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11. Ruth’s Chris Steak House

The cowboy rib eye at Ruth’s Chris Steak House   Photo: Michael Tercha/Chicago Tribune

This chain’s New Orleans–influenced kitchen never met a dish it couldn’t jazz up. Diced red and green peppers spark its supercrabby Sizzlin Blue Crab Cakes; a kicky rémoulade sauce makes you want to dive in for the exceptionally succulent shrimp—or at least surreptitiously dip a finger or two.

And then there’s the butter. A golf-ball-size scoop has but one place to go once it hits the meat emerging from the 1,800-degree oven: It melts all over your medium-rare New York strip, which takes to this treatment particularly well. The wildly indulgent onion-laced Lyonnaise potatoes also drip with butter. Desserts—as seems to be the case at too many beef palaces—are weak; thank goodness the martinis are strong.

Perfect for: Businessmen with generous expense accounts

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