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.
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?
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.)
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.