Sophisticated Living Indianapolis

NOV-DEC 2016

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Page 89 of 151

The newly remodeled restaurant now possesses a flow and a sense of space lacking in the previous incarnation. Gone is the somewhat crepuscular, clubby atmosphere that harkened back to steak houses of old; in its place is a contemporary palette of grays and subtly contrasting tones and sound absorbent surfaces that provide relaxation for the eyes and ears. In spite of the epic scale of the renovation, Executive Vice President Peggy Baltz jokes that the number one question on peoples' minds was "Is Kenny still going to be playing the piano behind the bar?" To which the answer is, you will have to stop by for a drink to find out for yourself. At the current point in the taste pendulum's arc, we are encouraged to believe that the best restaurants are locally owned and independent and that small is beautiful. It may be tempting to lump Ruth's Chris Steakhouse with the big national chains, and to make the assumption that based upon size and volume alone such an entity cannot possibly scale the heights of culinary excellence regularly achieved by the one-off independent eateries. Although this might well be true of the vast majority of chains, for whom profit frequently comes at the expense of quality, Ruth's Chris, with its robust program of independently owned franchises, is clearly an exception. Although the dining room menu is still mostly corporate-mandated, a necessity for consistency's sake, chefs are given some room to explore locally- sourced options. Customary quality with a contemporary twist at the bar. 88

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