Saturday, January 14, 2012

The Capital Grille Chevy Chase Invites DLDGLG To Lunch!

True Story: the last time I was at The Capital Grille downtown, I literally almost ran into Republican Senator Scott Brown of Massachusetts and Republican Senator John Thune of South Dakota. But that's just the kind of place downtown Washington D.C. is.

I haven't spent a lot of time at the Pennsylvania Avenue location, but Nic has. She’s spent more time at that location than some of the wait staff employed there.

One thing’s for sure - we both love the atmosphere and wouldn’t miss a chance to eat there again.

So I was intrigued by an invitation I received to visit Capital Grille Chevy Chase for a taste of their new "Plates" lunch menu.

For $18, guests can select three plates from nine options - a soup or salad, a sandwich, and a side dish. I don't get out for lunch often so I was excited to make the reservation.

According to the Sales and Marketing Manager, Shelly Goorevich, this Capital Grille opened in 2009 just before Thanksgiving.

In those two years, Chevy Chase has tried to distinguish itself as a location where DC-area folks can enjoy the same high-level Capital Grille experience without making the trek downtown.

As we entered the dining room, Nic immediately noticed the abundance of space that this location had. Paintings of various celebrities and icons hung at nearly every turn.

Shellly explained that each picture featured an individual who’s had a strong association with the state of Maryland, such as Howard Hughes or Jim Henson (who went to University of Maryland).

The friendly hostess seated us and provided menus. After a minute, it was apparent that the menus had calorie information listed, which Nic appreciated.

Montgomery County, which had passed legislation requiring calorie counts on restaurant menus, carefully tested various menu prototypes with customers to help determine the best format.

The layout we were looking at tested the best.

After some intense negotiations, Nic and I ordered. (It's practically a crime for us both to order the same dish since we're so communal with our food.)

Nic ordered a glass of the Bella Glos 2009 Pinot Noir, which we shared. I got a dark cherry nose with sweet, peppery notes to the taste. We hoped it would be an adequate fit for most of the flavors that were going to be coming at us.

My first order was the New England Clam Chowder and I was happy to find the texture much heartier and chunkier than most clam chowders one usually encounters.

Nic's Roasted Red Pepper soup gently captured the smokey, grilled flavors that were likely extracted from the skin rather than the meat of the pepper itself.

For my main course, I ate the Wagyu Burger with a green bean salad. The burger's greens were fresh and leafy. The egg, as requested, was nice and runny.

Luckily, I was careful picking up my sandwich as the warm yolk from the egg jettisoned out the side. I was just fortunate that the rich yellow mess simply went away from me as opposed to on my lap.

The beans, which were mixed with sautéed onions, had a delicious crunch and a satisfying flavor to them.

Yet, in the final analysis, it was clear that Nic's Mini-Tenderloin sliders stole the show. Delicately cooked at Chef's choice with just a dab of Borsin cheese and mushroom spread, I could have eaten an entire platter of these little guys.

Nic's Roasted Root Vegetables also hit all of the senses in the just the right way. This little side dish was an earthy medley of parsnip, sweet potato, carrot, and celery root that made you feel comforted.

To close things out, we devoured an Espresso Cake and finished up the last few sips of wine. The cake had a deep rich brownie-ish quality that was fun to run through a raspberry syrup. 

It couldn't have been a more perfect ending to the lunch.

In the end, Capital Grille Chevy Chase ensured we left with satisfied stomachs. Whatever they do, they do well and, I suspect, there’s another lunch there in our future.

Note: This post has been revised since its original publication

1 comment:

  1. I had a great meal at another DC location of Cap Grille during last year's Fancy Food Show. They were shocked that so few media ppl attended (one food writer (me) and 2 wine writers, and our guests...but doing it during the FFS (which had dozens of associated events) was a bad call. I wrote about the event here: