The Generous Pour at the Capital Grille, New York, NY

A few weeks ago, The Bedfellow and I went to the Capital Grille in Times Square for an evening of wine, steak, and complaining after an insane job conference. This was my third time sampling the Generous Pour, and we had an excellent evening. The Times Square location, one of three in the city, is sprawling and cavernous, with numerous alcove-like dining areas throughout the restaurant and staircases leading to private dining rooms. The acoustics were terrible and it was difficult to have a conversation without shouting across the two-top, and halfway through dinner the lights went slowly dim and then bright again like a geriatric light show for about a half hour, making for a weirdly disconcerting dining experience.DSC_9374-2We started off our dinner with two appetizers, the proscuitto-wrapped mozzarella and the steak tartare, a new item on the list. The mozzarella was serviceable and fresh, perfectly tasty on its own, but overpowered by the salty and frankly, burnt prosciutto on the side. We peeled off the meat and ate the cheese by itself. The basil leaves were large and fresh.DSC_9396The tartare was odd- more of an aller-retour style than a traditional French tartare, with eggs, capers, onions, and cornichon pieces mixed in that gave it the chunk and savory flavor of a meatloaf. It didn’t have a very good ratio of meat to accoutrements and the beef lacked flavor and freshness. We weren’t able to eat more than a few bites of this. The truffled deviled egg on the side was cloyingly rank with truffle oil and seemed redundant given the amount of chopped egg in the meat.DSC_9410This year’s Generous Pour lacked the strength and thematic integrity of the last two years, with no distinct linkage or trajectory in the wine choice. While the wines were decent, most of them were very regular in flavor- basic Pinot Noirs, Chardonnays, and a selection that seemed very pedestrian, which leads me to wonder if they received negative feedback for going too far outside of the box for a more classic steakhouse restaurant. Our favorite was the Caramel Road Riesling, which had a soft, orchard peach flavor that would be smashing with fresh oysters.DSC_9399Luckily, things improved in the entree round, and we got a chance to experience some amazing customer service. We ordered the steak special, a 16-oz. frenched filet mignon with king crab legs, and the chicken confit with lemon. The steak was excellent- perfectly cooked, beautifully presented, and moist, with a meaty, aged flavor and crisp salt crust. Each slice was tender and bloody, and with the king crab, it was even better. The crab was unfortunately small in serving- only one leg cut into segments, which lost for some of the bombastic presentation in serving one or two whole legs, but the meat was sweet and simply steamed, with no inconsistency in texture. And for one whole leg, we paid a $30 supplement, or $10 per piece, an egregious price.DSC_9440-2The chicken confit was inedible- extremely dry and not at all what a confit should be like. One bite was like eating paper, but that’s not what was memorable about the dish. As soon as we vocalized an issue, our server took back the plate and offered us a free entree and dessert. We declined the entree as the steak was massive and enough for two, but took him up on the desserts. Later, the manager came over and said that he’d personally tasted the chicken and agreed with us that it was dry and not at all how it should have been prepared, and said they’d be changing the procedure to better improve the recipe. This gesture was wonderful- not only did they mediate the issue, they validated and acknowledged our concerns. This is some of the best customer service I’ve ever had.DSC_9476-2Our desserts were quintessential- the flourless chocolate cake and hazelnut cake were as delightful as they’ve always been, though the mandated NY calorie count did put a damper on the experience once we saw the four-digit numbers on the menu, but eating the entire dessert is a feat best left for competitive eaters. We took most of it home and sipped on our coffees. Overall, while the food and wine were less exciting than we expected, the steak was the star of the show and the service was impeccable. We’re looking forward to seeing what the next Generous Pour brings.DSC_9470-2Disclaimer: The Capital Grille gave us $150 in gift cards to facilitate our visit. This did not affect the rating of the review. We paid for tip, tax, and the remainder of our meal.

rating6

1 thought on “The Generous Pour at the Capital Grille, New York, NY”

  1. Screw celebrity si(gh)tings, now that you’re roaming the avenues of Gotham I shall avert my gaze on them and look only for you, Jess, the one true goddess of Artemis’ table where even a vegetarian can feast only with their ears and eyes at a steakhouse.

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