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Iconic Cincinnati women make their own Maker's Mark

Polly Campbell, Cincinnati Enquirer | Published 4:13 p.m. ET Nov. 28, 2018 Bourbon still maintains its reputation as a man's drink. And steakhouses as a man's restaurant. Those old stereotypes are hard to maintain in Cincinnati, where Molly Wellmann is our best-known bourbon expert, and Britney Ruby-Smith is President of the top steakhouses in the city.  The two got together, along with bartenders from Ruby's and a few other in the hospitality industry and went to Loretto, Kentucky, recently to create their own private label Maker's Mark.  Maker's Mark is unusual in that it rotates its barrels in the rickhouse, so that each one tastes similar, and they can bottle a consistent product. But for their premium label Cask 46, they vary flavors by adding different oak staves to barrels for its last month or so of aging. They use both French and American oak, wi...

Jeff Ruby's Precinct Named To Robb Report's Top 21 Steakhouses In America

American steakhouses are the last bastion of unabashed self-indulgence. Traditional chophouses, complete with white tablecloths and bow-tied waiters, can be identified easily by their menus, relics of gluttonous days gone past. There are gleaming towers of chilled crustaceans, slabs of red meat—black on the outside and blue on the inside—and copious sides of potatoes and vegetables, prepared the way god intended: puréed with butter and cream. The portions are big, yet no one is going to judge you for cleaning your plate, ordering an elaborate, blow-torched dessert, or polishing off a bottle of scotch with your meal. While plenty of these nostalgic establishments still exist and thrive around the country, the American steakhouse landscape is changing. Now steakhouses are serving more exquisite cuts and rare breeds and widely utilizing dry-aging, a process tha...

Your main-squeeze Cincinnati restaurant is now seeing other people

If you're up in Columbus and looking for a place to eat, you could go with some fried chicken from Eagle or tacos from Bakersfield. Or if you're splurging, have steak at Jeff Ruby steakhouse. Unless you want some sushi at Fusian. Wait, that's Cincinnati, not Columbus.  Actually, it's both. All those Cincinnati restaurants also have locations in Columbus. Some of them are in Indianapolis, too, and Louisville and Dayton. Local restaurants that have found success here are now stretching out into nearby cities.  But it's not a one-way trade. Here in Cincinnati, you can eat at Condado Tacos or Harvest Pizzeria or North Star (from Columbus), LouVino (from Louisville), Bru Burger (Indianapolis) Aladdin's (Cleveland), Goodfellas (Lexington), just to name a few of the restaurants from regional cities with locations here.  These aren'...

Nashville is hungrier than ever for a good steak

Jeff Ruby rolled into Nashville three and a half years ago on a branded tour bus with a cowboy hat on his head and declared Music City the new home of one of the most lavish steakhouses he’s ever built. The Ohio-based restaurateur was banking on Nashville’s unwavering appetite for red meat and potatoes, even as the city’s culinary status reached new heights. A fresh Vietnamese eatery, a restaurant with an anti-inflammatory foods menu, several seafood and oyster joints, a string of tiki bars, Middle Eastern restaurants and Detroit-style pizza have all landed in Nashville in the past couple years. Buy Photo A bone-in filet is prepared in the kitchen at Jimmy Kelly's Steakhouse in Nashville, Tenn., Thursday, Oct. 4, 2018. (Photo: Andrew Nelles / The Tennessean) So have at least five new steakhouses. Just like Ruby, the restaurant owners behind steakhouse c...

Here's how Jeff Ruby is using technology to learn from diners

Jeff Ruby Culinary Entertainment, which operates three steakhouses in Cincinnati and six across three states, launched a new loyalty program that uses technology to learn from its diners. The Ruby restaurants have had a loyalty program going back 25 years, but it involved a lot of manpower with staff manually keeping track of diners' spending and totaling up rewards points earned quarterly. The new system is entirely digital and brings more to the Rubys than incentivizing diners to come back: It uses data and analytics to learn about customers and their preferences and habits.  For instance, if a customer shows a proclivity toward bourbon, they can get an invitation to an exclusive bourbon dinner, Jeff Ruby Culinary Entertainment president Britney Ruby Miller told me. Same for wine.  It can also track things like how long they've been dining at Ruby establishments...

