#90 of 198 Destin Restaurants

Ruth’s Chris Steak House

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Ruth's Chris Steak House: Getting it Right in Destin
Local Expert's Rating:
4.5 / 5
The Bottom Line:

Ruth’s Chris Steak House is ideal for a special night out, an established eatery with a large menu and friendly, knowledgeable waitstaff.

- The FloridaPanhandle.com Local Expert Team

In 1965, Ruth Fertel, a divorced mother of two, took the bold step of mortgaging her home for $22,000 to buy a New Orleans restaurant called Chris Steak House. Ruth had not owned the eatery for long before a fire changed everything. She was forced to move her restaurant and change the name to the now famous “Ruth’s Chris Steak House.”

It is said that Ruth’s enthusiasm for her new endeavor more than made up for her lack of experience. In fact, the restaurant took off like a rocket, becoming a bigger success than she dared to imagine. She granted her first franchise in 1977 and Ruth’s Chris Steak Houses began to spread.

The restaurant has long been known for its custom-aged, USDA Prime steaks, broiled in a 1,800-degree oven and served on a plate heated to 500 degrees. The sizzle is accompanied delectable aromas.

The Destin location has three bars on site and offers special live music events. With an extensive menu in the upscale main dining room, each guest is sure to find menu items they will thoroughly enjoy.

Here are some of the menu options we highly recommend:

Spicy Shrimp
As the name implies, this appetizer is tossed in a spicy cream sauce right out of the fryer and served with tangy cucumber sauce. There’s some about the contrast of spicy and cool that appeals. Of course, the succulent large shrimp help make it special too.

Seared Ahi-Tuna
It would be a shame to miss this perfectly seared ahi-tuna appetizer, enhanced by a fabulous sauce with hints of both beer and mustard.

Veal Osso Buco Ravioli
Another another appetizer truly worth a mention is the Veal Osso Buco Ravioli — consisting of saffron-infused pasta with sautéed baby spinach and a white wine demi-glace.

Harvest Salad
We’ve come to the conclusion that our favorite salad changes by the day. On this particular day though, that favorite was the Harvest Salad – mixed greens with roasted corn, bacon, tomatoes, dried cherries, goat cheese, all topped with white balsamic vinaigrette, cajun pecans and crispy onions. It’s as fabulous as it sounds.

Petite Filet
Treat yourself to this beyond tender 8 ounce filet. For an extra delicious kick, try it with a bleu cheese crust, made with bleu cheese, roasted garlic, and just a touch of bread crumbs. You’ll take your time savoring each and every bite.

Porterhouse For Two
At 40 ounces, this dish is humongous. Obviously, the gargantuan steak is meant to be shared. The restaurant describes it as having the rich flavor of a strip, with the tenderness of a filet. Coupled with your favorite sides, this is a meal you will remember.

Chilean Sea Bass
Ruth’s Chris is famous for their steaks, but they could have just as easily become a famous seafood restaurant. The best adjective we have for this Chilean sea bass is “incredible.” Pan roasted, it’s topped with citrus-coconut butter (a story unto itself), sweet potatoes, and pineapple hash. It’s sweet/savory, warm/cool, and utterly wonderful.

We wanted to make mention of two sides that are worth notice. Sweet Potato Casserole is precisely what you might imagine, but with an added pecan crust that offers delicious texture. The Lobster Mac and Cheese consists of pasta with a three-cheese blend, mild green chiles, and tender pieces of lobster. It’s the seafood version of comfort food.

Fresh Berries with Sweet Cream Sauce
After what is sure to be a large meal, we recommend this clean, simple dessert. The name spells it out perfectly – fresh berries topped off with a sweet cream sauce. The perfect dessert to follow the perfect meal.

We’ve heard the occasional complaint about long waits for service and disappointment when steaks are not prepared precisely to order, but those appear to be few and far between. We were struck by the caliber of the service and a sense that Ruth’s Chris wants to get it just right.

Insider Tips:
-If the relatively high prices of Ruth’s Chris Steak House are keeping you away, dine in one of the bars during happy hour. Meal prices are greatly reduced at that time.
-The restaurant offers an extensive menu for those with gluten sensitivity.
Ruth’s Chris offers an array of private rooms and a private billiard room for parties.
-Children are welcome. In fact, the restaurant provides DVD players to children in hopes of keeping them occupied as they wait for their meals.