We are looking for a steak house we love more than the ones we went to back in Chicago. We chose Capital Grille for restaurant week lunch this year. We wanted dinner, but they only offered lunch. It’s located on a corner in Penn Quarter. You’ll recognize it from the ferocious lions guarding the door and the window into the aging meat locker. Yummy. Review after the bump.
Pan fried calamari with hot cherry peppers (Calamari sautéed in garlic butter until golden crisp. Then tossed with a house blend of peppers and scallions for a nice, fiery finish) – This was not on the Restaurant Week menu, but we ordered it because I love me some yummy calamari. If it’s on the menu, you bet I’ll order it. My husband *loved* it. I thought it was too salty. The calamari were done perfectly – nice tooth to them, but not rubbery. The pan fry was a success for crunch and texture, but they had a lot of batter on them. I would not get them again, but the hubs sure would.
Clam Chowder (Our generous bowl combines New England’s finest, freshly shucked clams and tender potatoes. Select spices give it just the right dash.) – It was good, but not great. It was missing something, but we couldn’t put our finger on it. I’m sure someone else in the city could make a better bowl.
Gazpacho (Seems to be only on the restaurant week menu) – The gazpacho was made with a lovely mix of heirloom tomatoes for a crisp and refreshing acidic flavor. It had the right amount of flavor, delicate but intensely tomato. It’s very comparable to the Caucus Room, but I’ll give Caucus an edge for using all yellow tomatoes for a nice color and presentation, adding a little more herbs, and including a shrimp.
Lobster and Crab Burger (Perhaps the only burger that can compete with our signature cheeseburger for rave
reviews. Our chunk lobster and crab cake is blended with Old Bay seasoning and served on a toasted brioche sweet roll. Freshly prepared tartar sauce cools off one of the hottest things going at lunch.) – Holy cow, er, holy lobster! My husband made up for his OK soup with this SPECTACULAR burger. Very little binder, lots of big chunks of lobster and crab. The Old Bay seasoning was to at T. I would order this again and again.
Hanger Steak (Seems to be only on the restaurant week menu) – This large chunk of hanger steak was cooked perfectly and paired with chive mashed potatoes. The steak was served in its own juices deglazed with something and butter. While it was really really good, the lobster and crab burger was really special. I just kinda feel that you can get a good hanger steak at every steak house, but I’ve never seen an *insert seafood here* burger done quite that well.
Coconut Cream Pie (A delightful macaroon-style crust is layered with luscious whipped and coconut pastry cream. A caramel rum sauce topping makes it even more irresistible. ) – I don’t remember the caramel rum sauce topping, but it doesn’t matter. It was delicious. The crust we had was much more like a butter cookie, luxurious, with a nice crunch. The coconut cream was surprisingly light. It was nicely sized, too. It’s possible the restaurant week version was slightly different than the regular menu.
Flourless Chocolate Espresso Cake (Chocolate lovers will rhapsodize over this rich, dense dream of a cake. A hint of espresso, fresh raspberries, whipped cream and Melba sauce make for an unforgettable finish to any meal.) – The cake had nice texture and flavor. It was HUGE and definitely sharable. Flourless chocolate cake is always very rich – and they’re not kidding, it’s very dense. With the calamari, soup, and lunch, it was just too much food. We left 1/2 of it. This isn’t the fault of CG, though.
In short, we enjoyed our meal, but it doesn’t compare with some of the places I’ve gone back home. Cap Grille is a chain, and maybe we just need to stick with smaller places. Maybe I shouldn’t judge on Restaurant Week lunch? Totally worth it for the crab and lobster burger though. I’d go to the bar to order that in a heartbeat.