We were lucky enough to be invited to The Capital Grille in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (301 Fifth Ave) and made our way into the restaurant a few minutes before our reservation. We were invited into The Capital Grille’s lounge and offered a drink in the few minutes while the restaurant prepared for its 5 PM opening; a smart usage of wood, prominent display of luxurious liquors, and plush seats made the few minute wait fly by.
The Capital Grille is able to exude a confident air of classic American dining without seeming pretentious; the restaurant is comfortable and inviting, with a staff that goes to every length to ensure a lunch or dinner engagement is memorable. The spirit and wine selection of The Capital Grille is unparalleled, with a temperature/climate-controlled wine room that is stocked with well over 350 options. A tablet is included on each table, providing tasting notes and pairing information for each spirit and wine that the restaurant stocks. Booker Noe Bourbon ($15) is a great middle-level offering that will act as a palette cleanser through all of the distinct flavors and tastes that one will experience during their time at The Capital Grille, while the Nik. Weis Selection, “Urban Riesling” ($10) is sharp with hints of apple and white grape.
Appetizers at The Capital Grille provide a couple with ample portions and a vibrant burst of flavor. The Prosciutto Wrapped Mozzarella with Vine Wrapped Tomatoes ($16) are a smart decision, as a roll of mozzarella is utterly ensconced in a mildly-seasoned piece of prosciutto. The mouthfeel of the tomatoes is bright and slightly acidic, as the good amount of pork flavors and crispiness of the prosciutto accentuates the mildness of the cheese. This appetizer concludes with a crostini that ties the elements together, simultaneously providing a crunchiness and substantiveness to the effort that will tide one over until their salads arrive.
The portion sizes of each salad at The Capital Grille is substantial; the Caesar Salad ($10) comes with a number of anchovies that add a hint of salt and a heaping of umami to the greens; the dressing rises to a crescendo as one continues, while the shaved parmesan allows one to personalize their experience. Additionally, the Field Greens, Tomatoes Fresh Herbs with Parmesan Vinaigrette ($10) will impress with the considerable breadth and depth of flavors that one will experience. The distinct variety of heirloom cherry tomatoes add bursts of sweet and tart elements that variously highlight the fruit and slightly creamy mouthfeel of the vinaigrette. Pepperiness and a solid crunch conclude each bite of the salad.
Lobster Mac ‘n’ Cheese ($17) has a perfect amount of crunch and creaminess. The tender lobster is included in a large enough amount to yield countless meat-containing bites. The Roasted Fingerling Potatoes ($11) would be a large enough side to pair with our steaks; the skin of the potatoes had a good snap and yielded a perfectly-done inside. These potatoes were more of a blank palette than other efforts during our meal and can take on a steak’s juice or provide a consistent voice alongside their asparagus. The Capital Grille succeed on all fronts with their Grilled Asparagus with Lemon Mosto ($11), utilizing some of the thickest asparagus stalks that we’ve been served in a restaurant setting. There is a dichotomy of crisp and tender here, melded perfectly with the tartness of the lemon elements.
The Capital Grille also provides a tremendous amount of seafood options, with a fresh catch delivered on a daily basis. Fresh Maine lobster (market price), Chilean Sea bass with a Mushroom Soy Broth ($44), Seared Citrus-Glazed Salmon ($35), and Pan-Seared Sea Scallops finished with a wild mushroom risotto ($44), a salmon tartare with pico de gallo represented a refreshing set of tastes, possessing a worldly flavor with the cleanliness of the salmon working in harmony with the spicy and savory elements of the pico de gallo.
The restaurant cuts and dry-ages beef in-house under the supervision of executive chef Donato Coluccio. Under a set of clocks demarcating the time in Hong Kong, London, and Pittsburgh, Coluccio is a key cog in the creation of innovative dishes and the constancy of each appetizer, entrée, and dessert at The Capital Grille. The Capital Grille’s feature dish, a Bone-In Filet Mignon ($45) immediately impresses with a charred surface. The doneness is up to the diner, but our medium rare filet was cooked to perfection. Another entrée, the Seared Tenderloin with Butter Poached Lobster Tails ($52) made for an opulent “surf and turf.” Each side of this main dish was prepared with the utmost care, the succulent butteriness of the lobster pushing the velvety tenderloin into an entirely higher plateau.
Our meal concluded with a pair of desserts. The Classic Crème Brulee ($9) was topped with strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, and raspberries. The caramelization of the top of the Crème Brulee added vanilla and bourbon elements to the custard while the berries provided further sparkle to the dish. A Trio of Handmade Ice Creams ($10) were served in little cups, giving visitors the chance to experience The Capital Grille’s take on vanilla, chocolate, and butter pecan. We were the biggest fan of the cocoa-rich chocolate flavor, but the sheer amount of nuts in the butter pecan made for a close race. A pair of cookies completed this dish, with the chocolate chip effort reaching a sublime status.
Taken all together, the appetizers, entrées and desserts ordered during a night at The Capital Grille ensures that one will take home a number of miniature (and microwave-safe!) boxes for re-heating later. Pittsburgh’s The Capital Grille will give visitors a set of memories that will last a lifetime. The restaurant is a perfect place to celebrity birthdays, promotions, graduations, or those nights when one wants to be treated with the utmost care. There is ample parking around the grille, which is located near the CONSOL Energy Center, the Carnegie Museum of Natural History, and Pittsburgh’s world-renowned Strip.
The Capital Grille allows individuals to establish a reservation through phone and OpenTable.
The Capital Grille – Pittsburgh is open from 11AM to 10PM from Monday to Thursday, 11AM-11PM on Friday, 5PM to 11PM on Saturday and 5 to 9 PM on Sunday.
The Capital Grille 301 Fifth Ave, Pittsburgh, PA 15222 / http://www.thecapitalgrille.com/locations/pa/pittsburgh/pittsburgh/8031 / https://www.facebook.com/thecapitalgrille / https://twitter.com/CapitalGrille