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Ruth's Chris Steakhouse Edmonton

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Ruth's Chris Steakhouse Edmonton opened in late-November 2006. Any feedback so far? Is it doing well or not? Anyone here who has tried the Edmonton location? Can Edmonton support a high-end steakhouse serving prime grade steaks? There might not even be one restaurant or steakhouse in Edmonton serving Canada Prime grade steaks.

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  1. BLM:

    I have not eaten there yet but intend to try it out later in the month or in February now that the Christmas and New Years festivities have subsided.

    As a result, all of my comments are either anecdotal or based upon second hand information.

    Most of the "buzz" has been positive. Friends who have in fact eaten there or in their lounge have said that it was very good. The reviews I have read were pretty decent although one might have been more critical. That having been said I am going from memory.

    The biggest complaint I have heard is their penchant for butter. I have heard that you leave a trail of that odour after a night of dining.

    Can Edmonton support a high-end...I would say VERY high end...steakhouse serving prime grade steaks? I was of the opinion that it would and could not. I may have been wrong as I am told that they are busy. I expect the next few months may tell the story now that the Xmas and holiday "splurge" season is over.

    They have dealt with local cattle industry concerns by offering Alberta strip loins in addition to their standard corn fed US prime beef.

    This type of dining does not excite me. For example Steve, I would rather eat at Club Chasse et Peche or Au Pied de Cochon than Queux de Cheval or West rather than Gotham but apparently thus far they are doing well at what they are doing.

    I'll post when we try it.

    1. Corn fed US prime? Ug. I'll take grass fed if I want to shell out money for steak.

      1. I'm not sure the grade of beef indicates origin - I thought plenty of Canadian beef was sold in the US, and therefore graded by the US Department of Agriculture. But if there is a steakhouse serving Prime in Edmonton besides Ruth's Chris, I have not found it. Most other places cheap out with the 'Sterling Silver' designation that spans Choice to AAA.

        Was there about a month ago, and the steak was very, very good. I happen to like butter. Thought the service had a few kinks to work out, but the staff were very hospitable and knowledgeable about the menu. (No place to put your coat, and no one taking it - strange to be paying these prices and eating with your coat scrunched on your chair.) Definitely not a place for creative cooking, but for basics done well. The bread and coffee was very good too, unlike what I've had at Ric's. Bread pudding, on the other hand, was pretty underwhelming (uneven temperature, and had nothing on the version at Jack's) and I would probably not order dessert there again - not that you would have room for it anyway. I do a frugal home cooking blog (http://frugalcuisine.blogspot.com) but thought this place was worth the eating out dollars and would return. (And am from an Alberta beef farming family.)

        Looking forward to hearing others' impressions.

        1. Thanks for the feedback so far. I need to correct myself, Ruth's Chris Edmonton, opened in late-October(not November). I'm a big beef eater, although I know steakhouses is not adventurous dining. However I see in the states, that many of the big name chefs(including top french chefs) are opening high-end steakhouses. I find it very disturbing with over the top butter thing with many dishes at Ruth's Chris(for this reason alone, I'm not sure Ruth's Chris could be successful opening a location in Montreal). I find too many people in Montreal prefering lean(& as less fat as possible).

          1. Would not consider Ruth's Chris to be high end, unless you are talking price. By that I mean it is not a highly formal, elegant experience - more comfortable. My feelings are just that as long as it is the only place in town serving Prime there is no reason to eat steak anywhere else.

            By the time I went I think they had reduced the butter somewhat in response to the reviews (our server emphasized that the steak came with a BIT of butter), but seriously, a tablespoon or two of butter is kind of moot when it draped over a sixteen ounce piece of prime grade meat. (It is tons of very rich food - I ended up walking home, and live on the other side of the river valley. And we took a lot home with us.)

            Another thing to note is that their general manager, Brian Welsh, is pretty well known in the Alberta food scene and his move there created some buzz.

            4 Replies
            1. re: pepper_mil

              Good point. I know some serious foodies, who don't consider any steakhouse fine dining(or high end). There's no reason to eat steak anywhere else in Edmonton, if you can afford it. Personally I would like the big steakhouses, to offer smaller portions(whether it's steak or seafood). I remember going to the Queue de Cheval steakhouse in Montreal at lunchtime around 2-3 years ago, & the smallest steak they had even at lunch was 18oz! Even their desserts were enormous.

              Glad Ruth's Chris Edmonton is reducing their butter portions for their dishes.

              1. re: pepper_mil

                While there's probably no other restaurant in Edmonton serving Prime beef, are there any restaurants in Edmonton serving Alberta Kobe beef(there must be)? Or should I say Alberta Wagyu beef. There's no restaurant in Edmonton(besides Ruth's Chris Edmonton) serving Canada Prime beef? How pathetic!!!

                1. re: BLM

                  Ruth's Chris is the only one I know of for any nationality of Prime, based on all the online checking I could do, but am not going to make the effort to do a phone investigation (am moving from Edmonton within the week).There are a couple places that serve AAA, and I have seen 'Certified Angus' pop up as well, though to me Angus is nothing more than a specific breed.

