One of the rising star steakhouse chains, Capital Grille has several locations around the country. This review is for the midtown west location in NYC.
Unfortunately, my Delmonico steak came rare despite ordering it medium. The replacement steak was not rested, and when I cut into it, it bled out all over my plate, leaving me with a pool of juice and a feverish struggle to finish before it got dry. The steak also had a bit of inedible fat on it, but it also did have some nice melty yummy fat too. It tasted good, but I had to add salt and pepper because they rushed my replacement and didn’t season it properly. I tasted the filet as well, since my coworker ordered the price fix for ladies (FYI he is not a she), which came with an 8oz filet (no bigger than a good burger). It was perfectly cooked and juicy. So rather than the minus 5 that this place would have gotten for the incredible steak mishap, I added a point back for the filet. Keep in mind that mishap threw off the entire flow of the meal. My coworker had to start eating otherwise his steak would have gotten cold, and I was sitting there poking at the sides while waiting for my unrested, unseasoned $45 steak. Sons of bitches… On a second visit I went for the $39 price fix theater menu’s Kona crusted sirloin, which comes in at 14oz. Not a bad steak for the deal, but I think the 8oz filet tasted better (my buddy got that). Either way the points went up here after the second visit. See pics below (FYI that is shallot butter that they dumped on the meat):
Choice of Cuts & Quality Available: 8
They have a fair selection here. They offer a filet and a filet oscar for the (!)s of the group (A (!) is a pussy – look at it closely). They have two preparations of sirloin (cognac peppercorn being one, and the other just being regular grilled/broiled), a porterhouse, and a ribeye. The essentials are covered with a little variation, but not enough to live up to other joints in the neighborhood. The ribeye was semi-bone-in. I say that not because it was a half-limp penis, but because there were two very small pieces of bone that were part of the cut. I was a little disappointed, like a woman if she tried to get it on with a guy that had a half flaccid penis instead of a rock-solid longbone.
Portion Size & Plating: 8
The portion sizes are good. My Delmonico was 22oz, and all the other cuts are on par with normal NYC steakhouse sizes.
Martinis were $11 (good); my Delmonico steak was $45 (semi-okay if not for the complete fuck-up of my order); the pussy-ass price fix dinner was a great deal at $39 (Caesar or mixed greens salad, filet or 14oz sirloin, 2 sides and dessert). Otherwise sides were $10; and apps were anywhere from $12 to $17. The total bill for two, including three drinks, was $165 with tax and tip included – not bad. Here is the very reasonable bill from my second visit, when we had the theater menu price fix:
The bar is great. There are high ceilings and the whole area is sunken to ground floor level so that you are looking up at street level through the large, tall windows. It is elegantly decorated with wood panels, mounted and stuffed (ooooh yeaaah) deer heads, and nice moulding. My martinis were made well. I can definitely hang here. It is good after work, if you are into suits in midtown (which you probably aren’t, since you are a normal person).
Specials and Other Meats: 7
There’s not much on special by way of meats. That could’ve been because we were seated near the bar, but we were still given access to the full menu, including the price fix special. They have lamb and chicken for alterna-meats: a bit lacking if you ask me. Step up CG. With as many locations as you have, you can afford to throw some pork, veal, and maybe some venison onto the menus.
Apps, Sides & Desserts: 8
I had the “wagyu” carpaccio, which was delicious – probably the best part of the meal. The meat has a nice aged flavor, was very thinly sliced, and came with a nice peppery arugula dressed just right with a lemon aioli. There is nothing quite like priming the meat hole with some raw meat before adding some pounds of ribeye in. We tried the mashed potato and creamed spinach sides. The creamed spinach was just okay – it was creamy but the spinach itself seemed a little dried out. The mashed were good and creamy, lots of flavor, but after a few minutes of sitting out they became hard. For dessert we had ice cream, which came with a stick of biscotti. Sounds boring but the stuff is very rich and good. Especially the chocolate, and I usually hate chocolate. The creme brulee was perfect.
Seafood Selection: 9
A solid showing here for seafood. The standard shellfish apps were available, along with a special 3oz lump crabmeat item, which I was tempted to order. For entrees there was lobster, swordfish, salmon, tuna, and shrimp – all done a bit different from the usual ways, like cedar planking, Japanese tataki style, etc.
