I recently went to an event at Capital Grille in the Chrysler Center, near Grand Central and admit that I was blown away. Usually, when you go to a luncheon or dinner like this, you get a prix-fixe, like that time, and the food is good but not outstanding, similar to what you often get when eating in a place for Restaurant Week. In fact, I tested one of my favorite steakhouses few years ago for Restaurant Week and was so disappointed: the meat served was definitely of a lower quality. So, my expectations for The Capital Grille were low.
Before I talk about the food, let me tell you about the beautiful decor of this place, with its oversized portraits and lockers at the entrance for people who go there very, very often; lockers rented for a fee that I am sure would pay for few dinners. Then, the elegant dining room is dominated by a big sculpture of an eagle that you cannot miss.
Food wise, you will find the classics a steakhouse has to offer: fresh seafood, crab cakes, and of course, dry aged steaks. Here is what I had:
As a cocktail, an old fashioned made with Bulleit Bourbon:
Crab cake bites and cremini mushrooms stuffed with boursin cheese (French cheese that has garlic and parsley in it). My favorite were the crab cakes. They were small and I was worried they would be dry, but it was not the case at all. And I should point out that you get chunks of crab with no fillers.
The Grand Plateau, composed of fresh seafood: lobster, shrimp, crab and oysters. Delicious and very fresh.
Shaved Brussel sprout salad with toasted pecans, goat cheese and smoked bacon. A very good salad where the star was the smoked bacon. In fact, they would have just served me the bacon, I would have been happy!
Porcini rubbed filet mignon with 15 year aged balsamic. The steak was perfectly cooked medium-rare, was juicy, very tender and had a nice char. I thought at first that the balsamic vinegar would be overpowering, but they had just the right amount so it was not.
With it, I tried three sides that were all quite good:
Potatoes au gratin:
Roasted wild mushrooms:
Soy glazed Brussels sprouts with bacon:
Last was dessert. I ordered the cheesecake that was served with berries. It was a nice dessert, with a good texture, and I loved the crust on the bottom that was buttery (I guess it was a Graham Cracker crust).
Overall, it was a delicious dinner. I do not know why but I always stay away from The Capital Grille, associating it to a chain, high end, but still a chain. Their food is quite delicious and I am now thinking of going back to try their ribeye...
Enjoy (I did)
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The Capital Grille - 155 E 42nd Street, New York, NY 10017