Thursday, November 4, 2010

Boys Night Out

It was boys night out on the city as I had off from work and my roommate is going to Brazil on business at the end of the week. We decided to "ball out", so we made reservations for the Capital Grille on 42nd street. Having a drink before dinner seem inevitable, so we tried out the Campbell Apartment inside Grand Central Terminal. Not that I travel through Grand Central too much, but I had never heard about the Campbell Apartment till recently. Its somewhat hidden, so not that many people know about it.

This classy lounge is actually a restored office of an early 20th century tycoon, John W. Campbell. You definitely get a office or library feel once you walk in. The space seemed to attract an older, more sophisticated crowd than my roommate and I, but it was fun to pretend like we belonged. During the week, the space is usually packed with commuters, so going on the weekends is probably the best idea.

The space is beautiful, definitely one of the nicer bar/lounges I've been to in awhile. But of course that is going to be reflected in the drink prices. My roommate and I elected to have the Prohibition Punch, which set us back $16 each. The bartender grabbed these two goblet like glasses and filled it with crush ice to begin our drinks. He then jiggered out the alcohol, which was aged rum and cognac if I'm not mistaken. He then eye'd the other components of the drink which was a passion fruit juice and and lime juice. He then topped the goblet with Moet-Chandon champagne. The drink and atmosphere set us back in time, which was pretty awesome. We only had time for one drink as our reservations were five minutes ago.

We headed out of the Campbell Apartment and went next door to the Chrystler Building. The reservationist took our coats and sent us to our table right away. It was a maze getting to our table as the restaurant was packed. I did not expect the restaurant to be as packed as it was on a Tuesday. With the staff bustling around in their routine, it was quite nice to see them all greet you and allow you to pass. Everything was on point from the moment we sat down. I think my glass of water was empty once, but I will not hold that against them.

It was kind of funny how big the menu was, both in size and selection. Steven, our server, seemed quite knowledgeable on the food menu and pretty well versed on the extensive wine selection. The Capital Grille had an award winning wine program as they had thousands of wines to choose from. The regular wine list was inside the food menu, but the "captains list" was a separate wine menu which held some of the worlds sought after wines. We decided to get something different so we went with a Chilean blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah. I thought it was a pretty good wine--very easy drinking that also went well with my steak.

We decided to split the pan-roasted calamari with hot cherry peppers. I feel its really hard to have calamari that stands out, but this definitely did. The addition of the hot cherry peppers made the dish so much more enjoyable. Greg also got the "Wedge", which was a wedge of lettuce with peppercorn ranch and applewood smoked bacon. After seeing this, I was upset I didn't order one. He said it was awesome and I believe it. He got an dry aged porterhouse that was delicious, but had nothing on my bone-in Kona. My dry-aged sirloin, Kona crusted steak was topped with shallot butter which sent this steak over the top. This was definitely one of the most delicious, tender pieces of steak I've ever put in my mouth. I also ordered some Lobster Mac n' Cheese for the table. Although labeled "Accompaniments" on the menu, this dish could stand alone by itself. Beautiful red lobster sat atop creamy mac n' cheese served in a cast iron pan.

My sister and her boyfriend visit the Capital Grille and now I know why. The quality of food and service is awesome, no wonder they have three different locations in the city. I would definitely recommend the Capital Grille (42nd st) and can't wait to go back.

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