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DAT reports : Ruth's Chris, Anzu (long)

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DAT reports : Ruth's Chris, Anzu (long)

PekoePeony | Jan 16, 2006 04:02 PM

RUTH'S CHRIS
============
Friday night three of us dined at Ruth's Chris. It was the first time two of us had been to this steakhouse chain, and boy was it packed, with many of the diners ordering the DAT menu. Our reservation was for 8.45pm but we were not seated until 9.20. We had to ask for a DAT menu -- by default they do not give you one.

The DAT menu has a choice in each category:

First course:
- House salad (called 'steak house salad' but no steak is in the salad)
- Caesar salad

Second course:
- 8 oz filet mignon
- 12 oz ribeye

Dessert:
- Key lime pie
- Bread pudding

All of us ordered the caesar salad, but unfortunately it was a overly dressed limp plate of romaine lettuce with what tasted like dressing from a bottle.

The steaks were much better, perfectly cooked and surrounded with a pool of super-hot butter. I noticed that some of the other diners ordered their steaks "charred" for nice crispy exterior; alas we did not pick up on this tip until too late. I ordered the ribeye and tried some of the filet -- they were not the best steak I've had but still very tender and delicious. The ribeye was $40 on the main menu but I would think that was for a larger portion -- even so, the portions were very filling.

The desserts were both good, the bread pudding being slightly better. We were all very sated and pleased with our meal, and felt that it was a great DAT value. Except for the long wait, service was fine but not exceptional.

ANZU
====

Ten of us had Saturday dinner at Anzu in the Hotel Nikko. We did have a large party, but strangely they seated us at a table by the bar (where no tables usually are) with cheap Costco banquet chairs. When asked about this, our waiter said there weren't enough tables and chairs for our group, but this was clearly not the case since the restaurant was never more than 2/3 full with plenty of empty tables and chairs. The bar area became very loud and crowded in the course of the evening, making our table rather unpleasant and our feeling like second-class citizens. I wonder if our specifying at the time of the reservation that we were having the DAT menu resulted in this treatment.

The DAT menu had the following choices:

First course:
- PEI mussels with frites
- Beet salad

Second course:
- Colorado lamb shoulder
- Furitake crusted tombo

Dessert:
- Mint ice cream sandwiches
- The previous night's menu had persimmon bread pudding, which a couple of us were able to get -- apparently they were short our night

The mussels were good and the shoestring fries quite delicious. Those who had the beet salad were also very happy with their choice. The lamb was tender and tasty but the portion was quite small -- many of us were wondering if we'd have to get fast food afterwards. Opinions were mixed on the tombo -- most of the group found the furitake overly salty and strange, but a couple thought it was good. The ice cream sandwiches were much larger and better than we expected, and they was quite filling also, perhaps to allay our fears after the main course.

The service was good, and the saketini drinks were a hit. However, the placement and setup of the table still left us with a bad taste from the experience. There is four hours' complimentary parking at the hotel with restaurant validation, which was much appreciated.

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