There are nearly 60 Capital Grilles. Whether those away from D.C. are franchises or satellites of the original, the Hartford location suffers the same problem with any clone. Dilution and approximation. To be fair, this is primarily a steak and chop house, and we had our minds on seafood. There were four or five seafood choices, but not their strength.
The ambiance is certainly pleasant and "upscale". Our waiter was personable and perhaps a little overworked. There were a couple of annoying flaws that muted our enthusiasm for a generally well prepared meal.
The wine list on an I-Pad may appeal to millenials and generation X-ers, I suppose it makes it easier and cleaner to update. I can live with it. Even the 300% mark-up on a bottle of Pouilly-Fuisse. is a minor annoyance. But a restaurant needs to decide-are they going to serve the wine or have the customer do it. I find it "unsat" when a purportedly high end restaurant pours the first glass, then puts the ice cooler out of reach and then forgets about it.
The chief hiccup of the evening was timing. We allowed 2 and a quarter hours for a leisurely dinner before a show. We needed over 2 hours for a straight forward order of salads, mains and a shared dessert. Why it took an hour to bring out the salmon in a fairly uncrowded restaurant is an awkward mystery. We ordered creamed spinach as a classic side, and it was very good.
The salads, by the way, were well crafted. The salmon was of good quality and very simply prepared. Perhaps a little too simple. The coconut cream pie was rather bland and forgettable. We should have heeded the waiter's suggestion of ordering cheesecake.
No doubt, you can get a very good steak here. The wine selection is fairly long, but not particularly interesting.
The restaurant was convenient for where we needed to be. At its core, assuming there is one, it is a chain restaurant. Expense does not equal excellence. This is a far cry from "an original" steakhouse of genuine character. I wouldn't call this "fine dining", except it costs as much.
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