Ruby Tuesday polishes its image and takes casual dining up a notch


Goodbye Ruby Tuesday -- or at least the Ruby Tuesday we once knew. Gone are the knock-off Tiffany lamps and the cheesy knickknacks that once served as such great comedic fodder for the fictional restaurant Chotchkie's in the movie Office Space Gone, too, are the waitstaff clad in white shirts and ties that hark back to 1989. Instead of fusion cuisine excesses like Southwestern egg rolls and the Macho Nacho burger, the new Ruby Tuesday's menu is about bison burgers, prime rib, and lobster -- with a side of macaroni and cheese, of course.

It's not exactly four-star dining, but it's surely a long way from a casual dining restaurant where "casual" far outshone the other possible monikers. The new Ruby Tuesday's features waiters and waitresses in black tees and pants -- "hipster" style, the New York Times says -- leather banquettes, dark varnished wood, and a menu that would feel right at home in this millennium. In addition to the lobster and prime rib, there's jumbo lump crab cakes, broiled tilapia, and a crispy shrimp sampler in which sesame seeds and peanut glaze make an appearance.