Review - Celebrating Southern Traditions Both Old and New at Ruth's Chris Steak House

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Ruth's Chris Steak HouseOn May 1st, Houston was busy celebrating the upcoming Kentucky Derby event in true Southern fashion at the Ruth's Chris Big Reds & Bourbons Dinner.  A delectable 5-course menu designed by cookbook author and celebrity TV show host, Joey Altman, delivered in a major way and the amazing Bulleit 10-year bourbon was the perfect ending to a perfect evening.

Ruth's Chris Steak House celebrated all things Derby in 74 locations across the country on May 2nd.  From the first smooth and sweet Bulleit Bourbon Mint Julep served, my husband and I knew we were in for a down-home celebration like no other.

Kentucky Derby 2013

Bacon Wrapped Scallops with Orange-Ginger Beurre Blanc
Festival of couscous, roasted red pepper coulis
Bulleit Mint Julep 

Spring Mix, Roasted Pear & Bleu Cheese Salad
Spiced pecans, balsamic vinaigrette
Sterling Vineyards Pinot Noir, Carneros

Pan Roasted Salmon
Horseradish whole-grain mustard sauce, bacon-onion jam
Bulleit Rye

Southern BBQ Mixed Grill
Filet Mignon with bacon BBQ butter, 
New Orleans Barbeque Shrimp, 
Peach Glazed Stuffed Chicken Breast 
Southwestern mac'n'cheese
BV BeauRouge Red Blend, Napa Valley

S'mores Cheesecake
Toasted marshmallow, chocolate graham cracker crisps
Bulleit 10 year, small batch bourbon

As you can see, the food and drink menu for the Big Reds & Bourbons Dinner was a real treat!  I learned that bourbon is a fun and original drink because it contains so many unique characteristics that you don't find in other distilled spirits, not to mention that it is made in America.  :usa:  In order for a bourbon to be considered Kentucky Straight Bourbon, it must be at least 51% corn, aged in new American Oak for a minimum of 2 years, bottled at a minimum of 80 proof and distilled at less than 160 proof.

Tom Bulleit, a Vietnam Veteran, revived an old family bourbon recipe by starting the Bulleit Distilling Co.  Tom's vision was to recreate his great-great-grandfather Augustus's unique bourbon - high in rye content, spicy, bold and complex.  Bulleit Bourbon is a true small bath bourbon, where the quality of the spirit and the raw materials take precedence over anything else.

Big Reds and Bourbons

We also learned about the Sterling winery, one of the most acclaimed in the Napa Valley.  My favorite offering from Sterling was the Carneros Pinot Noir.  It was paired with the Spring Mix, Roasted Pear and Bleu Cheese Salad which complimented this vintage very well.  The 2011 Carneros Pinot Noir was aged for ten months in French oak barrels and offered a dark red fruit profile with toasty oak complexity.

What makes a meal like this so special though is how Ruth's Chris masterfully pairs amazing beverages with equally tantalizing food.  The Pan Roasted Fresh Salmon made my taste buds dance and the Southern girl in me jumped for joy at the Southwestern Mac 'N' Cheese.  The New Orleans Barbecue Shrimp was also not to be outdone and of course, no one does Filet Mignon any better than Ruth's Chris.

I don't know how they do it, but each dinner I attend at Ruth's Chris always seems to be better than the last.  Be sure to visit the Ruth's Chris Steak House site to learn more about their upcoming schedule of special events as well as to find a participating restaurant in your area.  No matter the occasion, no one else commemorates it quite like Ruth's Chris Steak House!

Disclosure:  My husband and I attended the Big Reds and Bourbons Dinner at Ruth's Chris Steak House free of charge in order to facilitate my review.  No other compensation was received.  This product review will be based on my own personal experiences with this restaurant and is always completely honest and objective.
I'm a former 7th grade Science teacher turned stay-at-home mom that lives in Houston, Texas. I am married to my college sweetheart and have a beautiful daughter named Riley, who definitely keeps me on my toes! I am also involved in starting a small business which would both manufacture and sell an invention that I've patented, called Toothpaste 2 Go. I love interacting with my readers and hope to learn as much about you as you learn about me!

Melissa
Melissa @ Mommy Living the Life of Riley!
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