Note 7/19/22 – Just had a call from the customer service person at Jeff Ruby’s Precinct that saw my write-up and was concerned that we were unhappy. Now that’s some incredible service. She took the effort to find a phone number to reach me and that is impressive. That said, so many people raved about this place, don’t be turned off by my experience. I’d love to hear about your experience if you go. If I ever get back to Cincinnati I would consider going myself. They didn’t pay me to say this but honest caring is what can make a great restaurant and they do care.
Jeff Ruby’s Precinct started in 1981, in the former Cincinnati Police Patrol House Number 6 – a turn of the century Romanesque style structure – that holds the ‘longest, continuously running white tablecloth restaurant in the city.’ It has been recognized by a number of publications and is well known in the city. They pride themselves on the excellent service, quality of food and overall dining experience. Some street parking is available nearby but they also offer valet service. Inside the lights are lowered and there is lots of red upholstry to go with the brick walls. Some stained glass windows are in the downstairs dining rooms and chandeliers. Most notable are the large cut-outs of groups of policemen on the walls. It feels clubby. In the entry there are numerous awards and press along with photos of famous diners. Although this place gets lots of praise our experience was not the best. Our steaks were both overcooked and tasteless while the potatoes were undercooked. In their defense they offered to cook others but I didn’t think they could do better. They ended up comping the steaks which was more than gracious so I think the place has promise but I will never go back.
Bread service was a house wheat bread with plain and truffle butters. The bread was soft in the center with some crust, but it was thin. The truffle butter had a lovely amount of flavor and was equally good as the regular butter.
Steaks come with a choice of salad and potato. We chose the Freddie salad which contained Roma tomatoes, chopped Romaine lettuce and applewood bacon with a buttermilk ranch dressing. Everything was fairly heavily dressed and there was a ton of smoky bacon in the mix. It was good but fairly heavy.
The cattle used for their steaks are selected, raised, aged and cut exclusively for their steakhouse. New York Strip was a 14 oz. center cut U.S.D.A. prime cut. It was ordered rare with a cool center but came out medium rare, with some red in the middle. The meat was dry and not easily cut but that may have been partly due to the dull knives.
The Boneless Ribeye was a 16 oz. Delmonico cut and ordered rare+, to come with a warm center. This one came out plain medium. A Delmonico cut to me indicates the end of the ribeye with more cap meat. Here you couldn’t tell one end from the other. The steaks are heavily coated with seasoning, which sometimes is nice but here was off-putting with it being too blackened. The meat did not have large areas of fat which are also usual in a ribeye.
We got a side sauce of roasted garlic butter but it was separated and I didn’t find the flavor pleasant or enhancing. They took that off the bill too.
The baked potato came with sour cream, bacon bits and cheese in little dishes on the side and a container of butter on your plate. It had been salted on the outside before being plated. It was stiff inside, not at all fluffy. It was inedible.
Butter Pie contained cinnamon sugar pecans, powdered sugar and caramel. For $4 you can have it with ice cream, which our server recommended. The ice cream came in a separate bowl. This was a new pie to me and it saved this night’s dining experience. As the server described it, it’s a pecan pie gooey without nuts inside. It was gooey indeed with sweet stickiness. There is no crust, what appears as crust separates out during cooking. The pecans are on top and on the plate, as is the caramel sauce. The ice cream was soft and smooth but the pie didn’t really need it, it almost detracted from the affect of the pie. They comped this one too, to make sure we left happy and we did as this dessert was a true high note.