I've dined at 50 or 60 Ruth's Chris restaurants over the years, but this was my first visit to the Ruth's Chris in Asheville, which has been open about six months.
The restaurant design and exterior fit well in Biltmore Village near the Biltmore Estate entrance, but the parking is very limited so most guests will use the complimentary (except tip) valet parking, which is well handled. Inside, the ambiance is upscale and sophisticated, and the main entrance hallway is lined with glass-fronted wine displays.
On a Saturday evening, the restaurant was busy but not packed as are many Ruth's Chrises on the weekends.
We found the service extremely friendly and eager, though the young service staff perhaps could use a little more seasoning.
There were a few blips on the food: Twice the bar tried to make a Sazarac for my wife, but no one seemed to have a clue as to how to make it (the first one appeared to be just Pernod on the rocks) -- a little odd since the Sazarac, believed to be the original cocktail, was invented in New Orleans, where Ruth's Chris was founded. My Bombay Sapphire martini was perfect, however. The New York Strip (which is my fave cut at Ruth's Chris) was prepared to order, and served sizzling, but it didn't look much like a Strip, being fairly thin and about the shape of a ribeye. I like the butter with the steak -- a New Orleans tradition -- but in the case the mashed potatoes were also swimming in butter, definitely overkill.
The salads were excellent, and the creamed spinach (founder Ruth Fertel's favorite side) was as well.
With tip, a drink each and a glass of wine each, the meal came to about $200 for two.
All in all, a pleasant experience, but I'd say the food and drink preparation could still use a few tweaks.
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