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Capital Grill Boston - The Steak Was Eh... [Moved from Boston]

Figured I would give it a whirl as many have said "Best Steak in Boston." I went for the holy grail "Dry Aged Porterhouse" $38.

Let's just say it was no Peter Luger. Very tender sure, but not with any notable flavor to differentiate if from dozens of other steaks I have eaten.

Would not bother again.

Sides were fine, but not notable.

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  1. I know Peter Luger. Peter Luger is a friend of mine. Senator, Capital Grill is no Peter Luger.

    1. Yep, those two steakhouses don't belong in the same sentence.

      In general, the (Back Bay) Capital seems really dull to me: it's an ugly room (couldn't afford to spring for roomier ceilings?), the options for non-beefeaters are weak, and the prices are silly. But I do remember the beef having some good dry-aged flavor the last time I was forced to endure a meal there. And it's not hard to spot Red Sox players there, many of whom consider it their favorite restaurant in town.

      2 Replies
      1. re: MC Slim JB

        Hi Hounds, feel free to compare local steak houses with some of your favorites elsewhere on this board. But when the focus of the post shifts to a discussion purely on a steakhouse elsewhere, e.g. Peter Lugers, please post on the board that is most suited for it. We've moved a post purely concerned with Peter Lugers here: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/show/...

        Added August 6: The focus of this thread has become a comparison of chain steakhouses, so the thread has been moved to the Chain board.

        1. re: MC Slim JB

          I am not a big steakhouse fan, and would rarely if ever actually go to one, but did have a gift certificate to capital grill and went. I was actually pleasantly surprised at the quality of the steak and found the prices reasonable (for Boston). Despite an expensive bottle of wine, we were unable to use the whole gift certificate, and now I have $40 in unused gift card that will probably get lost before it gets used.

          My only complaint - the lobster bisque was so hot I was amazed that the porcelain bowl didn't melt. I have no idea how they got it that hot, but it took 15 minutes before it was cool enough to eat.

        2. We always enjoy the Newberry St. Capital Grille when visiting Boston. The quality and flavor of the steak is as good as Gallagher's in NYC and the original Morton's in Chicago. If you want more flavor to your steak than just good ole steak flavor, try the out-of-this-world porcini dusted delmonico steak with aged balsamic glaze. My husband can't stop talking about it. We love the atmosphere and the service is always fantastic. If you don't like steak, try their steamed 3lb lobster, it's what I always order and it is perfect. The sides are ridiculously large, the salads very, very good. Sure it's expensive but not as expensive as places 9 Park and Excelsior and about the same as any italian place in the North End.

          1 Reply
          1. re: lisaomay

            Gallagher's in NYC is not a benchmark. Peter Luger's is. The steak I had at Capital Grill was just plain lame, I know my food. I did not mention it in my previous post, but the steak was also over-salted.

            You should not have to dust a dry aged, $38 steak with mushrooms to give it flavor. Besides, on the menu they say the Porterhouse is their signature steak.

          2. Capital Grille is decent. I've found their sirloi/strip to be medicore, but the delmonico is quite good.

            They DO have a problem nailing the requested temperature, however. Every time I've eaten there, I've asked for medium rare and gotten medium. They always correct the problem quickly though, and last time they even comped us!

            so, if you go to Capital Grille, order the bone-in delmonico over the strip/sirloin or even the porterhouse (which, afterall, is mostly strip/sirloin). My date, btw, had the filet, and it was up to par. Extremely tender.

            I still say the most consistently great steaks I've had in Boston come from Flemings. The Ruth's Chris is fabulous too.

            4 Replies
            1. re: tamerlanenj

              Capital Grill advertises the porterhouse as their "Signature" steak, don't see how you should have to order around it.

              Ruth's Chris does not Dry Age their steaks, I don't know about Flemings.

              For me, the one thing that defines a serious steakhouse is dry aging and that difficult to define tangy, slightly funky, meaty flavor.

              I can get a fabulous piece of meat at any of the top restaurants in Boston, or elsewhere. Dry aging should be something special that takes time, and care, to produce an extraordinary product.

              1. re: StriperGuy

                Well, if you're dry aging your meat, but not cooking it to the correct temperature, then that's a problem. Ruth's Chris has never overcooked a steak, and USDA PRIME is not to be found at most high end Boston restaurants. To me, the meat grade is as important as the dry aging process.

                1. re: tamerlanenj

                  The steak at CG was actually perfectly medium rare as I requested it... it was still just another steak.

                  At R's C I find the meat just generally chain-boring.

                  Wet aging, which is what they do at R's C is the cheap way to age a steak. Wet aging is just about saving $$: keep it wet, so the steak does not lose weight, so you save money. Steaks lose 15-20% of their weight when dry aged. This is part of what gives a good dry-aged steak that beefy flavor.

                  If you are not dry aging a steak, and concentrating the flavors, there is little reason to age it more then 6-7 days. Bottom line, with wet aging, what you end up with is an old, wet, "mild" piece of meat.

                2. re: StriperGuy

                  Also, it's probably their signature steak because it's the most expensive. It has nothing to do with whether it's the best tasting or not. Ribeye owns a porterhouse any day of the weak, from my experience. Besides, oce you've eat at Luger, any other portherhouse will be disappointing.

              2. Also, no one ever mentions The Palm in the back bay, but I had a spectacular rib-eye there as well.

                1. Capital Grille is okay. It's a predictable "chain;" fewer locations, more expensive that McDonald's, nicer furnished, but still a chain. At the end of the day, that's what will dictate the experience you will have. You simply can't expect anything outstanding (in terms of food or service) from a chain.

                  And I totally agree with tamerlanenj about CG's inability to nail temperatures.

                  TT

                  1. The best one can hope for is to say that a steak is 75% as good as Luger's. That would be a good steak. In Boston, i have eaten at Capital Grille (2) and Mortons and Abe & Louis. CG is head and shoulders above the other two. I sent back two filets at A&L (and they told me the only thing they could recommend was the sirloin) and Mortons was gross. I enjoyed the p'house at CG and would recommend. The potatoes were a little lame. Will have to try Flemings next, but pahleeze, do not compare anything to Lugers.

                    1. The steak at CG was about 40% as good as Peter Luger.