Ruth’s Chris

Steak House in The Shops at Wailea keeps raising the bar with recent renovation and sizzling cuisine

Pouring a Cosmopolitan martini in the renovated lounge is Ruth’s Chris Wailea Bartender Mike Nees. The Maui News / CARLA TRACY photo

On most nights of the year, diners want to sink teeth into tempting T-bones, lean and thick filet mignons and full-bodied New York strip steaks.

That’s most nights of the year. But today is Thanksgiving, after all, and both Ruth’s Chris Steak Houses on Maui will open early at 4 p.m. for dinner, adding an option of a traditional holiday feast.

For the prix-fixe starter, select a Caesar or steak house salad or savor a hearty Louisiana seafood gumbo.

In Wailea, Executive Chef Dan Bader will oven-roast turkey and plate it with sausage and herb stuffing, housemade gravy and cranberry relish. Then you select a side such as garlic mashed potatoes, sweet potato casserole or creamed spinach. Dessert is a duo of pumpkin cheesecake and vanilla ice cream. Or order a la carte porterhouse ribeye for two or other prime options.

In the Outlets of Maui Mall, Ruth’s Chris Lahaina Executive Chef Seville Jackson will do the same menu. The prix-fixe dinner at both outlets is $49.95 for adults and $20.95 for keiki 12 and younger.

Ruth’s cool crab stack appetizer has blue lump crab morsels set on fresh avocado and mango. Ask about the chilled seafood tower, too. Ruth’s Chris food photo

Back to Wailea, with the influx of capitol from the corporate office, the restaurant had a nice facelift earlier this fall. Besides back of the house upgrades to the kitchen, the bar and lounge really pop.

Yes, Ruth’s has raised the bar.

“With one of the best happy hour menus on the island and now expanded seating, we’ve raised the bar on the traditional steak house lounge,” Ruth’s Chris Wailea General Manager Randy Spencer says. “Relax over a hand-crafted cocktail and make your way around our award-winning wine list, savor appetizers such as oysters Rockefeller, veal Osso Buco ravioli, sliced rare filet mignon carpaccio, mushrooms stuffed with crab meat and more.”

From 5 to 6 p.m. daily, Ruth’s offers its popular three-course Prime Time menu in the dining rooms and now in the bar and lounge, so you may keep an eye on favorite sporting events on TV.

Heather Weis, Ruth’s Chris regional vice president for Hawaii, is also pleased with the remodel, which creates a modern edge with an island vibe.

A prime filet mignon is cooked to perfect doneness and paired with twin lobster tails. Ruth’s Chris food photo

“Whether you’re visiting beautiful Maui or are fortunate to call it home, our elegantly remodeled Ruth’s Chris Steak House at The Shops at Wailea is ready to welcome you with a sophisticated style and aloha spirit,” Weis says.

“It’s a truly special place for friends and families to come together, whether you’re celebrating a wedding, anniversary, holiday party, birthday, hosting a business meeting or planning a private event,” Spencer says. “We have lots of space.”

As for the dinner menu, savor from shrimp to Chilean sea bass. But Chef Bader says he’s a “meat-and-potatoes man,” and that the cowboy ribeye is his “absolute favorite. It’s bone-in and a fattier cut than say, a filet, so there’s more flavor,” he says.

All Ruth’s Chris steaks are USDA prime cuts seared to your choice of doneness, then finished with pats of butter, and whisked to your cushy booths or tables on sizzling 500-degree plates.

Arriving juicy and hot, they are famous meaty masterpieces that pair with sides of creamed spinach and au gratin potatoes along with Southern-style hospitality and upgraded ambience.

Bader adds that top-selling side dishes are potatoes au gratin, lobster mac ‘n’ cheese and, “obviously the mashed potatoes and grilled asparagus.” Steak toppings include blue-cheese crust, and Oscar with asparagus and sauce Bernaise. Calories are listed so you may stay within your comfort zone or go for the gusto.

“Whatever the occasion, Ruth’s Chris Steak House is the perfect spot to gather,” adds longtime Director of Marketing Emi Chang Espinda. “We feature unparalleled cuisine, sumptuous surroundings and meal service that’s accomplished yet never fussy — these are the elements of a memorable and special evening.”

*****

Ruth’s Chris at a glance:

• Maui restaurants: Ruth’s Chris Wailea is upstairs in The Shops at Wailea. Ruth’s Chris Lahaina is in the Outlets of Maui mall on Front Street.

• Hours: Both Maui locations are open today for Thanksgiving dinner at 4 p.m. Regular dinner runs from 5 to 10 p.m. daily. Happy hour jumps from 4 to 7 p.m. in the lounges.

• Prime Time: Savor three-course menus from 5 to 6 p.m. daily starting at $54.95 with your choice of starter, entree with an accompaniment and dessert.

• Kamaaina discount: Those with valid Hawaii ID get 15 percent off food Sundays and Mondays on the regular menu.

• For reservations: Call Ruth’s in Wailea at 874-8880 or in Lahaina at 661-8815 or you may visit www.ruths chris.com.

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