Ruth's Chris Steak House
115 – 9th Ave. SE, Calgary
Dinner for two with drinks: $130
Signature Dish: Filet
Signature Drink: Orange citrus mojito
Ruth's Chris lives up to its billing as a bona fide steakhouse, but what's surprising is how well it does non-steak dishes.
Corn-fed, U.S. prime beef is the cornerstone of this New Orleans-originated chain. The two Ruth's Chris in this province are the only franchises to also offer AAA Alberta beef.
Ruth's Chris sears then broils its steaks in a trademark 982.2 degree Celsius oven, seasoned with only salt and pepper. Cooking time needs to be perfect as steaks are served on plates heated to 260 degrees Celsius.
Topped with butter, Ruth's Chris's steaks truly sizzle upon arrival. The 12-ounce USDA ribeye ($40) is deliciously juicy and marbled, slightly sweeter than the grain-fed Alberta beef we're used to.
The huge, side dishes are priced separately. Mashed potatoes ($8) and creamed spinach ($8) are heavenly, helped along by massive amounts of cream and butter.
A special starter of fresh greens with seared scallop is surprisingly well-executed with white balsamic vinaigrette and red pepper pesto.
Like everything else, desserts are not light. Bread pudding with whiskey sauce ($12) is divine but big enough to be shared among three.
Service is impeccable, including some of the most efficient and courteous bussers in the city and a smartly managed wine list.
Capo (1420 Ninth Ave.) has a new special Tuesday to Thursday in March and April by reservation only. Two people can enjoy Chef Giuseppe Di Gennaro's elegant Italian dishes in a three-course family-style dinner for $90.
Feast on Crab
Roll up your sleeves for all-you-can eat crab for $38 at Bookers Crab Shack (316 Third St. SE) on Sundays and Mondays.
Aviv Fried, who delivers his organic homemade bread around downtown Calgary on his bike for charity, is taking some time off. He'll be working at a bakery in a Nepal monastery, but plans to return a better baker.