- The Denver Dish
The Capital Grille - On The Cheap(er)
So I found myself having to make good on a promise- after a friend of mine covered a mind-blowing fiasco at work while I enjoyed some time off and R&R. It just wasn't fair. How I could make it up to her became abundantly clear, as she emailed me a new 'Plates' lunch menu for The Capital Grille. Sure, it was solely to say 'hey, this looks good' and 'we should do this sometime'. But I offered to take her to lunch as a thank you.
We stopped in for a quick bite on a brisk winter day, and walked into the darkly-wooded and elegant dining room. And though crisp, white linen is not a traditional fixture of my weekday lunches, for costs sake I'm glad that CG is attempting to take a little off the top from a pricing standpoint. I note 'on the cheaper' in the title of this post, because an otherwise expensive and elite dining spot is now drawing in some of the more frugal type such as myself. And maybe frugal isn't exactly 18 bucks for lunch, but considering that their prix fixe includes a soup or salad, bread service, sandwich, and a side softens the blow a little bit.
Even though there were only 3 main options to choose from, I found it difficult to sift between a Wagyu Beef Burger, Lobster Roll, and Tenderloin Sliders. Thankfully, me and my dining companion decided to share a few things; which brought less indecision and more variety to the table:
I started with the Roasted Red Pepper Bisque- warm flavors with a kick of black pepper, however I found myself wishing it had more punch, or a little acidity to take it to the next level.
Wagyu Cheeseburger- topped with a fried egg and crisp onions. I would classify this as a Better Burger for sure, cooked to medium rare, with phenomenal flavor and texture. With yolk drizzling over the top, I really couldn't get enough of this one. For the side, I opted for roasted root vegetables. Hoping for an earthy, sweet mix I was actually disappointed with a unilateral mix of carrots, sweet potato and parsnip that more or less just blended together texturally.
The Lobster Roll served with Parmesan truffle fries was cool and fresh, with sweet lobster to highlight the dish. I was definitely impressed with the quality of the lobster provided here, as in the past I've run into watery, flavorless lobster that just doesn't do it for me. Good balance and texture in the mix here with crispy celery and not too much mayo, which allowed the natural flavors of the lobster to shine. The fries were good too- but honestly I would eat an old shoe if it were smothered in freshly grated Parmesan, and a drip of truffle oil.
A few Tenderloin Sliders for good measure, with a tangy goat cheese spread. Tasty little guys, with very tender beef but almost too much bread to distract.
All in all, the plates menu takes a little edge off while making a primo restaurant more accessible. My personal opinion is that I would prefer to see less bread/sandwich options and maybe a smaller entree in the mix as well. Changing semi-regularly, hopefully I'll see that on the next round. From a value standpoint you get a good bang for your buck here, but be prepared to spend about 50 bucks with tip on lunch for two. I may not be one in a place to do that on a regular basis, but if your downtown job allows for a more regular splurge then I'd say to add this to an ever-growing list of fine restaurants offering more affordable lunch options.
Dish It Up!
Lunch served M-F starting at 11am
Complimentary valet parking with CG receipt