Weekday Therapy: Ruth’s Chris

Ruth’s Hour @ The Bar – Sizzle, Swizzle & Swirl Happy Hour

Daily from 4 – 6:30PM | 924-A Senate Street | 803.212.6666

We decided to go BIG for our latest Weekday Therapy session, and spend Happy Hour at Ruth’s Chris Steak House. Ruth’s Chris is synonymous with fine dining in just about every city, with more than 150 restaurants worldwide.

Many people mistakenly think that a visit to Ruth’s is only appropriate on special occasions, or that an experience at the restaurant is going to break the bank. Some may feel that dining at a steakhouse is just too heavy a proposition for a weekday, and some worry that fine dining as a whole is on its last legs in Columbia. Those apprehensions, however, are unfounded when it comes to Ruth’s Chris. Ruth’s diverse menu is just what you want, not only for limited occasions, but for everyday dinner, lunch, and drinks, and even vegetarians can enjoy an amazing meal here!

Ruth's Chris Bar
Ruth’s Chris’ bar, the center of Happy Hour

Some people prefer local restaurants and don’t like the idea of a “chain”, but Ruth’s is a global steakhouse leader for many reasons: consistent, quality food and drinks, legendary service, award-winning wine list, and dishes that are crafted with the freshest and highest quality ingredients available.

Seared Ahi Tuna

The “Sizzle, Swizzle & Swirl Happy Hour” at Ruth’s occurs daily in their bar/lounge, which is located within the lobby of the Hilton Columbia Center Hotel on Senate Street. Happy Hour bites include promotionally-priced small plates and cocktails. The special menu has a little something for everyone to nosh on, with beef, lamb, chicken and several seafood selections to choose from. We opted for the Crab Beignets, Seared Ahi Tuna, Sizzling Jumbo Scallops, Lamb Lollipop Chops, and Trio of Sliders.

Crab Beignets

Reactions to the food were pretty unanimous, and the Crab Beignets won the hour! They beat even the Seared Ahi Tuna, our group’s previous favorite at Ruth’s. A rich blend of lump crab meat, jalapenos and cream cheese is dusted with cornmeal and lightly fried, so that each bite results in a velvety mix of flavors. Kathy said they reminded her of conch fritters, but better, and Tina enjoyed the “melt in your mouth” texture. Carmen’s aversion to spicy foods made her apprehensive of the beignets at first, but after tasting them said the cool cream cheese countered the heat from the jalapenos so well, that she would definitely order them again.

lamb chops
Lamb Lollipops

The Lamb Lollipop Chops, served with a deliciously sweet mango chutney marmalade, were also fabulous – even to Sarah, who is not a big fan of lamb, but said they tasted enough like steak that she could enjoy them.

Her favorite though, were the Sizzling Jumbo Scallops. The lightly blackened scallops were served searing hot, atop a red pepper pesto and a touch of lemon butter. They were huge, very fresh, and spiced just right, and Kathy noted, “they cut like butter”.


The “Sliders 1-1-1”, a trio of mini sandwiches featuring one crab cake with remoulade sauce, one petite prime beef burger with horseradish cream, and a fried shrimp variation with sriracha-aioli, came in a close Happy Hour second to the beignets. Kathy loved the crab cake slider, with its chunky meat and tangy sauce. The burger was just as you’d expect from a top steak house – perfectly cooked and delicious, and the large fried shrimp were made even more delectable with the addition of the Sriracha-aioli spread.

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Fried Shrimp with a Sriracha Aioli, Petite Prime Beef with horseradish cream, and Crab Cake with remoulade sauce. (From Left to Right)

That’s it for the Sizzle; now on to the Swizzle & Swirl! Ruth’s Happy Hour cocktail selections include some real standouts, like Ethan’s mixed drink, the Foghorn, made with Beefeater gin, house-made lemon sour, agave nectar and a splash of ginger ale. He dubbed it “sublime”. Sarah said her French Martini, made with Svedka vodka, chambord, pineapple juice and a little club soda, was very tasty, and elegantly presented. All the drinks, in fact, looked just as great as they tasted. Kathy had the La Paloma cocktail, a twist on a margarita. Served iced, in a tall glass, and made with with El Jimador Reposado Tequila, grapefruit juice, simple syrup, and lime juice, she said it was totally refreshing and a nice departure from your traditional margarita.

“The Foghorn”, “The French Martini”, “La Paloma”, and the featured Chardonnay

Known for excellent service and a welcoming atmosphere, Ruth’s did not disappoint when it came to hospitality. The staff was very friendly, and as we dined, Chef Nick came out to speak with us and make sure all was to our liking. We answered him with a resounding yes!

Happy hour at Ruth’s is indeed the best of both worlds; sophisticated dining AND extremely reasonably priced food and drinks (we’re talking almost half the price of all other times!). It’s no wonder Ruth’s Chris inspires such a devoted following here in Columbia, and around the world! See their Happy Hour Menu here.

Savor The Date: Ruth’s Veuve Clicquot Champagne Dinner

Tuesday, August 21 at Ruth’s Chris

Make plans to join Ruth’s Chris in August for an evening of food, champagne and fun! The Veuve Clicquot Champagne Dinner, one of the most popular events of the year, is back by popular demand! Veuve Clicquot is a world class champagne house that shares Ruth’s unwavering commitment to quality as well as a history of female entrepreneurship. Featuring a range of styles, this dinner will provides guests with a fun opportunity to explore the versatility of champagne. Ruth’s will be serving up some unforgettable dishes at this dinner in a special menu you’ll love. Make your reservation today! More information here.

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