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Steakhouses...Chowhounds, if you had a choice,...

  • m
  • me71 Jan 7, 2006 05:12 PM

...would you choose Smith and Wollensky's, Morton's, or Capital Grille? I have the opportunity for a free meal for two at one of these three steakhouses.

I have read some reviews and I know these aren't necessarily your favorites; however, these are what I have to choose from!

Thanks for your help!

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  1. From those 3 - Capital Grill would be my choice. Morton's second for food (but the ambiance is terrible), S&W is last for food, but the restaurant itself is attractive.

    4 Replies
    1. re: foo-dee

      Agreed. I've had great steak at the Capital Grill, and found the service impeccable (Newbury Street location).

      1. re: BobB

        Go for the Kona crusted filet if you choose the Capital Grille. That is what I will be having tonight!

        1. re: Gabatta

          Was at capital grille (Boston) for my anniversary two weeks ago and was very favorably impressed. The Kona crusted sirloin (with carmelized shallot butter) was fabulous although slightly overcooked (a minor foible, I asked for Pittsburgh rare and got rare). The crust was rich and salty with a subtle coffee overtone. The shallot butter was decadent, especially on asparagus. Lobster Bisque required 10 minutes of cooling before it was safe to eat... I have no idea how they got it so hot. My wife was unimpressed by her salad, especially the dressing, but thought her filet was perfect. They comped a chocolate cake for the anniversary.

          Had a Masi Amarone - wonderful, warm, rich, raisiny wine. I'm too cheap to buy amarone in the liquor store, but for some reason don't mind paying the mark-up in a restaurant. Go figure.

          We will certainly go back, but will probably eliminate the appetizers, go with steak, and have a nice dessert. Still a big meal, but won't get stuffed.

          Price for two, with tip, about $250, including 110 for wine. Much less than I was expecting. Met my criteria of a good meal out - couldn't replicate the meal at home.

      2. re: foo-dee

        Of those 3 choices I would select the Capital Grille. Good steaks there. Also, the shellfish appetizers are excellent. There was a cold lobster tail appetizer that was always my first choice, but I think it was not on the menu on my last visit. The Boston Capital Grille is one of my local favorites among those that specialize in steaks. S&W would not be a bad choice for atmosphere.

        I haven't been to the local Morton's, probably because the entrance never looked appealing to me.

      3. Capital Grille!!apprently no one has tasted usda prime, as that place is strictly usda choice a step below.....................

        3 Replies
        1. re: tom

          According to a recent WSJ article on steak chains, Capital Grille serves both prime and choice steaks..

          1. re: 9lives

            ..and they dry age all their beef, which makes a huge difference.

            1. re: Gabatta

              Dry aging makes ALL the difference!

        2. Thanks for all of your help.

          1. Capital Grill best of the 3, but Abe & Louis [great martinis and who doesn't love a cheese wheel}, Ruth's Chris [yummy Cowboy steak & ornate dining room], and the Oak Room [quiet, dated, but civilized] are better than any of the 3.

            1. I just ate at the bar at Morton' in Copley with my SO.

              Two glasses of wine, a crab cake, and a bone-in ribeye to share came to $92.

              The steak was, actually, really really good. Thick, well marbled, with a nice charred outside and a perfect medium rare inside.

              Obviously, the prices are beyond insane...but, it's Mortons. I would still reccomend Ruth's Chris first for flavor and Fleming's first for value, but at least tonight I got a hell of a steak for the ridiculous tab.

              Of the three, I would definitely avoid the Capital Grille. Consistently mediocre.

              Give Smith and W. a try like other foks are recommening. someone on chowhound raved about their ribeye.

              1. Ruth's Chris...yes it's a chain, but a steak (especially a ribeye) swimming in a pool of butter is hard to beat!

                1 Reply
                1. re: andrew054

                  I agree with the RC recommendation, but it was not one of the three choices.

                2. and Captital Grill is part of the company that runs Bugaboo Creek (aka RARE hospitality). Take it from there.

                  1. Captial Grill and it's not even close.

                    1. Oh, Capital Grille. I love their Chestnut Hill location. Even their vegetable sides are fabulous. Just thinking about the meal I had there two years ago makes me happy.

                      1. Well since The Oak Room, IMO, the best steakhouse this side of NYC, isn't on the list I would definitely go with The Capitol Grille. Does anybody know whether the new one has opened at The Wayside Commons in Burlington yet? I know it was scheduled for a January opening.
                        I just googled both their website a did a general google and didn't find anything.

                        1. La Brace in the North End; not dirt cheap but a much better value.

                          6 Replies
                          1. re: limster

                            That doesn't answer the OP, "limster". The question is door: A, B or C?

                            1. re: Harp00n

                              Actually, the OP asked this question over a year ago....

                              1. re: Rubee

                                Lol, you know I hate it when people revive old threads because they're not paying attention. That aside, it still doesn't address the "spirit" of the OP, "Rubee".

                                And speaking of asides, make mine a Python, "Mc" :-)

                                1. re: Harp00n

                                  I myself did not notice the age of this post, only that it was eerily similar to an actual new post of a few days ago. I just figured it was one of those rewards-card deals that limits your options to participating restaurants. Definitely a "what's the least bad?" kind of choice in my book: I appreciated limster's going to Wally Cox to block.

                                  1. re: MC Slim JB

                                    Well the Great Art Buchwald was given the new question; What's the deal on The Capitol in Burlington? Hurry up before Betty White hogs the spotlight.

                              2. re: Harp00n

                                Also, if you can't abide what's behind Doors A, B, and C, I think "I'll take what's behind the curtain, Monty" is a reasonable response.

                            2. Capital Grille is an old favorite as I previously lived one block, although we usually ate at the bar and split a few things. If you go there, I would definitely reccomend the dry aged Kona crusted sirloin (though ask for the shallot butter on the side, it is a bit much). The apps are also not bad for a steak house, some favorites include the calamari with hot peppers and the steak tartar.

                              The steaks at S&W were better than expected. However the service is abysmal. Avoid this place.

                              For a free sit down meal, I might opt for Mortons. Maybe it is because I have not been there in awhile. I feel their beef is consistently some of the best around, and the service is usually excellent. I like the cozy underground atmosphere, and I hear the expanded bar is good for a pre dinner drink. I am a sucker for their Porterhouse. I am not a desert guy, but the souflees are worth ordering there, though you have to order them with your dinner order.

                              Our of your three, you will enjoy Cap Grille or Mortons, particularly if you are dining for free.

                              I differ from many on these boards in that I enjoy dining at steakhouses. The food is a bit overpriced, but it is what it is. My real issue with steakhouses is their markup on wine. It is just ludicrous. The worst offender is my Ruth's Chris in my opinion.