It's not very often I get to report on two new restaurants unless we are on the road. Since we went to an Art Show in Chicago over the weekend I can join that to a new Cincinnati experience, for us, and cover Two New.
"Ruth's Chris Steak House" 100 East Freedom Way ( the Banks) 45202 (937) 498-0043 has been open for several months but last week was the first time we have entered the place. Being in the Banks, a block from the baseball stadium, it is good to choose a time when sports are not competing. The best parking is either valet ($12) or in the underground garage( $5), which serves all the restaurants, in the area, plus Great American Ball Park. Following a call to the restaurant we followed their advice and self parked below. An elevator bring one to street level 20 ft from "Ruth's Chris" entrance.
The steak house is on a corner and dining is on two stories. The ambiance is very attractive, this is defiantly a "white table cloth" experience. We were seated upstairs, there is an elevator, and our server, who had worked at "Morton's" knew the menu and was pleased to assist us with detailed answers to our questions.
Marilyn and I had our usual drinks, very reasonably priced, and chose to split a Ruths Chop Salad, good but very small, and a Cowboy Ribeye Steak, 22 oz, bone in, which was plenty large enough although ours had a heavy percentage of fat, good for flavor but not consumption. I ordered a side of Brussels Sprouts, for the table, but was please that the other 3 only sampled as the helping was not huge.
The food was good, served as ordered and at the correct temperature, but since every thing is ala carte the bill can run up quite easily. Our server was most attentive during the meal but disappeared, to work on another tables bill, for a long time after we had been served and had eaten. For us it's hard to by-pass the "Precinct" which offers a full meal and is "just down the street".
The other new spot is in Evanston IL where we bunked with friends over the weekend. "Terra American Bistro" 2676 Green Bay Road, Evanston IL 60201 is also only a few months old. The menu is American eclectic, with some emphasis on Italian, and offers both "small plates" and "large". We took our hosts and had a very pleasant evening. The food was interesting, well prepared and promptly served. It was obvious that management has done a good job of training and the supervision is most evident. I am sure they get a minimum of 3 to 4 turnovers each evening, although no one is pushed to leave.
Marilyn started with a good sized " iceberg wedge" while I selected one of the special appetizers, two mushroom caps filled with chopped artichoke hearts and topped with lump crab meat( very good) My " large" was Meatloaf, rimed with bacon strips and topped with crisp onion straws. It lay on a bed of soft Polenta and had a ring of honey encasing the spread Polenta.
Marilyn, as is her habit, stuck with the Lake Superior White Fish. Our guests had Salad Greens, first, follow by Bouillabaisse, for the gentleman, and Spaghetti and meatballs, for the lady. Dessert was a wonderful Banana Brulee with Pralines and ice cream, hardly sweet, and a Dutch Chocolate Creme Pudding with fresh berries. All was most satisfying.