Great service considering we sat at a table near the bar area that was not part of the main dining room. Our waitress was attentive and helpful, and someone from the managerial staff came out with my replacement steak to make sure all was cooked well (medium)… cooked properly that is. The waitress even said as she saw me cut into the first steak: “You said medium, and that is definitely not medium. I don’t know what’s going on back there.” They brought over a free mashed potato app to make up for it – nice try but no dice, dicks. The table bread basket (which we had to ask for) was really nice. There was warm onion bread, hot square-shaped everything bagel-ish things, and a huge matzo-like cracker (similar to Maloney & Porcelli, only better). Kaboom. Small world… I’m eating dinner during the second visit here, and all the while I’m thinking the waitress looks familiar. At the end of the meal I hand her my Johnny Prime card and she says that she remembers me. She says she waited on me in a big group at Vic & Anthony’s. “Tracie” – crazy that she remembered the group. She left there b/c she didn’t like the management and b/c she wasn’t making good $, and the restaurant was always dead. Anyway she gave me some “passes” for their specialty cocktails and a fried calamari app. Pretty funny, and just goes to show how great the service is.
Aside from the obvious corporate milieu, the decor is really nice. The dining room is beautiful – with a view into the kitchen on the first floor. The wall art is classy, the bathrooms are clean and stocked with nice thick paper towels, and it smells fresh. The floors were clean, the ceilings were high, the music was good, and the crowd was just the right size.
I added a few points to this review after a recent trip to celebrate both my birthday and my move back to Manhattan. This place is a solid choice in the neighborhood. And nothing beats the prix fix deal for dinner before 7pm.
Here are some additional photos. Notice the amazing service. They sprayed the table with a confetti cumshot (clown jizz) since they knew we were celebrating, and they also brought out complimentary champagne and dessert (cheesecake and brownie). Our waiter, Edgar, was amazing. He provides the kind of service you get at meals where you spend $200 per person. The manager Tim stopped by too and thanked us for our patronage. I’ll definitely be coming back more often. Tim recently came from Keens Steakhouse, and I’m glad he did, because he’s clearly doing something right!
BURGER UPDATE 10/16/14
The ultimate burger is here at Capital Grill for the fall season, through around Thanksgiving. There are three different styles with a wine pairing for each. The one I stuffed down my esophagus tonight was 8oz of American Wagyu beef with havarti cheese, a fried egg and crispy fried onions on top. In other words it was a fucking cummy wet-dream on a bun.
Not only was the burger great, but so was our waiter, Jeremy. I felt like I’d known him for years! After my buddy graciously picked up the tab for the three of us and bolted to catch his train, me and my other buddy got to chatting with Jeremy about various different steak and burger places around town. Let’s just say I now have a bunch of new places on my short-list, both for burgers AND steaks. Thanks Jeremy: I truly appreciate the heads-up on those places, and I’m looking forward to dining at Capital Grill again, hopefully with you as the waiter.
Now on to the food pr0n. The burger was juicy as all fuck, tender and delicious. The beef quality is off the charts. This is by far the best burger I’ve had at a steakhouse. Look at this shit:
The egg was perfectly cooked sunny-side up and it dribbled down nicely into the meat without fucking up the bun. Like a sloppy BJ without any chick-spit hitting your balls or the sheets underneath your ass. Unreal. And the fries were perfect! Nice and crispy, well seasoned, soft inside. They offer a parmesan herb french fry too, with their regular menu burger, which I also want to try (these Wagyu fucks are a special offering only). And the wine I picked was a really nice Pinot Noir. Smooth.
My buddy opted for the Wagyu burger that was “Kona crusted” in an earthy coffee grind mixture, and topped with caramelized onions (and the havarti cheese). Looks sexy – like a slutty-but-not-quite-fat voluptuous chick who dresses in too-tight clothes and needs a good pounding to satisfy her craving for male attention:
That’s about it for now, you bastards. I’m sure I will be back before Thanksgiving to try out some more burgers here.
BURGER FOLLOW UP 4/8/15
I returned for the Kona wagyu burger when it was offered again in early April. I was delighted to see that Jeremy was there tending bar and actually remembered me! Such a professional, and we talked again about various burger joints. Funny part was that Tracie, who I mentioned above re: Vic & Anthony’s, waited on my wife and I! Pretty neat. She even threw in some desserts for us on the house. A-plus service at this joint, all the way! Anyway, I like the egg burger better than the Kona crust. Despite the meat being amazing quality, I still lean towards a traditional American cheeseburger with a potato bun and your standard lettuce, tomato and onion.
120 W. 51st St.
New York, NY 10020