Ruth’s Chris Steak House, Boca Raton, FL

The Surf 'n Turf225 N.E. Mizner Boulevard, Suite 100, Boca Raton, FL 33432. Telephone: (561) 392 – 6746. Website: http://www.ruthschris.com/Steak-House/3820/Boca%20Raton

Ruth’s Chris. An American icon. Steak house extraordinaire. For steak lovers there are only a few names we cherish, and we vigorously defend them. You know who they are. For us – it’s Ruth Chris.

We had reserved a table for our Memorial Day dinner – it was my birthday, and they wasted no time in making us feel welcome – a rare commodity today in this world where some say “customer service is dead in America.” It’s quite the opposite at the Boca Ruth’s – the fun started even before we got out of the car at the valet drop off: we were enthusiastically greeted by the parking attendants, and the manager held the door for us, cheerfully greeted our party, and made sure everyone knew who the birthday boy was – me! We were ceremoniously escorted to a cozy table –  decorated with party confetti and a special birthday card – in an alcove created by the wine bins, making it almost a private area within the larger, but inviting, dining room. The lighting is low, yet adequate to read the menu, the ambiance conducive to fine dining, yet not too formal or imposing.

Our server – Alex, and assistant – Marcus, made us feel welcome immediately, and after the niceties and excellent recitation of the menu specials, we settled in for a few beverages – including a must-try black cherry Cosmopolitan – and the wine order – a 2006 Merryvale Starmont Merlot,  a perfumey,  Napa Valley Merlot which  has the character of blueberry, black plum, chocolate with a smooth cedar and spice finish. French onion soup was one of the specials of the night, and was excellent, although one of our guests thought his soup was not quite hot enough. The Harvest Salad, with mixed greens with roasted corn, dried cherries, crispy bacon and tomatoes in a white balsamic vinaigrette, topped with goat cheese and Cajun pecans, was simply exquisite.

For entrees, we chose two specials: a market fresh salmon, on a bed of luscious spinach, topped with jumbo shrimp, and, Maryland crab cakes, amply sized and delicious. The rest of us had menu regulars: I opted for their signature 12-ounce rib eye, and she had the extra-thick cut lamb chops (which comes with fresh mint jelly, although she took a pass on the mint). For sides, we opted for the Lyonnaise potatoes, which were particularly crispy, but with plenty of onions, which she didn’t care for, but I loved them! I also indulged myself – it was my birthday – with tempura onion rings with honey Thai sauce, which comes with six huge, freshly and lightly battered onion rings and simply yummy sauce; and, some broccolini, which couldn’t have been tastier! One caution, though – the plates all come out extremely hot and sizzling  - which they tell you up front – so your food stays hot throughout the repast, but, no matter how much they warn you, your first bite will melt a few thousand taste buds off your tongue, burn your palate, and erode the lining of your esophagus, unless you give it time to cool off a little!

As we dined pleasantly, enjoying the Merlot, there were raves all around the table for the salmon, crab cakes, lamb chops, and, of course, the signature rib eye.

The management topped off our night with a pre-arranged birthday candle sitting astride a decadent warm chocolate cake topped with ice cream and fresh strawberries. And off we went, tummies happy, managing to dine exquisitely for about $80 a person, including the $75 bottle of wine. A thoroughly enjoyable evening!tempura onion rings, with honey Thai sauce

Overall He&SheFood Rating: CynMor ( for Cindy and Mort) score: 9 out of 10

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