Monday, October 25, 2010

Jeff Ruby's at the River City Casino

This casino has been open for less than a year and here is what is likely the best restaurant in the casino: besides the 1904 Beerhouse, which I have already reviewed.  Jeff Ruby's steak house is made in an early 1900's French style that brings a classy elegance with a nice and non-stuffy atmosphere.  My wife and I had no reservation and walked right in to a nice booth and great service.  Our servers John and Ian helped answer any questions we had and were still very nice to us, even though we didn't look like a million bucks, or at least I didn't, (my wife did).  The room was dimly lit as lights near the ceilings were aimed up at the red walls and shone down a reddish/pinkish light tint to the whole room.  We sat in a nice booth, very comfortable and had some nice paintings of King Louis to the right of us.  I think it was not busy because the Big Game was last night. 

While waiting for everything, we had a basket of bread and butter delivered to us.  The bread was a few slices of rye and white bread and the butter was a side of creamed butter with a side of black truffle butter.
We looked over the menu and after ordering our drinks and had a pleasant conversation with John, we ordered and received the first part of our meals: our salads.  My wife had ordered the Cesar salad and I ordered the Freddie salad.  The Freddie salad was the first ever BLT salad and if you had a piece of bacon, lettuce and tomato on each fork full, it did taste just like a BLT.  Anything with bacon is better and as a salad, it was good: 3 out of 5 stars.

For our main course, we both ordered steaks, as what else do you order at a steakhouse?  I ordered the Steak Collinsworth which was a 9oz fillet topped with two very large pieces of asparagus and 3 pieces of crab meat.  There was a Bearnaise sauce on top of it all as it was stacked high.
I had given the crab meat to my wife, who enjoys it.  Let me tell you about this steak:  I had asked for it to be cooked medium well and it was perfectly cooked.  Not only that, but it was so tender that even though I had a wisdom tooth taken out this past Wednesday and this meal was on Saturday, my jaw still hurt and I couldn't eat anything pretty much at all on the right side of my mouth, the steak melted like butter, in my mouth.  I didn't have to struggle or hardly even chew this steak.  I had to cut it, but once it was in my mouth it fell apart like a very good pot-roast.  It was juicy, had a nice salty crust and I even had the Bearnaise sauce to dip it in.  It was very good and was easily the best steak I had ever eaten.  Even better than the steak I had at Delmonico's in Las Vegas. The sauce was a bit too rich and salty for my taste and about half way through the steak, I had to stop using the sauce.  The asparagus was a tiny, itsy bit, undercooked, but still good, as they were likely just blanched in some salt water.  I had a side of mashed potatoes to go with the dish and while they were mashed potatoes from Jeff Ruby's, there was nothing special about them at all.  No secret spices, no flavorings, no truffles, no garlic or rosemary; nothing but potatoes, a pat of butter and some milk.  It didn't even have a creamy consistency that my wife enjoys so much, but still could stand on its own.  I started to dip the steak into the mashed potatoes as I ate as I love my potatoes.  Overall, the dish was great, for the best steak I have ever eaten, it garnered a 4 & 1/2 out of 5 stars from me.  What robbed it from the 1/2 star was the rest of the plate.

In the Midwest, we tend to cover everything in sauce or gravy and this was no exception. The dish had too much sauce and I actually started to grow tired of the dish and wanted to stop eating it as there was too much sauce and it was a bit salty.  Had there been only a few drops of this sauce, instead of  1/2 cup of it, the dish would have been perfect: in everything.

  My wife had ordered the Queen's cut, which isn't on their online menu, but was also a 9oz fillet.  It was also served with a side of mashed potatoes and neither one of us could figure out why the mashed potatoes were served in small skillets when it obviously was not cooked in them.  A bad plating choice, in my mind.  My wife had remarked that it was a perfectly cooked, in her medium rare request.  She had suggested that it was perhaps a 3 & 1/2 out of 5 stars as she has had better tasting steaks.  She complained that the crust was too salty, as did I, and as you can see there was a bit too much oil on her plate; as you can see in the yellowish tinted liquid on her plate.

What made-up for most of the bad parts of this meal was the great service.  Our server, John, was knowledgeable about some of the cooking methods and answered any and all of our questions.  I would definitely go back and recommend this restaurant.  Try to get in John's section, if you do.

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