August 30, 2014

Jun 3, 200903:53 PMHot Dish

Inside the Gulfshore's Dining Scene

Hot Dish: June 3, 2009

Inside the Gulfshore’s Dining Scene.
 
Naples Loses Ruth’s Chris Fine Dining
 
Ruth’s Chris Steak House at Naples’ Coastland Center mall just closed after barely two years in business. I dined there with friends twice last month. Each visit, there were at most only 10 other diners present from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. in a restaurant that can seat 250. The quality of food and service were very good, and I took home an extra bread pudding! Full dinners can easily cost more than $100 per person. Neighbors Kona Grill and Ruby Tuesday both closed last year. However, VIVI, which opened just a month ago on Ruth’s Chris south side, flourishes with entrée prices half that of the steakhouse.
 
Ruth’s Chris Web site states: “Thank you for your loyalty and patronage to our Naples location—we appreciated your friendship and business over the years. At this time, our Naples location is closed. We warmly welcome you and yours to visit our nearby Bonita Springs/Estero location in The Coconut Point Mall.” The Coconut Point Ruth’s Chris, half an hour’s drive north of Naples, serves the T-Bone steak for $48, Cowboy Ribeye for $38 and Porterhouse for Two for $83. Lamb Chops are $39, and an order of fries is $7.50. 


Ruth's Chris at Coastland Center in Naples.
 
The Ruth’s Chris location at Coastland Center, near Sears and within walking distance of a food court, may not have been the best fit for such a high-end steakhouse. The runaway success of The Capital Grille and Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse near Mercato, and the stability of Ruth’s Chris Coconut Point location, suggest that those spending $80 to $120 per person might have preferred a destination such as Naples’ Waterside Shops or Mercato, or Bonita Springs’ The Promenade at Bonita Bay. Despite location challenges, Naples’ Ruth’s Chris gamely held on longer than many savvy customers imagined, and its quality never faltered.

Let's broaden our choices of great Southwest Florida restaurants together. Post your hints and experiences below or e-mail me at Diningscene@live.com.