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The Capital Grille: A Chain Steakhouse With a Mean Steak

The Capital Grille is like an old friend, a chain steakhouse popular in both of my other ‘home’ cities (Boston and Philadelphia). It is reliably decadent and delicious. While it may not have the history or the pedigree of Peter Luger’s, the Capital Grille delivers consistently well-prepared, well-seasoned, and well-portioned steakhouse cuisine.

The new New York location, conveniently located in the lobby of my work building on Broadway in the financial district (the historic Equitable Building), is big, multi-leveled, and evocative of old-school American steakhouses. The restaurant has a large marble bar in the center of the room with bar dining, clinking and shimmering bottles, and TVs for market-watching (or March Madness watching). The dining room is divided between the main dining area, a cantilevered second-level dining area, and several ‘private’ dining rooms for larger tables. The look is plush and luxurious with dark wood paneling, antique lamps, thick carpeting, a glass wine room, and a plethora of well-dressed and white-waistcoated staff.

The Capital Grille isn’t modern; it’s not fresh or innovative; it’s straight-up classic steakhouse fare. The menu reads like a laundry list of American favorites: crab cakes, fried calamari, oysters on a half shell, surf n’turf, filet mignon, veal chops, roast chicken, grilled swordfish, and broiled lobster. All the food comes large enough to feed a small army, piping hot, and well-executed. The steak is good and all-American with few funky marinades and a fierce focus on maintaining the integrity of the beef. Call me a female, but my favorite cut is the well-sized filet mignon that comes delightfully solo in the middle of a great white plate. Throw some parmesan truffle fries, lobster mac n’cheese, or ‘Sam’s mashed potatoes’ on the side, and I’m good to go for some serious eating (yes, the sides are so big they could be one person’s meal).

The Capital Grille is a refined and traditional lunch option for the deal-making set – you’re safe in the mahogany halls of beefdom (read: no silly presentations, froufrou accoutrements, or too-complicated-to-order creations here). Entertaining guests from out of town that want good food but nothing too ‘weird’? The Capital Grille keeps it classy and conservative, not to mention, the expansive space allows for large parties without too much noise. A good bet for business meals, group festivities, dinner with your parents, or if you just have a hankering for steak, this new Capital Grille outpost is as safe and satisfying as safe can be.

The Capital Grille on Urbanspoon

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