Michael Perlis Visits: The Capital Grille

The Capital Grille


Our town is finally getting a few good restaurants, besides the usual family oriented clones.

Of course we’ve had Salt Creek Grille for awhile. And The Oaks Grille at TPC is outstanding. I can also add Barcelona and George’s Bistro to my list, but after that the list drops off quickly. Fortunately, Wokcano opened recently, and now Mixers Lounge is opening as I am typing this.

But, this article isn’t intended to bemoan the dearth of fine dining in our Valley. I’ll save for another article the list of good restaurants that we’ve had in this town but failed to support.

My main point in this post is that this town doesn’t have a great steakhouse, along the lines of Morton’s, Fleming’s, Ruth’s Chris, etc.

Recently, Karen and I had occasion to venture out of our Valley to the Beverly Center to dine at The Capital Grille. Admittedly this is a bit of a schlep, but it was well worth it.

Even though our visit was right at the height of the Christmas shopping season, we had no trouble parking at the Beverly Center, because The Capital Grille has its own free valet parking. Sweet!

Soon we were in the restaurant, and being ushered through the expansive main dining room into the more intimate back dining room. Shortly after that, we were greeted by our server Amy.  It didn’t take long before we engaged her in conversation and discovered that she shared our passion for food and wine.

We had brought a bottle of wine with us, as we often do, but to start the evening we shared a half-bottle of Miner Family Viognier, to go with our starters. Karen ordered the salad of Field Greens and Tomatoes, while I ordered the Caesar. Both salads were terrific, and I was very happy that I could add anchovy filets to my Caesar.

We then asked Amy to open the wine we had brought with us: a bottle of Four Vines “The Peasant”, a traditional Rhone-style blend from Paso Robles. The Four Vines wines are typically very hedonistic in style, and this one was no different, as the motto emblazoned on the bottle will attest: “Temperance, like chastity, is its own punishment.”

Of course, we offered some wine to Amy and continued to discuss our shared interests. It seems she appreciates the same kind of wines we do, as we discovered she is also a big Mollydooker fan. Amy is also an aspiring singer and songwriter, and we invited her to trek up to the Santa Clarita Valley sometime to visit The Cellar and listen to some of the “older” performers there.

For dinner, Karen ordered the Tuna. And, while Capital Grille is known for their dry-aged steaks, of which I am a huge fan, I’d eaten a couple of steaks in the past week and was looking for something a little different. So, I ordered the double cut lamb chops, which were outstanding. And Karen pronounced the tuna as being the best she had ever had.

We finished our entrees and thought guiltily about dessert. We knew we shouldn’t. To give us time to think, and also because I was really interested, I asked Amy if it would be possible to see the room where they dry-aged the steaks. She checked with Scott Young, the manager, and soon he came to our table to give is a tour of the wine room, kitchen, and of course, the dry-aging room. Yum.

Finally, we returned to our table, and decided it would be okay if we split a dessert. We decided on the Flourless Chocolate Espresso Cake, which was absolutely delicious. I ordered a glass of Far Niente Dolce to go with it.

All too soon, our evening was over. We bid Amy adieu, reminded her of our open invitation to visit us in the Valley to the North, and headed home. I highly recommend this restaurant. If you go, ask for Amy, and tell her we sent you.

Michael Perlis provides outsourced controller services to businesses that do not need a full-time controller. He balances this with his interest in wine: reading and writing about it and, of course, drinking it. He is still trying to figure out how to combine these two pursuits. Feel free to contact him about either at mcpfinancial@aol.com or michaelthezinfan@aol.com.