It's Charlotte Restaurant Week -- when restaurants offer 3-course (fixed menu) meals for $30. I've made it my mission to hit up at least 5 participating restaurants in 7 days. I hypothesize I will gain 20 pounds by the end of the week, but hey, it's all in the name of research. Here's goes...
Date: Sunday, Jan. 25
Restaurant: The Capital Grille
What I ate:
Summary: The Capital Grille has the look of a typical steakhouse: dark wood, ornate carpets, and huge chandelier lamps. We got to sit at a cozy table by the open kitchen where we could watch all the action.
The bread basket consisted of flat bread, warm and soft focaccia, a seeded roll, and a type of brown bread studded with golden raisins.
My salad was pretty good -- it tossed with a good amount of dressing, but not overly drenched. The caesar salad my boyfriend got was great though. The croutons were baked with parmesan cheese which gave them great flavor and crunch. I regretted not getting the caesar salad as I ate off all the croutons on my boyfriend's salad.
The 8 oz. filet mignon offered for Restaurant Week is smaller than the restaurant's usual 10 oz portion, but it was enough for leftovers. Cooked medium-rare, it tasted like the beef version of sashimi tuna -- buttery smooth. The mains were served with family style side dishes of creamed spinach and mashed potatoes. The sides were good, but as I watched the mashed potatoes being slopped into the dishes cafeteria-style in the kitchen, they sort of lost their appeal.
My creme brulee could have been better. The flavor was there, but the texture wasn't. I was disappointed that the crunchy bruleed sugar on top wasn't crunchy. Instead of tapping the top to break the thin layer of caramelized sugar, my spoon just kinda went poke-poke, making dents in the cold sugar topping. The boyfriend ordered the Flourless Chocolate Cake with Raspberries. As our waiter described it, "it's thicker than mousse, but not as thick as fudge." This one was a winner.
Verdict: On the normal menu at The Capital Grille, $37 would get you a 10 oz. filet mignon and nothing else. Getting slightly smaller cut, along with an app and dessert for $30 is a great deal. I'd give the experience a score of 8.5 out of 10 (10 being fabulous). They lost points for the creme brulee, not clearing the salad plates before bringing out the entrees, and leaving a stray (but clean) unnecessary napkin on our table for the entire meal.
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