Las Vegas, NV – The Capital Grille – Follow Me Foodie Quickie (VIDEO)


Special thanks to the crew: Justin, Mel at Threesixtyphoto.com and Steve from SteveTan.net

Restaurant: The Capital Grille
Cuisine: American/Steakhouse/Fine Dining
Last visited: January 25. 2011
Location: Multiple locations in US
Las Vegas, Nevada (The Fashion Show Mall)
Address: 3200 Las Vegas Blvd S Spc 3000
Price Range: $30-50, $50+

1: Poor 2: OK 3: Good 4: Very good 5: Excellent 6: Tres Excellent!!

Food: 4.5-5 (based on what I tried)
Service: n/a
Ambiance: 5
Overall: 5
Additional comments:

  • Upscale Steakhouse chain restaurant
  • Fine dining
  • Famous for steaks
  • Polished atmosphere/food
  • Private dining rooms
  • Award winning restaurant
  • Award winning wine list
  • Sophisticated/Elegant
  • Complimentary valet parking
  • Lunch Mon-Fri: 11:30am-4pm, Sat 12-4pm
  • Dinner Mon-Sat: 4pm-10:30pm, Sun 4-10pm

**Recommendations: Wagyu Beef Carpaccio, French Onion Soup, Pan Fried Calamari with Hot Cherry Peppers, Lobster & Crab Cakes, The Grille’s Signature Cheeseburger and of course their steaks. For dessert: Trio of Handcrafted Ice Creams and Coconut Cream Pie

I never thought that I would be doing a “quickie” at a classy establishment such as The Capital Grill ;) My first “quickie” was actually at Munchbar in the Caesar’s Palace – see here. Like I said in the quickie, I definitely ate more than steak and cake that day. It’s hard to get an idea of what a restaurant can really do based on 1-2 items, so I was invited to stay and try more things on the menu to get a better idea of what The Capital Grille can really do.

I know, I know. The Capital Grille is a very popular chain restaurant with 40+ locations all over the US, so what really makes it so special? Well that’s something I was determined to figure out as well!

It’s a fine dining sophisticated steakhouse and it doesn’t seem to have much of a “Follow Me Foodie” appeal, but to my surprise, I was surprised! The food was actually very good and even reasonably priced for a gourmet style lunch in Las Vegas. The dinner is pricier as expected but the quality of ingredients aren’t sacrificed, and not everything catered to old-fashioned “traditional steakhouse flavours”.

There’s only one location in Las Vegas and it’s located inside The Fashion Show Mall. My expectations weren’t high and I was expecting “chain” food, and to be honest I was more impressed with a few dishes I tried that weren’t on camera. To find out what they were let’s take a look at what was on the table…

On the table:
Complimentary Bread & Butter

  • It’s served warm with whipped butter. 
  • The buns had a nice crusty exterior and soft middle with poppy seeds and nutty sesame seeds sprinkled on top.

Fresh Oysters on the Half Shell – 5/6

  • Blue Point Oysters 6 for $15
  • One of my favourite appetizers.
  • These were from Connecticut and they were so silky, smooth and light, but still had a natural salty brine to them.
  • They’re not rich or meaty, but the natural saltiness just made them even lighter especially with the fluid texture they already have.
  • The texture was incredible and it’s a perfect oyster shot.
  • It only needed the squeeze of lemon that was so nicely wrapped in a bundle with yellow cheese cloth in the middle.

**Wagyu Beef Carpaccio – 5/6

  • Premium Japanese Wagyu beef blended with seven spices, seared, chilled, and sliced razor thin. Garnished with fresh arugula and Lemon Vinaigrette $17
  • I could eat this as a salad for lunch and for $17 it would be worth it.
  • The slices of beef literally melted in my mouth and it barely required any chewing.
  • The crust was seared with cardamom and perhaps a little cinnamon, star anise and spices found in Chinese 5 spice powder. It was very aromatic and almost a bit floral and it was just enough seasoning to not overwhelm the natural buttery Wagyu beef flavour.
  • The sheets of shaved Parmesan gave it a bit of a salty bite and the freshness of the lightly lemon dressed arugula was a nice contrast to the aromatic beef.
  • The whole dish was very bright, simple and elegant, and still very unique to the palate.

