Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse may be the largest luxury steakhouse chain in the United States, but it all started here in 1965, when native New Orleanian Ruth Fertel bought an existing steakhouse and made it her own. Hurricane Katrina damaged the flagship Ruth’s Chris building on Broad Street, which was donated to charity, and locals balked when the company relocated their headquarters to Florida in the aftermath of the storm. But this new New Orleans location, on Fulton Street along with other restaurants in Harrah’s Hotel & Casino portfolio, has helped to heal some of those wounds.
The restaurant still serves the same USDA Prime steaks, cooked hot and fast in a searing-hot broiler and served with a dollop of butter that’s still sizzling on the platter when it arrives at your table. Sides and salads are classic steakhouse, but Ruth’s Chris does a few better than most, namely spinach au gratin, sautéed mushrooms, double-fried shoestring potatoes and a brimming chopped salad.
What we love most about Ruth’s Chris: the regular clientele of locals who power lunch here or pull up to the bar around Happy Hour and stay through the dinner. (The restaurant is sometimes a Who’s Who of New Orleans businessmen, politicos and celebs. We spotted Treme star Wendell Pierce shouting at the TV during a Saints game.)
Signature, sizzling steaks and a regular local clientele are what you get at Ruth’s Chris, the biggest steakhouse chain in the country. And it all started in New Orleans.