Dinner at the Bar, Ruths Chris Steakhouse

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Harrahs

Harrahs: Specializing in steak and menopause, apparently.

I don’t normally spend a lot of money on meals in Las Vegas. I have this mental block about paying $50 for a steak I could buy at the store and cook myself for less than $10. Same with eggs. Same with everything, pretty much. I realize you have to pay for the labor and ambience, etc. but sometimes it seems a bit excessive to me–especially in Las Vegas. But every once in a great while, I’ll treat myself to one of those expensive meals. Because you know, when in Rome. . . .

Since I was staying at Harrahs anyway, I thought it would be a good time to try Ruths Chris Steakhouse. I’d heard great things about the view, and the Happy Hour menu looks pretty good. Ruths Chris is located on the second floor of Harrahs. You take an elevator up from near the front of the casino.

Unfortunately, I was running late and didn’t get there early enough for their Happy Hour deals, but that turned out okay in the long run. I didn’t have a reservation, but there was a free seat at the bar, so I grabbed it. I wound up sitting next to a nice local couple. The wife told me they had recently moved to Las Vegas and still enjoyed coming to the Strip to Harrahs to eat at Ruths Chris.

This, dear readers, is a ringing endorsement, because typically locals will tell you how much they hate coming to the Strip for any reason.

One of the biggest selling points of this restaurant is the view. It has huge windows with a magnificent view of the Strip, particularly Caesars Forum Shops across the street.

View from Ruths Chris

If nothing else, go for a drink and to enjoy this view of the Strip.

I’ve mentioned many times before that I prefer to dine at the bar when I can as a solo. It’s an opportunity to be social. But one of the drawbacks of sitting at a bar is that sitting on a bar stool is usually not as comfortable as sitting in a chair at a table. No worries about that here. The curved bar has two levels of seating. The upper level, where I sat, had the most comfortable bar seating I’ve ever experienced. The bar is set up so that the customer side is higher than the bartender’s side. Thus customers are sitting in comfortable, padded leather chairs (rather than on bar stools). This is GENIUS.

I mentioned to my bartender, Ron, how pleased I was with the seats. He readily agreed. “I know right? I’m always surprised when people would rather sit down on the lower level, because it’s not as comfortable.” Also your back is to the view on the lower level. Why would you want to sit with your back to that amazing view?

Ruths Chris

Bar seating at Ruths Chris: Super comfy!

Ron and the other bartender on duty (whose name escapes me, I’m afraid) were really on the ball, very professional, friendly and all-round nice guys. The TV behind the bar was set to football, as is typical of 99.99% of all bars everywhere in the U.S. Ron had money wagered on the Pro Bowl and his team lost. He was bummed.

I mentioned that I had been in Honolulu last year during the Pro Bowl. (I didn’t attend the game, but went to the block party on Kalakaua the night before.) He perked right up and asked me what that was like. He said he wished they’d take the game back there. Apparently, it was held in a much less desirable location this year. I know nothing about football, so I just nodded my head a lot.

Before I arrived at the restaurant, I had planned to go cheap and order off the appetizer menu, but once I was there, and could smell grilled red meat in the air, my will power crumbled. I couldn’t resist ordering a steak. I ordered the petite filet mignon (the smallest steak on the menu at 8 oz.) and sauteed spinach as my side, topped off with a Jack and Coke. (With tip, my bill came to over $75. And somehow, I managed not to faint.)

Filet mignon and sauteed spinach

Filet mignon and sauteed spinach

The steak arrived on a plate that was so hot, it was literally sizzling with the juices. It was also incredibly tender and juicy and flavorful, everything a filet mignon should be. I won’t say it was the best steak I’ve ever had, but it was very good. The sauteed spinach was also good, but not as good as Jaleo’s, I’m sorry to say.

The experience of the meal, though, was very enjoyable, for all the reasons mentioned above: Good food, good service, great view, comfortable seating, friendly people to chat with. It was a really nice way to unwind at the end of a long day. If you’re looking for a nice, relaxing dinner that’s upscale but not pretentious, Ruths Chris does that very well.

12 thoughts on “Dinner at the Bar, Ruths Chris Steakhouse

  1. Mark Skaggs

    Gray;
    Hey, thanks for the review….I have eaten at a couple of Ruth Crisp’s locations, but not the NEW one in Vegas…I have eaten at the previous Steakhouse at Harrah’s in the same location and it was Very good and you are extremely correct about the view! It is really cool! Now, that you have reviewed it, I will have to go! Actually my best Steak (so far) in Vegas was a NiNe in Palms a couple of years ago! It was excellent, but not cheap! THANKS

    1. Gray Cargill Post author

      Mark – It’s funny, but I typically don’t seek out steak in Vegas. I’ve always been more of a prime rib gal. But there’s something to be said for a really well-cooked steak.