**French Onion Soup - 6/6

  • Sweet onions are nestled in a delectable broth and covered by a blanket of melt-in-your-mouth cheeses. Cup $7 Crock $10
  • The best French Onion soup I’ve had was from Absinthe Brasserie & Bar in San Fransisco (see here), and based on memory, I would put this one right up there with it!
  • Just look at that picture! How can you deny that richness?! Delicious!
  • This was a classic French Onion soup and had a nice veal flavour and was so rich with beef au jus.
  • It was savoury and sweet with lots of stringy caramelized onions throughout.
  • It was hot and chunky with a generous amount of baked cheese literally blanketing the cup of intensely flavoured beef stock.
  • Considering it is a steak house, it is no doubt that this broth should be amazing and full of quality beef flavour.
  • I also had a French Onion soup with a poached egg on it the night before at Nove Italiano at The Palms (see here).

**Pan Fried Calamari with Hot Cherry Peppers – 4/6

  • Our signature calamari is sautéed in garlic butter until golden crisp. Then tossed with a house blend of peppers and scallions for a nice, fiery finish $14
  • This is the appetizer I had actually tried in the video, but due to timing it got cut… sorry guys!
  • This is their most popular and famous appetizer, and I found it very good, but also nothing too unique.
  • It was a lightly battered and fried calamari and it was very crispy and well seasoned. I preferred the legs over the body because they were much more crispy.
  • It was a very tangy calamari with pickled Mediterranean peppers that were sweet, tangy and juicy. They also carried some flavourful heat that followed when eaten with the calamari.
  • It was very fresh and zesty with a lemon tang which also enhanced the pickled flavour from the peppers.
  • It was a very bright calamari that was very flavourful, but it also doesn’t seem so hard to replicate.


**Lobster & Crab Cakes – 5/6

  • Lumps of succulent lobster and crab with hints of dry mustard and red pepper are perfectly paired with fresh, sweet corn relish $19
  • The cakes were so flavourful with the lobster and crab flavour really coming through and a very faint hint of mustard that was barely noticed.
  • It didn’t require any sauces or even the corn relish it was served with, although the corn relish did add a nice tangyy sweetness to the cakes.
  • It was also served with a tartar like sauce that tasted like a tangy potato salad dressing. The lobster and crab cakes were creamy enough on their own that they didn’t require this creamy dipping sauce.

  • These cakes were pretty memorable and bursting with 99% lobster and crab and a little bit of minced sweet red bell pepper.
  • It was so juicy, tender and incredibly flaky, rich and creamy, yet it still had large chunks of moist lobster pieces that added crunch and texture.
  • The crust could have been crispier and they weren’t really battered, but maybe just lightly dusted with flour before being pan fried.

Sushi Grade Seared Sesame Tuna with Gingered Rice – 3.5/6

  • A delicate flavor combination of sesame and ginger with a fresh, seared tuna steak on a bed of light ginger rice $39
  • Being from Vancouver, I’m pretty spoiled with delicious choices for ahi tuna, however I can’t deny the size and quality of this tuna steak. It was pretty unreal.
  • It was served with 3 dipping sauces that were more like oils, and it wasn’t anything really creative, but it is a steakhouse so the highlight is in the steaks and not the seafood.
  • Ginger sauce: This was my favourite of the sauces. It was sweet like pickled ginger and it was almost like candy. It was a very well infused oil based sauce and it had a ton of sweet flavour with a faint ginger heat in the background.
  • Wasabi oil: It was very light with a very faint wasabi kick. It was in the initial bites and at the end, but it was too light and didn’t do anything for the tuna.
  • Soy vinaigrette: It was a sweet soy vinaigrette with perhaps some sugar and added mirin. It was tangy and sweet and the classic kind of sauce you would serve with ahi tuna.

  • It was a huge piece of fresh high quality ahi tuna, but I just which it had more of a sesame seared crust because it lacked that nuttiness, crispiness, and smokiness I would expect from the description.
  • The fish had a faint ginger flavour and it could have used more sesame oil.
  • The ginger rice was regular Jasmine rice with a very faint ginger scent. There was no actual ginger in it and it was just infused into the water during the cooking process.
  • Overall it was very good of course, but also nothing that memorable in terms of recipe and execution.
  • The flavours were all quite mild and could have been much more bolder with the size of the steak.

