We had an awesome time last night at the Chestnut Hill Capital Grille, where the restaurant is in the thick of its second year hosting the much-lauded wine event, The Generous Pour at their locations nationwide. The three month event debuted last year with smashing success, featuring a selection of red, white, sparkling, and dessert wines curated by Master Sommelier George Miliotes that diners can add on to their meal for an extra $25. We were invited to come and try all the wines over dinner last night. This is definitely an opportunity you don’t want to miss.
The selection of nine wines, valued at over $750 at retail price, are not your typical Napa, Bordeaux, and Washington reds, although the list does include some of those. Dancing a fine line between traditional and exotic, we were pleased to see some wines from unexpected locales pop up, like a Western Slovenian Rebula white wine and a South African late harvest Semillon. None are wines that I’ve ever tried or owned, so it was fun to get that type of variation along with dinner rather than just buying a whole bottle of wine. And when they say generous, they mean generous- these aren’t small sips of wine we’re talking about! The pours varied from 2 to 4 ounces depending on the varietal and our server always made sure that we had something to drink, explaining the flavors, pairings, and information about the wine as she went along.
Our favorites included the 2008 Simcic Rebula from Western Slovenia, an austere, shimmering white wine with the full-bodied tannic rush of a red wine and the grace of a white. With a blanched almond and bitter orange zest flavor and almost Amaretto-like finish, this was a curious and clever wine to go along with our appetizers. We also enjoyed the 2009 Chateau du Pin, a classic example of a French Bordeaux, alongside our steaks and sides. It cut the richness of some of the flavors and amplified the smoky, meaty ones in the best possible way.
We started dinner with an amuse bouche of house-cured smoked salmon on a toast point and a few appetizers. Miss Love chose the lobster and crab cakes and I enjoyed the prosciutto-wrapped mozzarella with tomatoes. I was pleased to discover that the mozzarella is not only made in house, but prepared every two hours to ensure that the cheese is at its absolute freshest when it is served. It was with that in mind that I wished that the cheese’s natural flavors had not been so blanketed by the proscuitto. Although delicious and crispy after a quick stint in the broiler, it smothered the cheese with its salty, spicy flavors. This was still a unique appetizer and I really liked that it was served warm and melty.
The lobster and crab cakes were thick and meaty, with large chunks of claw and tail and buttery crab. You might be wondering what that yellow sachet is at the top of the photo. It’s a lemon covered in cheesecloth fabric to squeeze onto the crab cakes without getting citrus oil on your hands. A very nice touch. The crab cakes interacted well with the spicy corn slaw, a zippy relish served on the side, but the tartar sauce was a little salty. We loved the generous portions of the cakes and felt that they had a great flavor.
Miss Love ordered the filet Oscar, a 10 oz. filet mignon with lump crab meat, asparagus, and Bearnaise sauce on top. The steak was perfectly cooked, with a thick sear on the outside and a sweet, aged flavor. The crab meat, dusted with a little paprika, was the perfect counterpart to such a velvety cut of steak.
My steak was an absolute showstopper. If your eyes are bigger than your stomach, please order the Delmonico. Capital Grille’s Delmonico is a bone-in aged ribeye, one of my favorite cuts of steak, weighing in at a whopping 22 ounces. Perfectly marbled and cooked, this was delectable and savory, especially with the Kona rub and shallot butter on top. I’m normally a steak purist, but this was a great add-on. The rub was thick and peppery and created a great crust on top, and the butter just added to the richness of the meat. I loved it all.
We shared a skillet of the restaurant’s famous lobster mac and cheese on the side, an oozing, ooey-gooey, cheese-laden dish with massive chunks of lobster. It had to be at least 30% lobster meat. It was extremely rich alongside the steak, but the flavors were delicate and savory without being too overbearing. Definitely one to share.
For dessert, we shared an order of the coconut cream pie and a slice of the chocolate hazelnut cake. While the dessert list is decidedly safe in style, the quality is off the charts. The desserts are made daily on-site, a trait that was indicative in the coconut cream pie. It was fresh, fluffy, and not too sweet, with a salted coconut graham crust, a creamy coconut pudding base, coconut whipped cream, housemade coconut caramel sauce, and pieces of toasted coconut on top. Cocoverload! I couldn’t stop eating this. It was one of the nicest steakhouse desserts I’ve had the pleasure to enjoy. The giant, crispy coconut cookie on top was a tasty and flashy garnish. This was my favorite dish of the night. Miss Love’s chocolate hazelnut cake was also wonderful, with a gritty, nutty flavor and crispy toasted hazelnuts on the side. With the 2006 Kanu Kia-Ora, a nutty, honeyed wine in itself, it was the perfect pairing.
This was a wonderful meal and we were so glad to have the opportunity to check it out. I highly recommend this pairing, as it’s a great value and a wonderful way to step outside of your oenological comfort zone. The dinner was excellent, and the selection of entrees and appetizers are sure to please all palates. Thanks again to the staff at the Capital Grille and their PR team for facilitating our review, and we hope to come back very soon!