Saturday, December 17, 2011

The Capital Grille

With several locations across the country, The Capital Grille in Penn Quarter, Washington DC stands apart from the rest with its nighttime, panoramic view of the Capitol from the front door that is “enough to make you want to salute.
The other reasons are the food, service and ambiance.” Featuring dry aged steaks and a wine list of over 800 labels, The Capital Grille is a classy restaurant great for business meetings, romantic dates, or celebration dinners. Closest Metro is Archives-Naval Memorial.

October 2011:  As one of the Ambassadors for Take A Bite Out of Breast Cancer, I was invited to a special Thank You dinner at the Capital Grille. We sat in the Wine Room surrounded by handsome mahogany carved wine racks displaying the extensive wine selection from around the world. Over 20 other local food bloggers were in attendance and we celebrated the success of our first year as Ambassadors for this great cause. We enjoyed a 4 course sit-down tasting menu featuring Chef Bryan Thomas’ signature selections, paired with wine from their award-winning wine list. The service was excellent, very attentive, and unobtrusive. The food was classic steakhouse fare featuring lightly fried calamari, various impressive steaks, sinfully garlic-buttered mashed potatoes, and a smooth coconut cream pie. Overall, I enjoyed my meal and it was a blast to meet everyone in person. I want to especially thank Lisa Shapiro of Dining In DC and her sister Christa Floresca of Pink Jams! for hosting this great dinner and allowing me to help participate as an Ambassador. It really shows how the power of local community reach via social media can help influence, and I was happy to lend my name for breast cancer awareness. Stay tuned for a follow-up post later next month with an update on the results of our fundraising efforts through Take A Bite.

December 2011:  I decided to return to Capital Grille and bring Keith to celebrate our own Christmas dinner, before the family festivities begin.  We were seated at a very odd location however, at a table that felt squeezed in next to the server station.  That became a little annoying throughout the night as servers kept coming next to me, opening and closing, opening and closing, opening and closing the cabinets, and clanking dishware.  Regardless, our server, Pam, was comically hospitable and though very busy, made sure to check on us during the appropriate times.  Our food was delayed, so for that I dropped the service points just a tad.  My shrimp and even the crab stuffing in it was totally overcooked and dry - not sure if that was because it was waiting under heat lamps for the steak to be ready, but it was an oversight on Capital Grille that caused me to also lower the food score.  Nevertheless, the appetizers and sides were delicious and large in portion size that we had plenty of leftovers to bring home.  The Capital Grille is still a classic restaurant in the heart of DC that is a popular choice for business dinners and special occasions.

Total Rating: 3.88
Food: 3.5, Price: 4, Service: 4, Ambience: 5, Accessibility: 5

What I ate:

Prosciutto-wrapped Mozzarella with Vine Ripe Tomatoes
classic fresh mozzarella wrapped in prosciutto and lightly sautéed.
Served with crostini, fresh basil and a lovely balsamic glaze

Lobster & Crab Stuffed Shrimp
delicately butterflied shrimp stuffed with fresh lobster and crab,
lightly breaded, and roasted with a touch of wine

Pan-Fried Calamari
with Hot Cherry Peppers

Photo: Capital Grille Website

Miniature Lobster and Crab Cakes
Photo: Lisa Shapiro,

Field Greens Salad
with tomatoes, fresh herbs, and a parmesan vinaigrette

Photo: Erin Ruberry,

Roasted Chicken
with tomato and bell peppers

Sam’s Mashed Potatoes

Photo: Capital Grille Website

Roasted Seasonal Mushrooms

Creamed Corn with Smoked Bacon

Dessert Sampler
Flourless Chocolate Espresso Cake, Crème Brulee, Coconut Cream Pie

Photo: Mary Kong,

Plus Keith ate:
Delmonico Steak
A hearty, juicy, bone-in ribeye with flavor as big as its 22-ounce size
Grilled to your liking and served au jus

The Capital Grille on Urbanspoon

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