Grilled Swordfish with Lemon Shallot Relish – 3/6

  • Our swordfish steak is exactingly grilled to achieve the perfect texture and moistness. Served with a delicious mix of fresh lemon, fennel and herbs $37
  • This was also pretty good, but nothing too memorable either. It’s a smoky, lemony and bright dish.
  • It was a firm fish and the dish was very light and summery overall.
  • The fish had a nice smoky char grilled flavour and it picked up flavour from ingredients quite well.
  • It was served with pickled fennel on top which added a fresh tang that was also a bit sweet, so it brightened up the smokiness of the fish.
  • The fennel salad had a very mild licorice flavour and it was also a bit like sauerkraut meets a shaved Japanese Oshinko carrot.
  • It was served with a side of beans, corn and asparagus which was lightly dressed with a slightly sweet and tangy lemon and onion dressing, so it kept everything nice and light.

**The Grille’s Signature Cheeseburger – 6/6

  • An “almost too big to wrap your hands around it” chopped sirloin burger blended with sweet onions, smoked bacon and Havarti cheese. A toasted onion roll completes the journey from All-American Classic to all new sensation $18
  • This came highly recommended and I had my doubts at first, but with a strong push from the server I decided to give it a try.
  • This was hands down the most memorable thing I tried. It was delicious!
  • It blows me away that it was just a burger, but probably one of my top 5 burgers I’ve ever had. I don’t order burgers all the time, but for a gourmet burger this was a star.

  • It was piled high with a buttery and crispy, yet soft tender onion brioche bun and it was the perfect ratio of meat to bread.
  • The brioche had an onion flavour with some shallots baked on top and it was so light, buttery, fluffy and incredibly soft that it melted away with every bite of the burger and melted cheese.
  • It was incredibly saucy with natural beef drippings coming through and just the right amount of bread to soak up all the flavours.

  • I requested the patty to be cooked medium rare and it was perfect! It was super juicy, extremely tender, yet natural meaty in flavour.
  • Every single bite I took would be a burst of beef au jus and it was so moist and incredibly juicy.
  • There was literally liquid from the beef juice all over my plate yet it held into every crevice of the ground sirloin steak.
  • I could taste the fresh crunch of vegetables, tang from crunchy pickles and perfect amount of melted rich Havarti cheese. I also got the caramelized sweet onions and smoky crispy bacon coming though.
  • It was the perfect balance of everything with the patty still being the ultimate highlight. It’s juiciness was the sauce for this perfect burger.
  • Truffle Fries – It was served with the most intense truffle fries and I could smell the intense truffle oil as it was approaching the table.
  • It was creamy Kennebec potatoes and the oil was incredibly fresh so the flavour was so pure and crispy with the truffle oil really standing out. There was also garlic mayo and ketchup for dipping.

Bone-In Kona Crusted Dry Aged Sirloin with Caramelized Shallot Butter – 4/6

  • A wonderful flavor combination with caramelized shallots, seasonings and coffee rub to create a first-class steak many guests claim as their favorite $45
  • I’ve had Kona coffee steak before so it wasn’t that new to me, but I still liked it.
  • It adds an earthiness to the steak and it was actually very faint. It’s not too bitter since it is Kona coffee, and I wouldn’t want it to overpower the natural high quality flavour of their steaks anyways. It added a nice crust, but at the same time if I’m ordering a Kona coffee steak I would want it to be more intense with coffee flavour.
  • The steak itself was incredible and very juicy and tender. To be honest I would enjoy it more simply seared without the Kona because the flavour was so good on its own.
  • The Kona was interesting, but mild, so that it just added a slight charcoal flavour.
  • The sweet and savoury shallot butter did being out a slight sweetness in the Kona, and the touch of cream was perfect to round out the flavours.
  • The steak was juicy, savoury and buttery enough and I think I would rather order their classic steaks.
  • You could technically try the coffee idea at home yourself, but you can’t really dry age a steak at home.

Dessert

I really don’t expect great desserts at steakhouses. I usually find them very classic and simple and nothing too impressive. The usually have a cheesecake, chocolate cake, creme brulee and maybe a key lime pie and a house made ice cream sundae. I took a look at the dessert menu at The Capital Grille and just like I assumed they were all quite standard, but they sure didn’t taste standard.

