Meat lovers know that at Ruth's Chris Steak House, you may sink your teeth into custom-aged, USDA prime beef broiled to an incendiary 1,800 degrees in the oven to lock in natural juices and flavors.
The fine-dining franchise is renowned from Hong Kong to New Orleans for its meaty masterpieces that chefs finish off with creamy pats of butter, before professional servers whisk plates to your table.
But there are many more reasons to dine there besides just the prime cuts of meat.
At Wailea, server Sanni Panopio pours an chilled Cosmopolitan martini.
The Maui News / CARLA TRACY photo
In fact, both Ruth's Chris Steak House locations on Maui, one upstairs at the Shops at Wailea and the other ground level at Lahaina Center, keep sizzling with happy hour and prime time promotions.
"Our happy hour runs nightly from 5 to 7," says Wailea's General Manager Randy Spencer. "Our specials include barbecue shrimp, stuffed mushrooms and veal Osso Buco ravioli."
During happy hour, simply head to the lounge area and savor signature dishes for around $8.50 each. There you may also sip $4 domestic beers, $5 specialty imports and $6 wines, well drinks and tropicals.
On a recent visit, we dove into the jumbo barbecue shrimp done New Orleans-style, which is a reduction of white wine, butter, garlic and spices.
We also savored mushrooms stuffed with crab meat. Plump and juicy, they're sprinkled with Romano cheese. The veal Osso Buco ravioli were infused with saffron and served with sauteed spinach and demi glace, taking our taste buds over the top.
Sure, Ruth's Chris is an upscale fine-dining restaurant of the highest caliber, but as it turns out, deals are to be had, especially at happy hour.
"Of course, our three-course prime-time meal is also really popular with local clientele," says Spencer. "It's a great deal. People love the great value you get on all of the high quality ingredients."
The prime-time special runs nightly with seatings from 5 to 6 p.m. at a cost of $42.95. You may begin with your choice of Caesar salad with fresh and crisp Romaine hearts; steakhouse salad with a mix of greens and grape tomatoes, garlic croutons and red onions; or soups such as the Maui onion au gratin.
For your entree, you may choose from a tender petite filet that will melt in your mouth; stuffed chicken breast stuffed with garlic-herb cheese; barbecued shrimp or the chef's daily preparation of fresh island fish.
The prime-time meal also includes a choice of one side such as creamed spinach, local broiled tomatoes, broccoli or mashed potatoes. Top it off with bread pudding drenched in whiskey sauce, or scoops of ice cream.
In addition, Executive Chef Daniel Bader creates a host of nightly specials such as starters of Caprese salad, blackened scallops and ahi-poke martini in shoyu-based sauce on a bed of seaweed.
Nightly entree specials range from Alaskan king crab legs to Tristan lobster tails, to the ultimate combo of petite filet and crab-stuffed lobster tail.
"Wine Wednesdays, we offer 25 percent off bottles," says Spencer. "This month, we're featuring Starmont Cabernet Sauvignon, St. Supery Merlot and Turley Zinfandel."
For reservations, call Ruth's Chris Wailea at 874-8880; or Lahaina at 661-8815.