Ribeye is one of the cuts that comes from the front part of what’s called the longissimus (Latin for “longest one”) dorsi, or loin, of the steer. These two, tender muscles outside of the ribcage run along either side of the spine.
Why is that important? Because the muscles in this area don’t do as much work as other muscles, which makes them exceptionally tender.
Of all the high-end cuts of beef, many people feel this beautifully marbled steak is the richest, most flavorful example of USDA Prime beef steaks, especially when prepared as a bone-in cut.
Other names for a ribeye steak include a Delmonico Steak, Spencer steak, Scotch steak, prime steak, Saratoga steak and beauty steak. In restaurants with a French flair, it may also be called L’Entrecôte or Entrecôte, a term that actually refers to a premium cut of beef served as steaks. Traditionally this comes from the same area as the ribeye.
On our menus here at Ruth’s Chris, you’ll find a 16-ounce classic Ribeye, a 22-ounce Cowboy Ribeye and a 40-ounce Tomahawk Ribeye, hand-cut and served table side.
While the cut is much the same as the larger Tomahawk Ribeye cousin, here a shorter bone is exposed. At Ruth’s Chris, this popular favorite is 22 ounces of Prime perfection.
A steak house classic, our boneless 16-ounce Ribeye is a hearty cut on its own. Expertly aged and each hand-selected to order, all three of our ribeye steaks are excellent examples of what makes this prized, Prime cut so popular.
This signature beef cut is characterized by the extra-long bone that gives it its name – and its distinctive flavor. The bone is Frenched below the ribeye portion, a culinary technique common with other meats like rack of lamb. Frenching the bone simply means it is scraped clean to give it its trademark presentation. If you’re trying the Tomahawk steak cut at Ruth’s Chris for the first time, we suggest you bring a friend – a good one. Our signature 40-ounce cut is sized to share. (Or not.)
A ribeye steak – whether bone-in like our Tomahawk Ribeye and Cowboy Ribeye or boneless like our classic Ribeye – is considered the best example of USDA Prime cuts of beef because of its high abundance of marbling. At Ruth’s Chris, our secret recipe for aging our steaks also plays an intricate part in the tenderness and flavor of each cut of beef we serve.
It absolutely starts with the quality. Prime beef is the highest quality steak in the world. The abundance of marbling in a Prime ribeye steak adds to the flavor. And that’s where many steak connoisseurs insist that a ribeye is a cut above the rest. Especially in a marbled cut of beef like a ribeye, much of the distinctively rich, meaty taste actually comes from the fat. But it’s what happens with the fat – both in the particular aging process and in preparation – that really brings out the flavor. Depending on how you like your steak cooked, which is of course personal preference, slightly more or slightly less marbling in a ribeye can enhance the flavor even more.
This is really a matter of preference, and since you’re already starting with a great steak here at Ruth’s Chris, the great thing is you really can’t go wrong. Of course, there is some spirited debate around this topic. Many steak lovers insist that the meat closest to the bone has the best flavor. There may, in fact, be a bit of chemistry to back that claim. That’s because the char elements developed in the bone during the cooking process can add another layer of richness to the flavor of this exceptional cut.
The desired temperature of a ribeye steak, like any cut of beef, is also truly a matter of personal preference. As a general guideline, cuts of meat with very little fat, like a filet mignon, can be enjoyed at rarer temperatures. A marbled cut with more fat content like a ribeye steak is generally ordered at or above medium rare. Some loyal Prime ribeye fans boast that medium rare plus – between medium rare and medium – is an optimum temperature range for this prized cut of beef.
If a ribeye isn’t the cut of steak you usually order, don’t hesitate to let our staff help you choose the temperature best suited to your taste. There’s no need to be embarrassed to ask, either. (We could talk steaks all day.) Our servers are expertly trained to know specifically what the internal appearance of each cut of beef should look like at different temperatures, and are more than happy to help you decide how to order a different cut according to your taste. In fact, we love to see our guests step out of their favorite cut comfort zones and try one of our other Prime beef steak cuts. You just might discover your new favorite steak.
Typically a highly marbled steak like a ribeye will need a moderately robust wine to complement it best.
We might recommend a young Cabernet Sauvignon, for example, or one that is equally approachable through its maturity like wines from Napa’s Caymus Vineyards. That said, our award-winning wine list has a number of Cabernets by the bottle or glass, and it’s fun to try your own expertise at pairing your favorite wines with various cuts of Prime steak.
For those who prefer a lighter wine, a Zinfandel or a nice Malbec from Chile or Argentina would also make a nice alternative to a Cab.
While wine pairings are another topic that often sparks a spirited discussion among some, we truly believe that personal preference is still what matters most. If a full-bodied Cab just isn’t your taste and you prefer a lighter, more delicate varietal like a Pinot Noir, then order what you’ll enjoy the most with this exceptional cut of beef.
*Items are served raw, or undercooked, or may contain raw or undercooked ingredients. Consuming raw or undercooked meats, poultry, seafood, shellfish or eggs may increase your risk of food-borne illness.