Jeff Ruby On Lex18's Live With Lee & Haley

LEX18's Live With Lee & Hayley invited Jeff Ruby on set to discuss progress on his newest steakhouse in Lexington, KY,  slated to open in April, 2019! (click "Read More" below to view segment)

OpenTable's 100 Best Restaurants for Wine Lovers in America for 2018

Thank you so much to OpenTable Diners for naming Jeff Ruby's Carlo & Johnny and Jeff Ruby's Steakhouse Nashville as two of the 100 Best Restaurants For Wine Lovers In America, 2018. Further, they were the only restaurants named in Cincinnati and Nashville! Click below for more information: **** Featuring exquisite vintage wines from renowned wineries as well as those harvested from local vineyards, OpenTable's list of the 100 Best Restaurants for Wine Lovers in America highlights some of the country’s best wine lists. Whether it’s a crisp white or silky red, these restaurants provide the perfect wine pairing for every meal year-round. The list of honorees is based on an analysis of 12,000,000+ reviews of more than 28,000 restaurants across the country—all submitted by verified diners!

Jeff Ruby Gives More Hints As To What Lexington Steakhouse Will Look Like

Jeff Ruby is dropping more details about his eponymous Lexington restaurant, which will be opening next spring in Lexington. The Cincinnati steakhouse owner posted a sketch on his Twitter account of the private Gatsby Room. “Our team is excited to bring you this magnificent restaurant/nightclub. Thanks for waiting so long. I never gave up,” Ruby. Ruby also tweeted on Wednesday about the Lexington steakhouse that he “was given an unlimited budget and have already exceeded it. ... Won’t let you down.” In an interview with the Herald-Leader last month, Ruby said that the restaurant in the City Center downtown development will be “magical.” His company filed for a permit to begin building in the base of the Marriott hotel under construction at the corner of Limestone and Vine. Work is expected to begin Oct. 1. Britney Ruby Miller, who runs t...

My Lexington steakhouse will be ‘magical’: Jeff Ruby

BY JANET PATTON jpatton1@herald-leader.com August 31, 2018 08:45 AM  After waiting more than seven years, Jeff Ruby knows Lexington is hungry. And he’s ready to bring more than just great steaks. He’s bringing the unique “Jeff Ruby Experience” to town. “Lexington deserves our best restaurant, and this will be our best one,” Ruby said. “When you wait that long, you better not let them down. They’re expecting something magical, and I won’t let them down.” Ruby began his quest to put a restaurant in Lexington in 2011 with the on-again, off-again CentrePointe project. At one point, it looked like the Cincinnati-based restaurateur would have to find another location.“It’ll be how many years in the making? I signed the lease originally … Bin Laden was alive, I know that,” R...

Why Britney Ruby Miller Is Glad She Rebelled

By Andy Brownfield  – Reporter, Cincinnati Business Courier    Britney Ruby Miller was never pushed to follow the path of her father, Jeff Ruby, into the restaurant industry. In fact, he actually tried to deter her, but she fell into it. She and her brothers grew up in Ruby’s restaurants. The Precinct was their playground where they played hide-and-seek at the tables and learned the ins and outs of table-side cooking.  As teenagers do, Ruby Miller worked summer jobs, starting with a gig hostessing at the Waterfront, where she was mentored by Charlie Bledsoe, now general manager at Carlo & Johnny, who made her train under all of the different stations at the restaurant.   That’s where she fell in love with cooking. She attended the Midwest Culinary Institute and, in an act of rebellion, started her...
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