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Nov 1, 2013 08:15 AM

The Capital Grille

Some friends are considering having their holiday Lunch in December at The Capital Grille here in the Cincinnati area.

I know it's a chain, but I said I'd ask my foodie friends if anybody had tried it and could give us a sense of if it was any good

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  1. It's super-expensive. I've never had a steak there, but the fried calamari appetizer was good, and the coconut cream pie is one of the best desserts I've ever had.

    Super-expensive, though, even by "nice steakhouse" standards.

    1 Reply
    1. We ate at the new one in Hartford CT and were very impressed with the food as well as the service but like previously mentioned, it was super expensive.

      9 Replies
      1. re: jcanino

        Interesting thread. I never considered going there since it is a Darden-owned chain, figuring it would be like the other Darden chains which are by far, the lowest quality of all the chains.

        Evidently Bugaboo Creek is also part of this chain - went twice & both times found it to be up to the typical Dardin quality (quite poor).

        1. re: Clams047

          What are some other Darden owned chains?

          1. re: Clams047

            sorry clams...................
            Bugaboo Creek is NOT owned by Darden. It is part of the bankrupt CB Holdings, as in Charlie Brown's Steakhouses.

            Darden has a lot of really pisspoor restaurants, but don't blame Bugaboo Creek on them

            1. re: Clams047

              Capital Grille was acquired by darden along with Bahama Breeze in 2007

              1. re: Clams047

                Nothing like any of the other Darden restaurants. This is white tablecloth, special ocassion, power dinner type of place. Similar to Morton's or Ruth Chris. I probably enjoy this one the most out of the three. I have only been to the Baltimore location of any of them.

                I have only been for dinner in groups of 3-8. I tend to stick with beef entrees but they do their fish well too.

                1. re: melpy

                  Their seared tuna with 3 dipping sauces is quite good.

              2. re: jcanino

                been to Stamford with clients, not any better than Morton's or Ruth Chris's, but on that level
                I'd rather drive 40 more minutes to Peter Luger in Brooklyn

              3. The one in KC is good. It is spendy though, usually about $150 for dinner for 2 w/o wine.

                1. In Pittsburgh, where I live, they are one of the better steakhouses, and are, sadly, probably in the top 5.

                  They serve better steak than one can usually make at home. But you pay for far more than you get. If you drink, it will easily cost you $100 pp or more. That said, I have enjoyed my fair share of oyster-scotch lunches, which have always been more than satisfying. Cap Grille's I've been to have uniformly presented good food and competent service for an exorbitant price. The ambience at most is wood-paneled, the lighting dim, and to my liking.

                  I do not go to cap grille often, as it is generally possible to find better food at a more reasonable price elsewhere, but I don't turn down invitations to cap grille and will occasionally patronize them alone at lunch.

                  1. In terms of corporate-expense account chain-type steakhouses, they're better than most.

                    It's not like an STK or Bourbon Steak (in style or execution) but better than (for example) Ruth's Chris.

                    31 Replies
                    1. re: ipsedixit

                      I don't know if your Capital Grill is better than ours, but in southern CA where we live, Capital Grill is not even in the same league as Ruth's Chris…not by a long shot. The beef served at Capital Grill is USDA choice (albeit dry aged), whereas every steak served at Ruth's Chris is USDA prime. The steaks served at Ruth's Chris are much more flavorful and juicy than those served at the Capital Grill, and the starters and sides are far better than those at the CG. We've tried our local CG 3 times and will not return.

                      Ruth's Chris is obviously not in a class with Peter Lugars, or even Smith and Wollinsky in NYC, but for a chain, it's pretty dependable. Cannot say the same for Capital Grill which is part of the largest restaurant conglomerate in the US (Darden).

                      1. re: josephnl

                        Our fairly recent foray to the Capital Grille makes me say I'm in complete agreement. They can't touch the steaks at Ruth's Chris or Arnie Morton's.

                          1. re: Servorg

                            I disagree. I have found CG and Morton's to be much better than RC.

                            1. re: melpy

                              In horseracing parlance, I'd call it a triple dead heat.

                              1. re: Veggo

                                What does it really matter.

                                At the end of the day, it's all just a fucking piece of meat.

                                1. re: ipsedixit

                                  Same price as the other side of town, but it's harder to find a good steak there.

                                  1. re: Veggo

                                    You'll have to excuse me today V.

                                    I am in a surly mood today (actually more surly than usual some might say).

                                    My companion stood me up last night. Sheets are always colder with one less individual around.

                                    1. re: ipsedixit

                                      "Sheets are always colder with one less individual around."

                                      More room for blini crumbs...http://mustardwithmutton.files.wordpr...

