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Nov 25, 2010 05:38 AM

Ruth Chris

I am going for dinner at Ruth Chris. I hear they smother their steaks with melted butter. Is this true ? I know butters ad flavor but do their steaks need it? How do you prefer your steaks there?

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  1. They don't smother with butter.
    The steak comes on a plate of melted butter.
    I tell them not to bring it with the butter.

    23 Replies
    1. re: monku

      I have been a few times over the years and I have only seen the steak come on a hot plate with a little bit of butter that would only be noticeable if you are looking for it.

      1. re: Harju

        The first couple times I went to Ruth's Chris it was a noticeable "puddle" of melted butter, you couldn't miss it. .
        Personally I don't think it makes the steak tastes better. I don't even use drawn butter when I'm eating lobster or crabs....I think it masks the flavor rather than enhancing it.

      2. re: monku

        They don't smother with butter.
        The steak comes on a plate of melted butter.

        Not true. It is "topped" with butter.

        Per the Ruth's Chris website:

        "Our famous steaks are seared to perfection at 1800 degrees and topped with fresh butter so they sizzle all the way to your table."


        Regardless, I ask for the same thing -- no butter -- but I can always end up tasting butter on my steaks. Hate it.

        I think their salamander must be coated with residual butter drippings or something, or the hot plates must have butter encrusted on it after years and years and serving and servings of steak+butter.

        Sort of like you can remove the peanuts from a cookie, but if that cookie is made in a plant that processes peanuts, then you are SOL if you have a peanut allergy.

        1. re: ipsedixit

          Whatever they say....the steak comes sitting in a puddle of butter.

          1. re: monku

            ... and it's totally off-putting.

            1. re: ipsedixit

              The last time I went to RC they had $39 fixed price menu promotion and I mistakenly ordered the filet and without the butter. That filet was tasteless and may have benefited from some melted butter.

                  1. re: monku

                    There's that "agree" thing again ...

                    1. re: ipsedixit

                      I was thinking that three threads up.

                      1. re: monku

                        now how is A1 preferable to butter? wrapping a filet in bacon or smearing butter on a steak is perfectly acceptable especially if it's a lean cut (maybe they use too much?) but A1? may as well dump ketchup on that $30+ piece. </hrumph>

                        1. re: hill food

                          I would prefer their filet be wrapped in bacon rather than drenched with butter. I would never use ketchup on a steak.

                          But isn't A1 a steak sauce?

                          1. re: monku

                            it's sold as one, I still wouldn't use it on anything but low-end supermarket stuff (and probably with butter - ha!). I've only eaten at RC years ago and don't remember, so I gather it's a ridiculous amount of butter? still a steak at that price ought to need next to nothing.

                            1. re: hill food

                              "still a steak at that price ought to need next to nothing."
                              I agree.

                              The amount of A1 I use on a bite of steak is like a drop the size of a pencil eraser. If A1 is so bad why do all the finest steakhouses I've ever been to have it?
                              Interesting fact.....A1 has been around longer than ketchup (as we know it). A1 was invented in 1824 and HJ Heinz began selling ketchup in 1876.

                              Would butter on a hamburger make it better or A1?

                              1. re: monku

                                grilled on a campfire? a small pat of butter. and maybe AND A1. a judicious amount of A1 isn't bad, it does have a nice acidic quality. my guess it's on those tables because some have become accustomed to sub-par steak and feel it's necessary (just try springing tartare, carpaccio or kitfo on my folks - ha!) sorry if I came off all snobby. we've been having dietary debates around here this week. don't you love the holidays?

                                1. re: hill food

                                  No, not snobby.
                                  Ruth's Chris must have reputation for too much butter on their steaks if the OP was asking about.

                                  Why does Peter Luger's sell their own steak sauce?.

                                  Some photo's I found on the internet of RC steaks on plates w/butter. The signature RC photo...a little butter.

                          2. re: hill food

                            now how is A1 preferable to butter?

                            I hate butter on my meats, steaks included.

                            When it comes to steak I'm a minimalist -- some salt and pepper is usu. all that is called for, sometimes it's just salt.

                            So, if given the choice between A1 and butter, it's always going to be the former because at least A1 is a closer approximation to salt and pepper than butter will ever be.

                            Plus, steak shouldn't need additional fat to make it tasty. If it doesn't have enough natural marbling, then no amount of butter will save it.

                            As an aside, I hate butter in general unless it is for baked goods. Lard, bacon and chicken fat are all preferable to butter.

                            1. re: ipsedixit

                              Can't understand why a 'good grilling steak' needs anything other than salt and a blazing hot grill. A1.. ever read the list of ingredients, a total mask for meat! I might mix it in hamburg or use it for cooking a pepper steak style sammie but, certainly not on a good piece of beef. As for RC's I have to agree with monku, unless you tell the waitperson to leave off the butter, it'll come saturated.

                              1. re: cstr

                                You can always ask for the butter on the side or ask for more.

                                1. re: cstr

                                  Maybe back in 1824 when A1 was invented meat was wretched tasting and they had to use it. For some reason it's stood the test of time and not everyone uses it on cheap steaks. Every major steakhouse I've been to that serves theif own brand of steak sauce resembles A1 in taste to some degree. I don't keep it at home.

                                  1. re: monku

                                    "Maybe back in 1824 when A1 was invented meat was wretched tasting and they had to use it"

                                    heh - that's why most sauces and marinades were invented, the meat was indeed often WAY past the expiration date and it was the only way one could choke it down.

          2. Check out 1:20 of the vid.


            It's an old steakhouse trick a lot of places use. A shot of butter, often clarified, either put in the pan and basted onto the steak, or on the heated plate. I'd bet that they use an actual product that is prepared for their chain which isn't just "butter."

            Often, maitre d'hotel butter is just put right on top of your steak where you can see it.

            1. Haven't tried Ruth Chris in Edmonton, but when you go for steak in the France or Suisse Romande it is normal to smother the steak in butter. It's delicious. I have definitely developed a taste for it.

              1. 20-30 years ago, when they were young and lean with minimal locations in minimal cities, they served top-notch steaks in a quiet, intimate setting. It was special to dine there. Now with over 100 locations in as many cities, they're fat, sloppy, loud and garish. Butter or not, go elsewhere.

                1. our entire meal there a couple years ago was smothered in butter. it tasted good, but we left shiny. made me feel queasily over-full.

                  2 Replies