Eat in Atlanta — 05 September 2012

Having not previously been to one of the 47 nationwide locations of The Capital Grille, when this restaurant opened I relied on the press materials for an introduction: “The Capital Grille is nationally acclaimed for its steaks, hand-cut and on premise, as well as exceptional seafood and Chef’s daily features using local and artisanal ingredients,” the fact sheet begins. “The restaurant, which recently received the American Culinary Federation’s ‘Achievement of Excellence Award,’ prides itself on professional, attentive service in an atmosphere of relaxed elegance.”

The space is warm and elegant, with dark woods, large oil paintings, white tablecloths and flickering candles.

Service is what distinguishes this restaurant. The menu bursts with familiar options, perhaps most appealing to the less-than-adventurous eater, but the attentiveness of the friendly servers will warm the smiles of even the most gruff businessmen.

One glance at the menu confirms this is a great place to be on an expense account. Like other steakhouses, the menu offers up classic favorites like sirloin, filet mignon, salmon and sides like lobster mac-n-cheese, Parmesan truffle fries, grilled asparagus and au gratin potatoes. And yet there are mouth-watering preparations like a kona coffee rub, porcini rub, tomato fennel relish, cedar-planked cooking techniques and more.

lobster & crab cakesLobster & Crab Cakes ($18) are loaded with meat. Not hungry enough for a starter and an entree? Order a glass of wine and this appetizer for a very satisfying meal.

The bone-in Kona crusted dry-aged sirloin with caramelized shallot butter ($43) is a standout and most highly recommended; the sliced filet mignon arrived topped with lobster ($43); and the serving portion of the creamed spinach ($10) was generous enough to serve two during this dinner plus leftovers for two the following night.

The Capital GrilleThe flourless chocolate espresso cake is rich and dense.

The food is tasty and prepared with a confident nod to tradition. Both of our steaks were juicy and grilled to perfection. And the lobster meat was also perfectly cooked, not at all rubbery and over- or under-cooked as is a common misstep.

It’s curious that the building that now houses The Capital Grille – Dunwoody was previously home to Wildfire, a different steakhouse restaurant with multiple locations nationwide. If the former tenant couldn’t succeed, will this one? Time will tell.

At this classic American steakhouse, the food is familiar, tasty, pricy and served in elegant style. Be prepared to tip generously.

More Information…

The Capital Grille – Dunwoody
94 Perimeter Center West
770-730-8447

The Capital Grille on Urbanspoon

 -Photos © HSP Media LLC

HopeP_144Hope S. Philbrick is founder and editor-in-chief of Getaways for Grownups. Her work has appeared in dozens of publications nationwide. She’s reviewed restaurants for several Atlanta-based newspapers and magazines for more than 10 years. When not writing, she can usually be found on the road or savoring something tasty.

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