                  One or more of Edmonton's Century restaurants (Century grill, lux steakhouse, delux burger bar) has a Kobe burger - not sure what the point is, if the stuff is ground. There is a lot about the Edmonton restaurant scene that I like, but on this point I have to concede 'pathetic'.....maybe someone else on the board knows more. (I am pretty sure you can get Canada Prime in Calgary but I don't remember the place that serves it.)

                  1. re: pepper_mil

                    Where are you moving to(just curious)? Are they're any butchers in Edmonton, that are carrying Canada Prime beef? From what I've heard, they're now one or two Calgary restaurants serving Canada Prime(don't know name of the retaurants however).

              2. >Would not consider Ruth's Chris to be high end, unless you >are talking price

                Yep, that is all that I was referring to

                1. : ) Moving to the capital of one of the world's great food regions: Chengdu, Sichuan. Not sure how permanently though.

                  Haven't checked about the butchers, but it's pretty rare to find Prime available to the home cook - it usually goes to restaurants. So I would not expect to find any. (And though this is a pretty carnivorous town, there unfortunately does not seem to be a high awareness of meat grade/quality - not a single R's C review that I can recall mentioned it.) Anyhow, I will be offline for few weeks, so the conversation will have to continue without me.

                  1. Just to let everyone know, The Edmonton Mariott Casion (Restaurant name "Sage") is serving both Kobe/Wagyu beef as well as Canadian Prime. They have a great menu selection and are priced a little less then Ruth's Chris. I just needed to put in my two cents as I am very proud to be a protein distributor in Alberta and there is a number of Restaurants that are proud to carry true Alberta Beef of all grades, CAB (top 8% of all Cattle produced), AAA, AA and Prime.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: ICP

                      Hey ICP, quick question for you.

                      My understanding is USDA Prime is the top 2% .... is CAB (what does that actually stand for?) the Canadian equivalent? What would you say is the #1 difference between CAB, Prime, AAA? Does CAB come automatically dry aged, or is it just different in terms of the quality of the beef itself (marbling, flavour, finish, etc...)

                    2. Yen:

                      I will defer to ICP as he/she would know if in the "meat business" but I thought "CAB" stood for "Certified Angus Beef", i.e. black angus cattle.

                      Did not know about the top 8% nor that is was a higher grade than AAA. Not saying that it isn't, merely did not know that.

                      5 Replies
                      1. re: Bob Mac

                        Thanks Bob. That makes sense. If that is the case, i didnt know that Angus Beef would fall into the top 8% category as well, nor that it was a higher grade.

                        I just did some quick checking into this (which i should've earlier).

                        Here's a link on grading (and the distribution of grades) in Canada

                        Looks like Canadian Prime is graded to be the top 0.7% of all beef Canadian beef. Does anyone know anywhere that sells Canadian Prime, or is it all given to restaurants or exported?

                        Also, from the Canadian Beef Grading Agency,

                        "Grade Equivalency with the United States

                        The minimum marbling standards for USDA Prime, Choice and Select are identical to those used in Canada for Canada Prime, Canada AAA and Canada AA respectively. Although there may be some differences between Canada and the U.S. for other grade criteria, the Canadian industry believes that grade equivalency is a realistic and desirable objective."

                        So in theory, Canada Prime and USDA prime should be the same.

                        Like Bob, that would lead me to conclude that CAB, Wagyu, and other type of cattle dont fall on the grading scale, and ICP must've meant something else.

                        1. re: yen

                          Theyre not the same because USDA prime beef is corn fed, therefore exhibiting differences most evident in flavour profile.
                          Not all Canada prime beef is exported. It is available to restaurant chefs who are willing to pay. And it's not cheap either. But oh so good!! Especially notable are the prime striploins and sirloins, cuts that benefit most from more fat content. In other words, a prime tenderloin isn't going to be much different than AAA. You notice more in the other cuts, at least from my experience.

                          1. re: formerlyfingers

                            Thanks for the info. Out of curiosity, Is Canadian Beef fed on grass or wheat? I know they are finished on wheat on the feedlots (well, some combination of grains anyway), but wasnt sure if they were grass fed or not.

                            So with the exception of Sage, are there any other restaurants that are serving Canada Prime? I'd like to do a comparison one weekend between Canadian Prime and USDA prime. Im not a huge striploin fan (yes, i know.. it's the cadillac of steaks, but i prefer ribeye), but i could do a sirloin comparison. Anyone had a steak at both places and have a preference?

                              1. re: formerlyfingers

                                Both Edmonton and Calgary. I commute.

                      2. Yen:

                        Again I am not in the meat industry nor a rancher so anyone out there feel free to correct me, but I thought that Canadian cattle were raised on grass, range fed and finished off with barley as opposed to American cattle with corn.

                        Purportedly the latter acquire a yellowish colour in their fat whereas the Canadian beef remains white.