I got to try a sampler platter of their desserts and all of them were actually done up with gourmet twists and they were all better than they sounded on the menu. They’re all made in house and very reasonably priced. I would even come back just for desserts. Did I mention the desserts are all $8-9 as well… I know! Go nuts!

**Trio of Handcrafted Ice Creams – 5/6

  • Celebrate the season with three delicious flavors of ice cream we make ourselves, garnished with freshly baked double chocolate cookies and coconut cookies. $9
  • The ice cream flavours are seasonal and they’re made in house and absolutely fantastic!
  • Cinnamon Ice Cream – This was delicious and the cinnamon was light and not too strong. It was slightly warm, but not spicy and very creamy and well balanced.
  • Lime Basil Sorbet – This was amazing! It was light, tangy and refreshing and would make a perfect palate cleanser. It wasn’t too sweet and just so aromatic and fresh.
  • Mint Ice Cream – This was also very refreshing, creamy and very cooling. I feel like it had lime zest in it and I think it would be great with some fresh raspberries, or the finest quality chocolate chips!
  • The cookies were perfect for making ice cream sandwiches, and especially with these flavours!
  • The double chocolate cookie and mint ice cream was heavenly, and I’m not even a fan of mint and chocolate chip ice cream.

Cheesecake with Fresh Seasonal Berries – 4/6

  • A lighter, fluffier version of its New York cousin. Our cheesecake is nestled in a vanilla wafer crust and garnished with fresh, sweet berries, a luscious strawberry sauce, and topped with a crisp sugar crust. $9
  • I’m not a cheesecake fan, but this one was actually pretty good!
  • It had a crispy brulee crunchy crust and then the cheesecake itself was ultra fluffy, creamy yet airy light.
  • It was creamy and slightly tangy with a nice sweetness but I loved the contrasting textures with the brulee.
  • I do wish it had more of a bottom crust because it came unnoticed and it was soft.
  • It should have had a more intense brulee crust and it would be better all around the edges too.
  • The ratio of cheesecake to creme brulee was off, and if the cake was half the height it would have been better.
  • The fresh berries were a great addition adding natural tang and sweetness.

**Coconut Cream Pie - 4.5/6

  • A delightful vanilla flavored crust is layered with luscious whipped and coconut pastry cream. A caramel rum sauce topping makes it even more irresistible. $9
  • I love coconut, so I’m biased.
  • The crust was a bit soft and it was a coconut cream and custard tart that was chewy, light and mousse like with some toasted fresh coconut on top and a caramel drizzle.
  • It was quite light from the immense amount of whipped cream, but the custard gave it a richness and together it had a very moussey.
  • It has great coconut flavour in the custard and cream, with a nice vanilla crust and it was also delicious with the mint ice cream. The mint just brightened up the coconut and made it taste more tropical and almost refreshing.

Flourless Chocolate Espresso Cake - 3.5/6

  • Chocolate lovers will rhapsodize over this rich, dense dream of a cake. A hint of espresso, fresh raspberries, whipped cream and Melba sauce make for an unforgettable finish to any meal $8
  • It was heavy for a flourless cake, but light for a chocolate cake.
  • It was creamy and paste like and not an overindulgent rich chocolate cake. I actually didn’t find it that rich or dense especially compared to a chocolate torte, truffle or ganache.
  • It’s bitter sweet and the bitterness was enhanced by the espresso. It was chocolaty, but not too sweet and not even stick to your throat sweet.
  • It was almost powdery and soft, yet creamy, and I wanted a crispy or crunchy texture for more contrast.
  • It was quite good, but also not amazing for me, although I can see why a lot of people would love it.
  • The tang of fresh raspberries and whipped cream added as much as it would to any chocolate dessert.

After all this deliciousness I head off to Bouchon at The Venetian for dinner #2 – see here!

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The Capital Grille on Urbanspoon

24 Comments

  • jessicaykim says:

    Mijune,

    This was such a thorough review- I can’t wait to go try all these yummy dishes. Thanks. :)

    Jess

  • Sara says:

    OMG! This looks like a must visit place in Las Vegas as it seems very decently priced for the quality! That burger just looks perfect on the inside. If only most places could let us choose how we want the beef pattie to be cooked, I would choose medium all the time!

