Friday, June 5, 2009

Review: Capital Grille

Lauren was out of town for a few days last week, which meant the time was right for some good-natured gentlemanly mischief. So I rounded up some of the boys from work, and we set out in search of a nice piece of meat. I wish I could take credit for this idea, but two of my colleagues had, apparently inspired by an episode of "Scrubs" I never saw, started a Steak Night tradition several months hence. Their previous visits were to the Broad and Chestnut outpost of the Capital Grille mini-chain, so we headed back there.

For lack of a better term, the vibe of the place is distinctly "lawyery". Large parties of besuited attorney types dominated the joint, but as a quartet of twenty-something "creative" types, we still felt comfortable. Tensions ran high when two of my companions' beloved lobster bisque was not on the menu, but luckily it was being offered as a special that day (though I get the feeling it may be a special every day). As we considered our beefy options, our white-coated waiter brought over a very well-made Manhattan and we were on our way.

I'm not going to waste too much time going into detail on the menu: it's standard steakhouse. It's not a salad until there's bacon on top of it, and my spinach salad didn't disappoint in this regard. A classic iceberg "wedge" salad had a nice buttermilk dressing on top. I can't speak for the bisque, since men don't share soup, but it looked mighty thick, which is a turnoff for me but some people might like it that way.

So the steak – I must say, I would love to see a little more variety on the menu. There's the filet, and the filet Oscar, and the porterhouse, but no ribeye, and the porterhouse is the only bone-in option. I went for the sirloin, medium-rare.

I can't say it was a bad piece of meat. It was juicy, tender, and flavorful, but it felt a little underseasoned to me. I found myself craving the alluringly salty, crispy crust of the ribeye I had a few months ago at Butcher & Singer. Still, it filled the bill, and there was some left over for steak and eggs the next morning.

For sides, we got the creamed spinach, which was excellent – maybe not quite as good as Butcher's lighter version, but a more ample portion. The sauteed wild mushrooms were a little lackluster.

I can't tell you how their cheesecake was, because dessert was a glass of Johnnie Walker Black at XIX.

So, for this Steak Night, at least, Capital Grille did the job. Workmanlike steaks at pretty decent prices, well-prepared drinks and sides, and professional service in a comfortable (if a bit corporate) atmosphere. For the money, my choice would be a return to Butcher & Singer, but if you can't get in there and you need a steak nearby, Capital won't disappoint.

Capital Grille on Urbanspoon

1 comment:

The Talley's said...

I agree, the place does feel a bit 'lawyery'. Ha. When I went last year I had the Delmonico steak, lobster mac and cheese and I think a caesar salad. It was all pretty good, but I agree, a standard steak house.

Steak night huh?! I'm sure my husband would love that one.