8 oz Porcini Filet Mignon, with Porcini Rub and 12-Year Balsamic
Flourless Chocolate Espresso
I have never been to The Capital Grille for dinner, only lunch. So I have never seen it in all its booming, arrogant, messily drunk, after-dark, pre-show glory. My companion reported the that the ladies room was filled with a primping, gold-digging horde, swaying so badly that they could barely wash their hands. That was amusing. The party room full of loud, fat businessmen directly across from our table was not. Every time a server went through the sliding doors, they would make sure to close them, but 30 seconds later someone from the party would stagger out to hit the head and leave the door wide open. They hooted, whooped, drank cheap domestic beer and called each other juvenile names. And that was before the tray of tequila shots arrived.
I remarked that party rooms such as these in nice restaurants should have a two door noise buffer system, like at firing ranges, to spare the well behaved folks eating high-priced meals from the commotion. My companion one-upped me, offering that perhaps the room would be better utilized if it were set up on a moving platform near an open window so people could whip stuff at its occupants, carnival game style.
Our server’s heel-clicking decorum was broken up with peculiar spurts of brute informality, which I’m sure plays well with the loud, fat businessmen, especially after the tequila, but this behavior only succeeded in unnerving us into being the most low-maintenance table in the joint. His service was indisputably beyond reproach and he checked in on us no less than five times during the meal, inquiring how he might improve upon our dining experience, but we always declined, as to do otherwise would have required him to come back and talk to us some more. He was like the love child of Lurch from the “Adam’s Family” and Frank “The Tank” Ricard from the movie “Old School.”
Apart from these memorable distractions, this was the best meal I’ve had all week. It didn’t start off with much gusto. My Caesar salad was, you know, a Caesar salad. There’s not a whole lot one can do to make an unforgettable Caesar salad unless they top it off with gold leaf and a hearty slice of a beluga whale’s sex organ. My companion likewise reported that her “Field Greens, Tomatoes, Fresh Herbs” was perfectly competent, and the plentiful blue cheese was much appreciated, but it wasn’t spectacular.
Then all hell broke loose. Lurch-Frank handily sold me on the filet mignon, going into drooling detail about the porcini rub and 12-year old, barrel-stored balsamic. As you can see, this thing was so amazing that it needed two pictures to do it justice. It was the size of my fist. The rub and some unadvertised pepper made the edge a little tough and crispy, which briefly made the cut of beef seem less than idyllic. But as I carved ever further into the center of this beautiful mass, I found that I was dealing with beef that was the consistency of pudding. It was very nearly melt-in-your-mouth tender. Unlike the almost as excellent cut of beef from the previous evening at Cavé Vin, this hunk hadn’t been marinated in any way. It was pure beef, unadorned, standing naked for judgment. And Leif said it was good.
Complimentary sides accompanied our meals – a plate of mashed potatoes with the option of adding garlic (yes, please!) and cauliflower that had been marinated in a curious concoction that made it, as my companion eloquently put it, “more interesting than cauliflower has ever been before.”
My companion’s lamb chops were impossibly tender. That’s right, it was tender impossible. I couldn’t have been more amazed by the texture if Ethan Hunt himself had broiled it, then delivered it to the table by crashing through the roof dangling from a helicopter rappelling rope. The cherry mostarda was a distinctive, borderline peculiar taste, but it was also an uncannily perfect pairing.
Then, the ultimate: the mother humping Flourless Chocolate Espresso. Smooth enough to polish the Hubble lenses. Rich enough to bailout AIG. Strong enough to melt lead. And taste buds. No really, I’m pretty sure it melted patches of my taste buds. But it hurt so good. The espresso and chocolate were so powerful that I, one of the world’s most chocolate fixated people, could barely finished it. I have never known anything like it and I think it is my one true love. After wine. And boobies.
My companion’s distaste for coffee-flavored anything left her no choice but to order the very competently made crème brulee. About as impressive as crème brulee can be, which is to say, not that impressive. Maybe it needed more beluga vagina.
My forgivably ordinary Caesar salad aside, this meal shattered all expectations. Words failed me by the end of the meal, though this had a lot to do with my still-sizzling taste buds.
I’m awarding this dinner five “Oh Gods” out of five. And a bonus “kill me now”.
The fixed price dinner is $30.
The Capital Grille’s full Restaurant Week lunch and dinner menus are posted here.