seattlefoodster.com apologizes for the quality of the photographs in this article. The lights in the restaurant were dim and any flash would have washed out the food.
Friends have asked me what type of intrinsic benefits are there when writing for a food review site which receives millions of hits monthly (actual hits may be slightly lower). My simple answer, which has never changed is that I enjoy being able to write about food. I am passionate about eating it and passionate about talking food so writing about it just seemed to be the next step. And, as an added perk, every now and then I have the chance to dine at a restaurant before it opens to the public, sometimes even for free. Trust me when I say that whether a restaurant “comps” my meal or not it will never determine the outcome of my review.
In light of sometimes being able to get a sneak peek at a soon-to-open restaurant, I had the wonderful opportunity to dine at Seattle’s newest steakhouse, The Capital Grille, located downtown underneath the historic Cobb Building. The décor is typical old world steakhouse, black and white or sepia photographs, wood paneling adorned by mounted animal heads watching over the dinner crowd. The service, however, is characteristically Seattle; over-polite and generally down to earth. Much of the historic charm is carried through with the service of the staff. Once seated you and your dinner party will be asked if you prefer a black or white linen napkin. Also worth noting is if a woman leaves her seat to use the restroom she’ll be escorted. Once she is on her journey to the restroom another employee quickly gathers up and refolds her napkin. It would be difficult to be more courteous than that!
Although the menu was pre-fixe, I believe The Capital Grille put some of its best selections on for display. For my appetizer I started with the Lobster Bisque. If you enjoy the creaminess of bisque you are in for a lovely surprise. I must admit that although I have never had sherry drizzled on top of bisque before it had the ability to highlight many other, subtle flavors. True to its name the bisque was loaded with lumps of lobster meat. I was disappointed that the Pan Fried Calamari with Hot Cherry Peppers was not on the menu as I was told it is their featured appetizer.
It seems that I have this assumption that when food is served a la carte then each item must prove its own worth. I was highly tempted to order the Porcini Rubbed Delmonico steak with an eight year old aged balsamic, however my server swayed me with the passionate way he described the dry aged Porterhouse steak. An important side note for all those steak lovers is that all of the dry aged steaks have been dried in-house by the restaurant.
Normally I try to order my steak according to how the chef would prefer to prepare it. It turns out the chef likes the porterhouse rare, warm in the center and I was happy to oblige. To say that this porterhouse melted in my mouth is an understatement. With only a hint of seasoning you’ll find the grilled outer layer of the steak perfectly sealed in every morsel of flavor.
My date was kind enough to share with me her filet mignon served with lobster in a lobster butter-cream sauce. Aside from the steak and lobster being decadent, I believe that lobster sauce could be wonderfully paired with any type of food.
Much to my surprise appreciated the simplicity of their menu. You’ll find the wine list is exponentially longer than the food menu. After leaving the posh ambiance of this place, full and quite possibly smitten by my rediscovered love of red meat, I must say that The Capital Grille makes a bold statement and will be a worthy challenger to all other Seattle steakhouses.