  2. Dee Kniespeck

    Hi I agree that the locals being at the bar is a ringing endorsement. I have searched on line and can find nothing about the Happy Hour specials at that location. Do you have a link for that location? I am taking some new people and the upper bar area looks great to stop in have an appetizer and a quick drink.
    Thanks again for your tips.

    1. Gray Cargill Post author

      Dee – Go to Harrahs website, and under dining, look for Ruths Chris. They have links to pdfs of their menus, including the bar menu. On the bar menu, you’ll see that they have what they call the “$12 sizzle, sizzle and swirl happy hour” and it lists menu items and prices. I really wanted to try the crab blt with zucchini fries. Next time!

  3. Leslie

    Gray- I think I might go to this steakhouse just for the chairs. They give a new meaning for counter seating! You mentioned that the steak was not the best you had-have you dined at any other steakhouses in Vegas that are better? I’ve read good things about the steakhouse at Circus Circus (of all places). The price is still around the $50 mark but it includes sides. This place has also won many awards. I’m like you-I always say next time I’m going to eat at a really nice restaurant but when I get there, the thought of spending so much money on food scares me away! Any meet & greets planned? Keep up the good work!

    1. Gray Cargill Post author

      Leslie – As I noted to Mark, I don’t usually seek out steak in Vegas. When I want red meat in Vegas, I usually go for prime rib or a burger, so no, I haven’t really gone to any other steakhouses for steak. Maybe I should? I don’t have any trips to Vegas planned at the moment, but I’ll be sure to announce it here on the blog when I do!

  4. Bill

    Hey: Gray: Best steak I’ve ever had is the ny strip at Vic and Anthonys in the Golden Nugget. Not any cheaper, but maybe not more expensive than ruth’s chris either. (My folks went once to the Ruth Chris off Strip… paradise? I’d have to look it up… and rave about it to this day but I didn’t make that trip, so I can’t quite compare. Leslie: similarly, a million years ago, I know I went to THE steakhouse at Circus Circus, and it was good, and more inclusive, than many others… I’m sure it will be very good for the price, though maybe not quite as good as your $50 dollar steak elsewhere…

    Though that said, I’ve eaten at Craftsteak, and also Ramsey’s at Paris twice, and, frankly, wouldn’t pay those prices again for those particular steaks. Some of the other dishes or abmbience maybe, but on the meat, no.

    1. Gray Cargill Post author

      None of the Vegas steakhouses are particularly cheap, Bill, that’s why I don’t usually eat at them. I’ve heard so many rave reviews for the Circus Circus steakhouse, I think that might be the only thing that ever gets me in the door of that property. 🙂

  5. Andrew

    Nice review. The bar looks great.
    I have eaten at many Vegas steakhouses, from cheap to incredibly expensive. So many to choose from, and you can find disappointment and gems at any price level in this city.
    One of my favorite Vegas steakhouses for the money happens to be off strip.
    Austin’s steakhouse, located inside the relatively modest Texas Station northwest of downtown.
    Sister location at Red Rock Casino named T-Bones Chophouse (But more expensive for similar menu, entrees, sides, etc.)
    The ambience and service are exceptional. I have not had a bad meal there yet, after at least 8 visits. (They have a garlic/cilantro/butter sauce that has me hooked).
    I try to get up there regularly. Again, so many choices…..

    1. Gray Cargill Post author

      Andrew – It’s too bad I never rent a car in Vegas, because I hear about a lot of great off-Strip restaurants I’ll never be able to try. (Austin’s sounds really good. You had me at garlic/cilantro butter sauce.)

  6. Tim Sheehan

    Great article, Gray. I keep planning on doing a solo meal at Ruth’s Chris, and you gave me the inspiration to do it on my next trip in two weeks. Were there many seats available at the higher bar?

    Great to hear that they have the Happy Hour menu at the Vegas location.

    1. Gray Cargill Post author

      Tim – No, there aren’t. There are about 5 seats at the upper bar, so you really have to time your visit right. If I had to guess, I’d bet that Happy Hour would be a good time to try. Most of the happy hours I’ve been to at the upscale restaurants aren’t well-attended, if you know what I mean. Good luck!

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