chris Steak House on West 6th St., you would think that it was a small 3 table establishment, but once entered, you are able to be swept away in a gorgeously elegant and dimly-lit edible dream. My guest and I were walked back to the Colorado Room for what was set to be a stunning evening of mixed-drinks and boisterous conversations. The evening was started with an explanation of how our evening was tailored with every course to have a corresponding cocktail to complement.
A look at the evenings menu:
The first course came with a lovely champagne flute filled with an iridescent cream colored liquid accented with a miniature slice of lemon and a raspberry. The sparkling French Quarter 75, which combines Piper Sonoma Blanc de Blancs and Hendricks Gin, was said to be a “partiff” which prepares the stomach for the meal to come. To pair was an Ahi Tuna stack that housed ahi poke, mango, avocado, tomato, fried wonton chips and wasabi crème fraîche. The complementary dryness of the drink with the fruitiness of mango, oceanic flavor of the tuna and creaminess of the avocado was a great combination for the palate.
The second course was begun with a unique ruby red grapefruit & basil martini featuring Reyka Vodka and a phenomenal Summer Melon Salad. The salad was an assortment of cantaloupe, honeydew, crispy prosciutto and a citrus champagne vinaigrette over a bed of spring mix. It was hard to put down the fork as I took in the sweetness from the salad mixed with the bitter and fragrant flavors of the grapefruit and the basil.
Course three brought a more savory dish to the table. Paired with a lovely seared scallop atop a puff pastry, creamed spinach, bacon and a béarnaise sauce was a blackberry sidecar. The sidecar is a staple drink for a classic cocktail fan and this one did not miss, adding muddled blackberries to the Remy V.S.O.P., Cointreau and lemon juice. The creamy and savory dish was perfectly accented with a reserved crisp sweetness of the cocktail.
The main dish of the evening, and my favorite, was the filet mignon, crab cake and pecan-crusted sweet potato casserole. The casserole had me sold immediately with its ornately crisp top layer and it’s candied deliciousness. The filet mignon was elegantly moist and tender, baring a rosey pink center. The crab cake was the perfect consistency, offering a great variety of flavors including that of the succulent crab. This was paired with an Apricot Sour consisting of Hudson bay bourbon, fresh lemon juice and apricot preserves. It was quite flavorful and a great spin on the classic whiskey sour.
The grand finale to the evening was a coconut-pineapple bread pudding which, although small, was the perfect size and held its own with the other courses. The flavors of the coconut and pineapple soared through the fluffy and moist cake. The raspberry sauce was a perfect addition giving a slightly tart layer to the dish. And what better way to end the evening than with a coffee, spiked with Mount Gay Rum, fresh cream and nutmeg.
By the end of the evening the room had become quite relaxed and the conversations had become more excited as people talked across the tables in the room where edible magic had occurred. A phenomenal evening was made with Austin food lovers, the best of cocktails, and Ruth’s Chris’ excellently executed serving of mesmerizing dishes after dishes. I am very grateful for the opportunity to have dined at such a fine event with fantastic food-minded people. Given the chance, you should not turn down a Ruth’s Chris event as it would be a definite mistake.