Ruth's Chris Tries Out Bistro Menu

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An economy that's gone from filet mignon to meat loaf faster than you can say "greedy Wall Street bastards" has got the attention of even high-flying steak houses. 

One of them, Ruth's Chris, last night unveiled a new "bistro menu" of apps, sushi, soups, salads and sammies priced from $9 to $19, not exactly McCheapskate but a lot less than that USDA Prime porterhouse for two. The lounge of the West Palm/CityPlace RC, one of only four in the country to get this test rollout, was packed with invitees sucking down free cosmos and chardonnay, while waiters bearing bistro tidbits passed them around the room and a guy on electric piano did creditable renditions of jazz standards. 

There were some hits and misses but if you don't get too carried away you can probably get out the door with a light dinner and an appropriate libation for around $25 a pop.  

Ruth's Chris is a steakhouse, after all, so you'd expect their prime beef sliders to be pretty decent and they are--juicy, tasty, done a proper medium rare--cute little suckers at $10.50 for three. The surf 'n' turf roll (spicy crab, mayo, sushi rice, beef carpaccio, soy-lemon drizzle) is fun, though if you knock down a lot of them at 12 bucks a roll  the tab can add up. The chilled shrimp and crab salad wasn't bad either--nice roasted tomato vinaigrette, bed of baby greens. Refreshing. 

Crabcake sliders. . . eh, never mind. Good crabcakes are as rare in these parts as honest Broward school board members. Tempura veggies were passable, though I'm not sure I'd pay $9 for them. But, hey, if you like the whole steakhouse vibe--the dark wood, plush seats, clubby ambiance--you can swing like filet mignon even if all you're really packing is meatloaf.

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