FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) You can hear the sizzle.
Ruth's Chris Steak House opened in downtown Fort Wayne on Monday. The restaurant famous for its sizzling hot steaks has held soft services for its 100-person staff the last two days and will again on Saturday to perfect the experience for Fort Wayne diners.
Those diners are excited, and so is Ruth's Chris.
"The buzz is tremendous," said Jeff Blair, Ruth's Chris Chief Operating Officer, who has lived in the downtown Hilton as he's worked to launch the restaurant. "The feedback that we keep hearing is, 'We needed this.'
"We're really excited to be here."
Blair said Ruth's Chris had been looking at Fort Wayne for the last four or five years. With the growth of the downtown area, he said now was the right time to move into the city.
The street-level anchor of the Skyline Tower development, Ruth's Chris stretches over 13,000 square feet with indoor and outdoor seating for 280 diners, including 80 seats in the expansive centrally located bar. There is also a stage area for live entertainment from local musicians, five private dining rooms, a luxurious chef's table inside the kitchen (the only one in the company) and event spaces.
Blair said the restaurant's decor was "something special," with each room designed for a different feel. One private dining room is surrounded by 1,200 bottles of wine. Another sits on the corner of Wayne and Webster streets.
There are nine temperature controlled wine coolers throughout the restaurant. A wine storage cabinet sits just beyond the entrance, where guests can store their bottles for a $400 fee.
As for the food, Ruth's Chris is a steak house, so the steaks served on the famous sizzling hot plates shine. The restaurant serves filets, ribeyes, New York strips, T-bones and Porterhouses of a variety of sizes, each broiled at 1800 degrees and served on a 500-degree hot plate.
The menu features more than that, though.
"We're clearly known for our steaks," said Blair, "... but from pork chops to stuffed chicken and some great sea food options, we have quite a variety of items that I think people will be surprised to see on our menu."
The must-try, though?
Blair said anything "bone-in" is best, especially the 22-ounce Cowboy Ribeye. He said the 11-ounce Filet is the restaurant's "most sought-after," though.
There are more wallet-friendly options, as well.
On Mondays, guests can enjoy perhaps "the best burger you've ever had" for $10. The restaurant also offers smaller steaks, and there are also bar appetizers and small plates that won't break the bank.
The restaurant will open Saturday through Thursday at 4 p.m. and at 11 a.m. on Fridays for lunch. For more information, visit ruthschris.com/fortwayne.