I’ll be honest: I’m not a huge steak person. I’m also not a huge chain restaurant person. That’s probably why Ryan and I hadn’t visited The Capital Grille yet, despite it being a hop, skip and a jump away from our house. If he wants steak, he can make a really spectacular one at home (seriously, it’s insane – I’m spoiled that he’s such a good cook!), and there are just too many great independent restaurants to try in Cincinnati to justify going to a chain for a nice dinner out.
However, when we got a coupon in the mail for The Capital Grille, we decided it was probably time to give it a whirl. We made a reservation, and were pleasantly surprised by the experience.
The restaurant is located in the new Rookwood Exchange shopping center, right across from Rookwood Commons. I was impressed by the ambiance – we were seated at a beautiful booth where we could sit side-by-side with a view of the wine room, a perfect location for us wine lovers. The service was very attentive, and they quickly delivered our menus, waters, and bread basket, along with their extensive wine list (on an iPad – how very high tech! It reminded me a lot of Nicola’s.)
I ordered a glass of Chianti and Ryan and I quickly got into a debate over what to order. I decided to start with a cup of the Butternut Squash Bisque (’tis the season!) and Ryan opted for the Caesar salad.
The soup was creamy and delicious. It had a nice texture, which was accentuated by the curried apples on top, which I stirred in. It was a great way to start the meal!
We chose a couple of entrees to split, and since we had a bit of a discount, we decided to go all out. I ordered the Fresh Maine Lobster and Ryan opted for his favorite cut of steak: the Bone-In Ribeye. He asked if the chef could add Gorgonzola and truffle rub to his steak, as he saw it listed as a feature for the NY Strip, and they were happy to oblige! We also ordered a side of Au Gratin Potatoes, because – yum.
The lobster was absolutely ginormous and perfectly cooked! I was glad that they offered take the lobster meat out of the shell in the kitchen, and they placed it back in the shell for the presentation. I was able to be much more graceful while enjoying my dinner! It came with butter sauce, but was delicious on its own.
Ryan’s rib eye was perfectly cooked, also – he requested medium rare (which is a little too rare for me, but he loved it). The Gorgonzola and truffle crust was a great addition, and the cherry cabernet reduction was delicious. Ryan said that although he still could have cooked a similar steak at home, he still rated it really high, and appreciated not having to do any of the work to get it on the table.
We also really enjoyed the decadent Au Gratin Potatoes. Crispy, cheesy – just delicious. The side dish especially paired nicely with Ryan’s steak!
Although we were both stuffed, we heard the table next to us raving about the cheesecake, so we decided we couldn’t miss it. To me, it was the absolute highlight of the meal.
It was wonderful – light and fluffy, with a perfect crust. It had a caramelized brûlée topping that sent it completely over the edge. We expected to take the majority of it home, but ended up finishing the entire thing. No regrets.
We left feeling like we’d had a truly special dining experience. We’ll definitely be back, however, we will reserve visits here for truly special occasions – unfortunately, the only downside of our visit was that it was really pricey. Even with the coupon we had, we spent a good chunk of change for a random Saturday night out. When you consider the other upscale restaurant options in town, which there are plenty of, it’s hard to justify the price tag (the lowest priced entree at The Capital Grille is $29).
Overall, it’s a beautiful restaurant, with fantastic staff and top notch food. I highly recommend it if you have something special to celebrate. It really showed me that the old adage is true – don’t judge a book by its cover. We were missing out on this place, and I’m glad we gave it a try.
Until next time,