When we were invited to attend a complimentary pre-opening dinner at The Capital Grille, I went and checked out their website and said: YES!!!
We are steak lovers. And who wouldn’t want an evening out “on the house”?
I was nearly giddy with excitement when we pulled up to the new location of The Capital Grille in Hartford, Connecticut (Front Street). They offer valet parking curbside, which is no small thing in Hartford!
The architecture caught my eye immediately. Stately and refined, sophisticated with clean lines. Your eyes get a feast before you do! The Capital Grille seeks to offer diners an atmospheric experience with finishing touches that reflect the history of the area, or unique details to please the eye.
A bevy of hostess greeted us pleasantly – truthfully, I’ve never felt more welcome in a restaurant before – it felt more like entering a hotel. I’m not sure if this is the case EVERY evening at The Capital Grille, but if it is, it’s absolutely wonderful! We were greeted by other managers and personnel on the way to our table as well. We dined in one of the private dining rooms on site (there are three).
Our menu choices came off a special menu, but we did peruse the full menu. Everything sounds scrumptious! The steaks are dry aged and hand trimmed… we were told that the fresh mozzarella is hand-pulled every two hours!
Which meant of course, that the obvious choice for an appetizer had to be the prosciutto wrapped fresh mozzarella! Think crispy bacon wrapped mozzarella sticks. And then elevate that about ten notches. Each bit was crispy-salty with the taste of the prosciutto, but creamy-melty from the fresh mozzarella, which counter-balanced the savory Italian ham. A fresh grape tomato salad rested underneath the four appetizers, soaking up every last bit of goodness into a rich dressing. We cleaned that plate!
For dinner, I order the Dry Aged Steak au Poivre with Courvoisier Cream – a tender New York Strip sirloin crusted with soaked black peppercorns for a robust spicy flavor, covered with a delicious creamy sauce. I couldn’t get enough. But of course, my tummy is only so big, so I had to take a large portion of steak home (no complaints there from hubby who snitched it from me later!).
Hubby ordered the sliced tenderloin with lobster tails, which was also delicious but such a milder flavor after I had been eating the au Poivre!
We shared the Lobster Mac ‘N’ Cheese, which the menu describes “as magnificent as it sounds” – truly, it was. Made with Campanelle pasta (a curvy, frilly-edge and very pretty pasta shape), the cheesy part was delicious and did not taste overmuch like seafood. Which is good because lobster is not my “thing” – it IS hubby’s thing so he helped himself to the large chucks of lobster claw meat sitting near the top of our dish.
For dessert – a coconut treat – I think it was their Coconut Cream Pie – custards on a crunchy coconuty crust-cookie!
We pretty much waddled away from that dinner… unfortunately, as with most restaurants the lighting was quite dim and my photos didn’t come out well enough to do justice to the beauty of the meal.
If there was one suggestion I could make for improvement to this restaurant, it would be that I was very chilly throughout the meal. I’m not sure if adjusting the temperatures would be feasible, but… I have heard of some restaurants that have a pashmina shawl on the backs of every chair in case diners get chilly! Excessive? Perhaps, but just a thought!
Dining at The Capital Grille was a remarkable experience – and I have been to some lovely restaurants in my time! I hope to return now that we have a location close to us. But with locations throughout the United States, perhaps you have one near you?
Have you dined at The Capital Grille? If you love seafood and steak, and an exceptionally fine dining experience, The Capital Grille will impress you (or your wife! or date! or why not take your son or daughter out for some one-on-one time?). The Hartford location is officially open this week!
Thanks to The Capital Grille for providing a complimentary meal. All opinions are 100% my own.