Hello, football season… it’s been far too long! Fall is fast approaching in the Circle City and the sports mania has already begun. The best part of a crisp autumn day in Indianapolis? Indianapolis tailgates!

Why not add some sophistication to the festivities?  We caught up with Ramona Christen Adams from Ruth’s Chris Steak House Downtown for her take on the perfect menu for a fall outdoor bash. Whether you’re an experienced stadium parking lot chef or simply looking to throw one last soiree before the chill really sets in, consider Ramona’s great menu tips for an upscale Indianapolis tailgate or outdoor party that any red-blooded Hoosier will love.

Look no further than some of the tastiest options from Indianapolis’ beloved restaurant venue Ruth’s Chris Steak House!
  • Steak Slider Sandwiches, one of Ruth’s Chris’ most popular happy hour noshes, are the perfect finger food for a football party with flair. Thin slices of marbled steak seared and put on a garlic bun—sounds heavenly, right? The menu’s two options, mini Kobe burgers and rib eye sliders, are casual but bring a new level of classy to the grill. From Ruth’s Chris right to your backyard or the parking lot, these mini sandwiches travel well and heat up easily. The restaurant even offers to cook partially in foil so grilling aficionados can finish cooking to their liking at home.
  • Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes As side dishes from Ruth’s Chris are meant to be shared, this tasty classic is sure to go far with a herd of hungry Indianapolis football fans! The perfect accent to a small, yet hearty, steak slider.
  • Creamed Spinach is another great side dish option for a multiple guests, especially on a chilly day. Simply heat up the crock pot and watch guests devour the creamy goodness as a dip for your favorite snack chips or crackers or on its own.

Not quite ready to let go of the lighter options of a summer soiree? Here are a few options still ideal for the seasonal transition.

  • Shrimp Cocktail is the perfect appetizer to cling to the last days of summer! Jumbo Gulf shrimp dressed with either classic Creole remoulade sauce – a specialty at Ruth’s Chris – or spicy New Orleans homestyle cocktail sauce add some kick to your menu.
  • Salad. A large group party staple! A tomato and mozzarella salad travels well and is simple to prepare, while a classic Sliced Tomato and Onion salad with crumbled bleu cheese and balsamic vinaigrette is a no-fail option. Remember, you don’t want dressings to sit outdoors for too long!
  • Seared Ahi Tuna is an attractive counterpart to Ruth’s Chris’ heartier steak slider sandwich. Perfectly complemented by a sauce with hints of ginger, mustard and beer, guests will love this non-conventional tailgate option. Serve on trays with ice underneath to preserve both freshness and presentation!

Let’s not forget the cocktails, football fans! As this tailgate party is all about upscale, mouthwatering mojitos are perfect. This classic drink is sure to satisfy even your beer-guzzling hubby! Happy football season, Indianapolis!

Ramona Christen Adams is the Private Dining Sales Manager at Ruth’s Chris Steak House in Downtown Indianapolis. She specializes in helping diners plan special events and customizing menu offerings to meets all culinary and budgetary needs.