Cuisine: Fish & Seafood, Steaks
Restaurant Features: Bar, Banquet, Valet Parking
Location: Downtown Minneapolis, MN
Address: 801 Hennepin Ave Minneapolis, MN 55402 612-692-9000
Hours: M-F 11am-2:30pm M-Th 5-10pm Fri-Sat 5-11pm Sun 5-9pm
Links: The Capital Grille’s Website * The Capital Grille on Facebook * Google Map
Atmosphere: The Minneapolis location of The Capital Grille is located down town in the Hennepin Theater District, with the main entrance on Hennepin Ave and an additional entrance from inside La Salle Plaza. The main dining room is big with several booths arranged around the room to maximize both space and privacy. There are also a couple fo smaller private dining rooms.
There is a bar area just inside the entrance from Hennepin.
Menu: Appetizers at The Capital Grille include Wagyu Beef Carpaccio, Cold Shellfish Platter, Lobster and Crab Cakes, Pan Fried Calamari with Hot Cherry Peppers, Smoked Salmon, Shrimp Cocktail, Fresh Oysters on the Half Shell, and Prosciutto Wrapped Mozzarella with Vine Ripe Tomatoes.
Soups offered are the Clam Chowder, Lobster Bisque, and French Onion.
Salads offered include Fresh Mozzarella with Tomato and Basil, Chopped Salad, The Wedge, Caesar, Spinach with Warm Bacon dressing, and Field Greens with Tomatoes.
Chef’s Selections include Seared Tenderloin with Butter Poached Lobster, Cedar Planked Salmon with Tomato Fennel Relish, Bone-In Kona Crusted Sirloin with Caramelized Shallot Butter, Porcini Rubbed Delmonico with 12-Year Aged Balsamic, Sliced Filet Mignon with Cippolini Onions and Wild Mushrooms.
Other Entrees at The Capital Grille include Filet Oscar, Dry Aged Sirloin, Dry Aged Porterhouse, Dry Aged Steak Au Poivre with a Courvoisier Cream Sauce, Filet Mignon, Delmonico Steak, Double Cut Lamb Rib Chops, and Roasted Chicken.
Seafood items include Broiled Fresh Lobster, Grilled Swordfish with Lemon Shallot Relish, Seared Citrus Glazed Salmon, Lobster and Crab Stuffed Shrimp, and Sushi-Grade Sesame Seared Tuna with Gingered Rice.
Side Items include Vidalia Onion Rings, Parmesan Truffle Fries, Lobster Mac ‘N’ Cheese, Au Gratin Potatoes, Fresh Asparagus with Hollandaise, Fresh Creamed Spinach, Roasted Seasonal Mushrooms, Sam’s Mashed Potatoes, Sauteed Spinach, and Fresh Green Beans with Roasted Tomatoes and Fennel.
Desserts include Trio of Handmade Ice Creams, Cheesecake with Fresh Seasonal Berries, Fresh Berries in Vanilla Ice Cream, Fresh Strawberries Capital Grille, Coconut Cream Pie, Flourless Chocolate Espresso Cake, Chocolate Hazelnut Cake, and Classic Creme Brulee.
What we ordered: (Disclosure: My visit was part of a pre-arranged five course dinner held to kick-off this summer’s The Generous Pour Wine Event. I will only be writing about the items I tried that are permanent features on The Capital Grille’s dinner menu.)
I started with samples of two appetizers. Pictured below on the left is the Pan Fried Calamari with Hot Cherry Peppers. I really love calamari when it is cooked right and this calamari was cooked perfectly so that it was tender without a hint of chewiness. It was lightly breaded and slightly crispy. I have been loving the combo of fried calamari with peppers lately and The Capital Grille’s version really hit the spot. The other appetizer that was paired with the calamari was the Prosciutto Wrapped Mozzarella with Vine Ripe Tomatoes. One look at this treat had my mouth watering and it smelled amazing. The prosciutto was thickly sliced, slightly smokey and perfectly crispy. Similar to bacon but even better! The melted mozzarella was creamy, a perfect contrast to the crisp prosciutto. Could I eat nothing but this every day for the rest of my life and call it a low-carb diet? Sounds like a great idea to me!
Just before the main course we were brought a basket of different breads. They all looked great but I didn’t want to ruin my appetite.
For the entree, I chose the Kona-Crusted Sirloin with shallot butter. This steak had exceptional flavor, having been dry aged and cut on-site, extremely tender with just a trace of marbling throughout the meat. It was broiled at a high heat to give it the prefect amount of char while still between a medium and medium rare temperature, as I requested. The shallot butter melted on top just emphasized its natural juices and flavors. Everything about it was excellent.
My companion has the Cedar Planked Salmon with Tomato Fennel Relish. This looked amazing! The salmon filet was thick and cooked al dente toward the center, as it should be. It was seasoned with fennel seed and then covered with a relish made from shallots and tomatoes. I tried just a bite of this and thought it was great.
We were served two different side dishes with our entrees, including the Lobster Mac ‘N’ Cheese. This delicious, rich and creamy dish was made with Marscapone, Havarti and Grana Padano cream sauce. I can’t recall having a macaroni and cheese with this exact combo of cheeses, but the flavors were pleasant while being somewhat strong. There were a handful of large pieces of lobster claw meat in the dish, which was then covered with white cheddar and Panko bread crumbs.
Another side dish we were served with our entrees was the Sauteed Spinach.
For the dessert course I chose the Strawberries Capital Grille. This dish consists of handmade vanilla ice cream that is topped with fresh strawberries and a special sauce made with Ruby Port and Grand Marnier. My first impression of this rich and creamy dessert was that it tasted like marshmallow but the strawberries brought a nice mix of both sweet and tart.
Service: I had great service at The Capital Grille, which can only be expected since I was their guest for this special dinner.
Overall Impression: The Capital Grille may be a chain restaurant, but it is one of the finest chain restaurants in the Minneapolis area. You can always count on a delicious, high-quality meal at The Capital Grille. One of the best deals around is their Generous Pour Wine Event currently running through Sept. 4, 2011, where patrons can get unlimited glasses of wine with dinner for only $25/person.