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The Capital Grille -- Fort Lauderdale, FL

The Galleria
2430 East Sunrise Blvd
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33304
Phone: 954.446.2000
Date of Visit: 24 May 2004


Once again I found myself out of town on my birthday. So what's a Dead Cow lover in south Florida to do? Checking the Internet, I found a couple of options within a reasonable taxi ride from my hotel ( the Sheraton Yankee Clipper Hotel ). I chose the new Capital Grille and made my reservation using Open Table .

The Fort Lauderdale location of The Capital Grille opened just a week or two prior to my visit. In fact, it was so new, the Fort Lauderdale location did not even show up on their Web site. I love new restaurants, so I was looking forward to this visit.

The Capital Grille is part of RARE Hospitality International of Atlanta, Georgia. There are several Capital Grille's across the country, including Miami, Washington DC, Virginia, Boston, Dallas, Kansas City, and elsewhere. I've passed the Washington DC and Virginia locations in my travels, but never dined there.

I arrived thirty minutes early for my reservation and was pleasantly greeted by the host. He told me that a table was available now, and I was promptly seated. The inside decor is similar to other steak houses, with rich wood paneling and comfortable tables and booths. There was also a large walk-in wine cellar separating two parts of the main dining area. (And I forgot my cork screw!)

While perusing the menu, I ordered a bottle of 2000 Silverado merlot ($69.00). I am happy to report that The Capital Grille uses "real" wine glasses. They are large, comfortable to hold, and quite functional. The wine was medium body, nice legs, very well rounded, with good nose and fruit.

It was time for food. The waiter told me about their special fresh Blue Point oysters. I love Blue points, so I ordered them. He returned a bit later and sadly told me that they were out of the Blue points. I was devastated and, quickly regaining my composure, decided that I would not have an appetizer. I then ordered the "Wedge" ($5.95). As the name implies, it is a large wedge of Iceberg lettuce topped with Blue Cheese, crumbled bacon, and sliced tomatoes. For the entree, I splurged with the dry aged (the have their own dry aging room in each restaurant) 22-ounch porterhouse ($35.95), accompanied by a half-order of Sam's mashed potatoes ($3.25). (I forgot to ask who Sam is.)

The "Wedge" was huge, crisp, and delicious (although it could have been served a bit colder). It lasted the entire meal. The porterhouse was perfectly prepared and very flavorful. You could (and I did!) cut the filet portion of the steak with a fork. The strip side was firm and nicely seared. This was probably one of the best porterhouse steaks I have ever had. Sam's mashed potatoes were prepared the way I like them: more "smashed" than "mashed", with red potato skins included. Superb. The restaurant also gets high marks for their steak knives. Heavy and well-balanced, they get a Dead Cow Award for being the best restaurant steak knives.

Next came desert. Since I had an ample supply of merlot remaining, I decided that something made with chocolate was in order. So I selected the Flourless Chocolate Espresso Cake ($5.95). Moist, with the right amount of espresso/chocolate blend, and not overly sweet, it was great.

When the waiter brought the bill, we talked about the meal and I complimented him on the quality of the food and service. I then mentioned that this was a great "birthday dinner" for me. He smiled and quickly departed. Moments later, he returned with a dinner rol1 with a lit birthday candle in it, singing Happy Birthday! It was hilarious and a perfect ending to a wonderful meal. I will definitely return a The Capital Grille, and definitely this one should I find myself in Fort Lauderdale again.


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