Restaurant Review: Capital Grille

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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.

There are 2 lions at the front door, guarding the delicious foods within.

There are 2 lions at the front door, guarding the delicious foods within.

A sampling of the meat aging in the window.

A sampling of the meat aging in the window.

Appetizers

Salty but nicely flavored pan fried calimari

Salty but nicely flavored pan fried calimari

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.

Good but not great chowda

Good but not great chowda

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.

Delightfully refreshing gazpacho

Delightfully refreshing gazpacho

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.

Entree

Yum yum give me some!

Delicious burger with some Old Bay action!

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.

As you can tell, I like my beef still mooing.

As you can tell, I like my beef still mooing.

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.

Dessert

Delightful end to the meal. I wish we had both ordered this.

Delightful end to the meal. I wish we had both ordered this.

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.

While this was very tasty, it was a little rich for after a steak.

While this was very tasty, it was a little rich for after a steak.

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.

The Capital Grille on Urbanspoon

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5 Responses to “Restaurant Review: Capital Grille”

  1. Kerstin Says:

    That lobster and crab burger does look good!! I really like the lobster mac and cheese at the Capital Grille, and I appreciate the fact that they dry age their steaks :)

  2. DeScepter Says:

    Capital Grille is a great place to eat! Looks like you had a great meal, although I think your husband enjoyed more. Which is ok, as it has always felt like more of a “Guy Restaurant”.

    And yes, the Lobster Mac n’ Cheese is terrific!

  3. Restaurant Review: Rasika « matzo&rice Says:

    [...] I know that doesn’t mean much, coming from a food blogger, but it’s true. We went to Capital Grille for lunch exactly 6 hours before going to Rasika. For the most part, our food was delicious, but [...]

  4. Review Master List « matzo&rice Says:

    [...] Capital Grille [...]

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