Hale Aina Happenings: Ruth's Chris Steak House Early Bird Special and Happy Hour


Left: oysters Rockefeller; right: 16 oz. ribeye

Newer, splashier steakhouses have opened, but Ruth's Chris Steak House (Hale Aina Gold winner for Best Steakhouse), with two locations in Honolulu, is still a reader's favorite.

Steakhouses are expensive, though, with steaks averaging $50, no sides included, which is what may have prompted Peter Kim to declare when opening The Signature, "[Steakhouses] charge you $40, $50, $60 per piece of meat but they can never afford to give free potatoes. So I said to myself one day, when I own a steakhouse, I’ll give free potatoes. I say a lot of nerve to charge $14 for a baked potato."

But there are ways to eat at Ruth's Chris more affordably:

  1. Share a steak. For those who aren't going to eat a pound of rib eye by themselves, servers offer to cut it (or any other steak) pupu-style to share. And they'll also give you an extra hot plate, covered in the same sizzling brown butter that Ruth's Chris cooks their steaks with.
  2. Go for the early bird special. If you order between 5 and 6 p.m., you can get an entire three-course meal, with sides, for the price of a regularly-priced steak. For $45.95, choose from soup or salad, a petite filet (or ribeye for an extra $10), a side, and finish with a small portion of bread pudding.
  3. Sit at the bar during happy hour (5 to 7 p.m.) for $7 glasses of wine and $10 appetizers, like the oysters Rockefeller that arrives flaming. Even better, go for the early bird special AND happy hour.

Upcoming special dinner at Ruth's Chris:

A wine dinner with Tom Leonardini Jr. of Whitehall Lane, a small winery in Napa. The five-course dinner pairs a duck salad with Whitehall's 2010 Merlot and a filet mignon with sweet potato casserole and mac 'n' cheese alongside the 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve.

$125, January 23. 599-3860 for reservations


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