Wednesday, June 22, 2016

The Capital Grille
16489 N Scottsdale Rd
Scottsdale, AZ 85254

I have repeatedly dined at Capital Grille for their tender steaks, which are always served perfectly to the specified temperature, as well as their wonderful seafood. They are one of only five restaurants in Phoenix that ages their steak for 21 days, and they have one butcher who is solely dedicated to rotating them on dated racks from fresh to aged. Their Caprese Salad is fantastic, which is no surprise since the mozzarella cheese is made fresh in-house daily and the Caprese layers of golden tomatoes, red ripe tomato slice, basil leaf, two slices of homemade cheese, and olive oil are topped with a 15 year old aged balsamic. My usual choice of entree is their filet mignon since it cuts like butter and is just the right size for me. One of my favorite side dishes is the creamy Au Gratin Potatoes with a crunchy topping that gives it texture and a delicious flavor.  Another side dish that I enjoy is the grilled asparagus drizzled with lemon and sprinkled with a rare sea salt called *Fleur de sel. As you can see in my photos, the atmosphere is upscale with rich wood and beautiful lighting. The wine kiosk holds 2,000 bottles of wine, and there are wine lockers with name plates, at the entrance, for regulars to store their wine or special glasses. The desserts are a must. They have an in-house baker who makes them daily and garnishes them to order with the freshest, most flawless berries. The flourless chocolate espresso cake is rich, dusted with cocoa powder and garnished with raspberry sauce and fresh raspberries.  My favorites are their spectacular Creme Brulee topped with fresh berries and their special signature cheesecake molded in a cylindrical shape.

We always ask for Eric Lewis, who is the best there. He has so many years of experience and, thusly, trains the other servers.  He is a relaxed professional, who is personable, friendly, and makes you feel as if you are his top priority, while efficiently doing so for all of his other guests.
The last time that we dined there, we simply mentioned that our son had finished his first year of college with a 4.0, and Eric brought out a large plate that said, "Congratulations" with their Flourless Chocolate Espresso Cake and special Cheesecake.

(For information regarding cleanliness and health codes, see my review on Dining Grades.)

*"Fleur de sel" is French for Flower of salt.

It is known, by chefs, as the "Caviar" of salt and is harvested by hand using rakes to scrape just the top layer of the salt. It is used by the best chefs, not as a salt "ingredient" used IN food, but rather as a granular salt to be sprinkled ON food such as vegetables, caramel, fish, meat AFTER it has been plated. It's not just to "look pretty;" it enhances the flavor of sweet desserts, and decreases the bitterness of certain foods.

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