                                      1. re: ipsedixit

                                        Pal, that's what the other side of town is for!
                                        Even Simon and Garfunkel took some comfort on 7th Avenue.

                            2. re: josephnl

                              Ruth's Chris uses ... butter.


                              1. re: ipsedixit

                                Is that bad? The bottom line is the taste of the food on the plate...and IMHO it's not just the butter. Prime beef has more marbling than choice, and therefore Ruth's Chris steak is tastier and juicier than that served at CG. Yes, and the butter makes it even better.

                                  1. re: ipsedixit

                                    Not sure that I agree. If butter makes the food taste better and isn't harmful (my blood cholesterol is fine...I don't overdo), I'm all for it. And yes, I sometimes put Bearnaise sauce on a steak...and even (rarely) enjoy eggs Benedict with a nice glass of champagne.

                                    Sure, I agree that the perfectly cooked, heavily marbled prime steak doesn't need butter, but this is the case when steak comes from Lobel's or Peter Lugar's, not from Ruth's Chris, and certainly not from Capital Grill!

                                    1. re: ipsedixit

                                      Ok -- I'll bite. Why is butter bad?

                                      1. re: jmckee

                                        My guess is that Ipse just doesn't like it.

                                  2. re: ipsedixit

                                    They cheerfully leave the butter off if you ask. They will also dispense with the sizzling serving dish/platter if you ask.

                                    1. re: ipsedixit

                                      butter on steak,
                                      yuck in my book.

                                      why would you contaminate the flavor of that very costly steak with the very pedestrian flavor of butter?
                                      if i'm spending the money on good steak, the last thing i'd want to be tasting is butter.

                                      1. re: westsidegal

                                        Or on lobster. Or in just about any of the sauces at Coni' on the shrimp or the Snook? Damn butter! It's everywhere these days! ;-D>

                                        Seriously this is all taste. A lot of folks love it. Some don't. If you don't want it they will leave it off.

                                        1. re: westsidegal

                                          Pretty much every classical French dish (see Julia Child) is contaminated with the pedestrian taste of butter

                                          1. re: josephnl

                                            Pretty much every classical French dish (see Julia Child) is contaminated with the pedestrian taste of butter

                                            I'm not sure that's the right logical extension of what wsg is saying, or what I'm saying about butter and steak.

                                            I'll just put it out there first that I don't enjoy the flavor or taste of butter -- on much of anything, really. But I do and can appreciate the need and use of butter in certain applications -- esp. in baking -- and as you've already mentioned with certain classical French mother sauces or preparations.

                                            For example, I'm not going to downgrade a croissant because it tastes like butter. That would be stupid even by my admittedly very low caveman standards -- akin to saying that the gazpacho tastes too tomato-y.

                                            Butter on steak, for me, is very different. Butter is not part of the quiddity of steak -- at least not the way that it is for a croissant.

                                            It's like gilding the proverbial lily gone totally bad. Two quality ingredients individually do not always make for better eating when taken in combination. It's like good well-marbled, aged steak is good, and butter is good, so lets combine the two! Fail.

                                            By that principle if toro is good, and gelato is good, then so should toro gelato ... but I never ever want to eat toro gelato.

                                            1. re: ipsedixit

                                              It's obviously a matter of taste. Classic bistros in Paris very often put a pat of a compound butter on a steak frites. I agree that a nicely aged t-bone or ribeye need nothing, although to me a beautiful filet with sauce bearnaise is mighty tasty (and quite French!

                                            1. re: westsidegal

                                              Personal tastes aside, while I'm very much like you in the taste of natural beef flavor that requires nothing more than some nice salt and black pepper....butter has it's place in sauces, compound butters or straight....especially if the steak in question is Filet/Tenderloin.

                                            2. re: ipsedixit

                                              The 1st of only 2 times I've ever eaten at Ruth Chris (the Beverly Hills location) my steak was delivered swimming in butter. I couldn't taste the beef for the butter. Many years later, I specifically asked to omit the butter.

                                              The bread the 1st time was not fresh and was actually freezer-burned. When I told the waiter he said that the restaurant chain used so much bread it had to be frozen!

                                              1. re: Kate is always hungry

                                                Our local RC Steakhouse is really pretty good, obviously not in the same league as Peter Lugar's, Carnevino, Craftsteak, etc. We've always had decent rolls at our RC, and the's a matter of taste and can be left off. The steaks and sides are usually quite good.

                                                1. re: josephnl

                                                  The 1st time I went to RC in 1993 I had no idea they put butter on the steak and didn't see it mentioned on the menu. The next time I went to the Woodland Hills location, I made sure to ask to hold the butter. The steak was much better without the butter. IMHO. The bread that time was fresh, not defrosted.