                        I have not been to Sage although the Enoch Reserve is closer to where I live than downtown. To my knowledge I have never had Canadian nor American prime grade beef and I do not know of other restaurants in Edmonton who feature it.

                        If you talk to local chefs there is always a little consternation if not outright animosity being expressed that some spots advertise that they are selling AAA Canadian beef while the competitors "quietly"...do not want a law suit do we?...complain that it is neither AAA nor in some cases even Canadian. Lots of beef from places like Brazil and Australia apparently around.

                        You can compare Canadian and American prime at Ruth's Chris. Unfortunately, given your stated preference for cuts I think that option is restricted to strip loins.

                        On a purely anectodal basis talking with folks who either work at Ruth's Chris or are acquainted with others who do, the two or three times when people have actually ordered both to do exactly what you said, i.e. cook them both and do not tell us which is which, the American prime has been selected as their preference. I am told a little sweeter.

                        At about $47 or $49 for each it will be some time before I do that taste comparison.

                        If you do, I look forward to your comments.

                        Still the best steak I have ever had was a smallish strip loin years and years ago grilled by then chef/owner Peter Johner and accompanied by some demi. It was so well aged and tender. Full of flavour and sweet as well. It was not even on the lunch menu but our server said the kitchen could do it when I commented that I had a hankering for some beef. Have never had better.

                        1. Canada Prime is a higher grade than CAB(Certified Angus Beef). CAB is part of the AAA Canadian beef program(I thought it was the top two thirds of AAA). They're other Canadian angus programs like Angus Pride. The feeling I get in Montreal from the steakhouses that have served US Prime beef & Canada Prime beef(they switched to Canada Prime beef during the US beef ban in Canada), is that US Prime beef is better(all these Montreal steakhouses switched back to US Prime beef after the ban was over). And Canada Prime beef is cheaper to get than US Prime beef. BTW, during the US beef ban, Ruth's Chris Toronto also switched to using Canada Prime beef.

                          1. Any update on Ruth's Chris Edmonton? Is it now open for lunch? Is it still very busy, & considered the hot spot for upscale dining in Edmonton? Any new dishes added(or maybe dishes deleted)?

                            1. I think this place is still riding on the initial buzz/novelty. Also, with the extremly high prices I think it's seen as "impressive" and I know they get a lot of corporate expense account dinners (from my company anyways).

                              I wouldn't go there if I were paying for myself. I found the amount of butter was generous enough to be overpowering. (If you are using what's purported to be the top grade of beef and bragging about it, why do you want to cover up the taste?)

                              If I remember right, the cheapest/smallest steak is $48, and some are much more expensive If you want a side dish such as mashed potatoes, add another $8 (the side dishes only come in portions described as "family size", although when I was there with another young guy we basically finished the potatoes between the 2 of us). Add another $10 for a salad. I have eaten way better food for way less money.

                              2 Replies
                              1. re: egon61

                                Is it the most expensive restaurant in Edmonton(based on the prices they charge)? Do they open for lunch now(it wasn't at the beginning)?

                                1. re: BLM


                                  Due to their a la carte selection with egon61's explanation I expect they are likely toward the top of the list.

                                  Definitely, an "expense account" type of spot.

                                  I do not think they have opened for lunch. Not surprising. Even Hardware Grill stopped serving lunch some months ago if not longer.

                              2. I try to steer clear of chain restaurants such as Ruth's Chris - it's the Starbucks of steak houses. For authenticity, why not try a locally owned Edmonton joint, selling locally produced beef? My fave pick is and always will be Mirabel on 109th off Jasper for beautifully done steak and bearnaise to die for :)

                                6 Replies
                                1. re: eastcoastgirl_westcoastlife

                                  The Mirabelle? LOL...gawd, I did not realize it was still open. It has been years and years. When I moved out here in the '80's it was always advertising the 2 for 1 specials and I had forgotten all about it.


                                  As chance would have it I spoke with one of the servers from Ruth's Chris a few days ago and although they are not currently open for lunch, they are planning to do so in apparently the near future.

                                  Also the Journal wrote that there are plans to expand to Calgary, Winnipeg and one other western Canadian location which I do not recollect. To be frank, I am surprised. I do not know if it will "work" in Calgary despite the amble $ down there going into competition with Caesar's, Vintage, Murrietta's etc

                                  Mind you, what do I know? I did not think that it stood a chance at all in Edmonton.

                                  1. re: Bob Mac

                                    Bob Mac - it still looks straight out of the 80's but the food speaks for itself !!

                                    1. re: Bob Mac

                                      Thanks. I'll find the Journal article in the library here in Montreal.

                                      1. re: Bob Mac

                                        Just did some checking. The Ruth's Chris Calgary location is scheduled to open December 1st.

                                        1. re: BLM

                                          actually will be scheduled to open Nov 5,2007

                                          1. re: rikash

                                            Opening Nov. 5th? For lunch as well as dinner?