A CAPITAL IDEA

BY DOUGLAS KING | PHOTOGRAPHY BY HOLGER OBENAUS

The Capital Grille, located near the Crescent Hotel, offers a warm décor that is as inviting as your own home, and just as comfortable.

When entertaining, the most popular room in a house is most commonly the kitchen. What The Capital Grille offers guests is the traditional comfort of the kitchen while maintaining the style, class and luxury of a fine-dining establishment. Seating in the private booths offers clear sight lines into the kitchen, where the staff, some of whom have been with the restaurant for 15 years, craft each perfect plate before it is presented.

The warm décor—wood paneling and seating covered in complementary burgundy leather and fabric—showcases stunning bronze sculptures—an eagle in mid-flight and lady justice—and is as inviting as your own home, and just as comfortable. “The value we offer is more than just the food, it’s the entire experience,” says executive chef and partner JP Dacio.

Located near the Crescent Hotel, this location of The Capital Grille is overseen by managing partner Victor Willis and Dacio. The latter has been a chef with the company for four years and moved to Dallas recently after running the kitchen at the Costa Mesa, California, restaurant. Dallas is lucky to have such a talented chef relocate here.

The seared tenderloin with butter-poached lobster tails offers the ultimate steak and seafood experience.

The lobster mac ‘n’ cheese is made with campanelle pasta and topped with toasted bread crumbs.

Guests can experience Dacio’s impeccable taste and style on the lunch and dinner menus as well as at the special wine dinners he hosts four times a year. These events offer a new tasting menu, themed and paired with the finest wines. The events are held for wine locker holders and special guests. But then, every guest is made to feel special when they visit The Capital Grille. Part of the core culture of the restaurant is E.D.G.E, which stands for Exceptional, Distinctive Guest Experience. From the personal wine lockers—holding pre-purchased bottles of your favorite wines—to the ability to fulfill “off-menu” requests for discerning guests, the staff at The Capital Grille make every effort to make you feel like welcome guests in their “public” home. Dacio says they will happily provide for anything guests have a taste for, if they have the means to do so.

The Capital Grille’s signature steak is the porcini mushroom-rubbed bone-in ribeye, which is finished with a 15-year-aged balsamic vinegar.

The Capital Grille cheesecake is served brûlée-style with fresh berries.

You should have a taste for beef if you are dining at The Capital Grille. It offers some of the finest quality meat, all of which is hand-cut on-site daily per need by a staff butcher. Dacio takes pride in the fact that The Capital Grille is one of the only restaurants that maintains the product from start to finish, including the dry-aging process, which takes place in an on-site dry-aging room.

If you have never experienced dry-aged beef, you are missing out on one of the single most pleasant experiences for a carnivore. The Capital Grille ages its beef 18 to 24 days, and up to 90 days for one of its special wine-tasting dinners. The 18-ounce bone-in New York strip is rubbed with Kona coffee and finished with a caramelized shallot butter. The flavor is robust and nutty.

Your tastes may run to a ribeye, and again, you will never be disappointed. The 22-ounce bone-in prime ribeye has a powdered porcini mushroom rub and is finished with 15-yearaged balsamic vinegar with extra virgin olive oil. The ribeye is so moist and tender that using a steak knife seems like overkill.

The signature side is the lobster mac ‘n’ cheese, which could actually be an entrée on its own. Made with campanelle pasta and topped with toasted bread crumbs, this mac ‘n’ cheese is like no other you have ever had.

Executive chef and partner JP Dacio.

Finish the meal with either the signature coconut cream pie or the cheesecake, which is made with ricotta cream cheese and caramelized on top like a crème brûlée. Served with fresh berries and a strawberry compote, this cheesecake is light and makes the perfect end to a meal that should begin with the refreshing signature cocktail, the Stoli Doli. This vodka martini is made with Stoli that has marinated in a large display jar with pineapple for five to seven days. Served straight after being shaken to the perfect frosty temperature, the result is crisp, perfect pineapple bliss. The only danger is that you do not taste the alcohol at all, so drinking a few in one sitting would be simple, but standing afterward may be surprisingly difficult.

The menu changes every quarter and features fresh seasonal offerings, but the standards of dry-aged, bone-in beef along with fine seafood plates will never change. The Capital Grille is what fine dining should be: comfortable, relaxed, delicious. Just like when you entertain at home.