    And that French onion soup! Wow, what a presentation it looks delicious! And I am glad they were not cheap with the lobster and crab in those cakes, it looks so decadent!

    Great post once more!

  • KimHo says:

    Good lightning rules!

    Out of all the dishes, the lobster & crab cake seems to be the best deal. Unless, of couse, the cake is the size of a loonie! :D But, seriously, having a piece of the claw inside…

    Sara, give a lot of places do not grind their own meat and to cover their asses, they would rather not give the option as to how the burger is cooked. However, at times, I personally do not have problems with cooked through burgers, provided it has its decent amount of fat and the exterior has gone through the Mallard reaction.

  • Linda says:

    mmm mmm mmm your post today just makes my mouth water – so many delicious dishes to read through :)

    wow wow! look at that lobster claw inside the lobster and crab cake!! i care a little about the crust but man, can’t beat the value and the juiciness and creaminess of this cake – this is a definite try :) the burger looks really good too – so good that i might need to go try this the next time i’m in seattle – i’m so glad that this time around, this restaurant is a chain! the best burger i’ve had thus far still belongs to feenie’s lol

    mm the carpaccio and the onion soup looks really delicious – a good onion soup is hard to find, especially with the balance of the sweet onion flavours paired with the creaminess of the cheese on top – plus the melt in your mouth carpaccio mouthfeel just makes me drool!

    i love it when restaurants offer a trio of ice creams for dessert – i almost always go for this dessert choice unless there’s creme brulee :)

  • Miss Jane says:

    Please don’t tell me you ate all those wonderful exquisite dishes and then had all those desserts too!!! How do you do it Mijune?

  • Mijune says:

    @jessicaykim – aw you’re welcome!… lol all my posts are really long like this :) – thanks for reading!!

    @Sara – I’m so happy you’re so excited!!!! The burger was SOOOO good! I got that medium rare was sooo happy!! It made me happiest… even more than the dessert… which did make me very happy too! they have other locations too!

    @KimHo – omg all the pictures look so good because of the lighting lol. Yeah those crab cakes were awesome!!

    @Linda – you’re great!!! so cute!!! lol!! I know!!! The lobster claw in the cake was intense!! I ate that so fast. The onion soup was soooo good… the picture just brings me back to the memories of all the deliciousness I experienced! I’m so glad you’re loving the post today!

    @Miss Jane – lol yes I did!!!! And then I went to Bouchon after! ahhahah xo

  • dave says:

    Thanks for the visit and great review..hope to see you again so we can do lunch or bar bites..:)

  • 4SlicesofCheese says:

    I am literally salivating…. Thanks Mijune.
    That burger and the lobster and crab cakes and the french onion soup… Wow

  • Mijune says:

    @dave – you’re on Chef!!! Still dreaming about that burger! I give credit where credit is due and I was impressed.

    @4SlicesofCheese – You just listed the most memorable things for me! DELISH!

  • wow those Lobster & Crab Cakes look like they’ve got heaps of meat in them :-) i wish i knew about this place when i visit las vegas last time.

  • Mijune says:

    @Simon Food Favourites – I know!!! Almost all the comments refer to those delicious crab and lobster cakes! They have several location in the States so maybe you can try it in another state as well… although you’re in Australia lol :)

  • Tom House says:

    You continue to blow my mind Mijune Pak… the amount of effort you put into your videos and written reviews is mind boggling, yet somehow you always manage to make them compelling. Take it from a long time food writer and editor…the challenge is to somehow make every review and / or video unique. The more reviews you do, the tougher the challenge. No problem for you though…you rise to each and every dining experience like the dedicated professional and award winning blogger you have become, and produce masterpiece after masterpiece.

  • Mijune says:

    @Tom House – nice to see your comments again! Thank you so much for the kind words and support as always. You write like poetry, so those comments coming from you… wow…. I’m so happy!!

  • laura says:

    The food looked great, but what I loved even more was the way the “quickie” was filmed! Very interesting to watch! Keep up the great work!

  • Mijune says:

    @laura – I haven’t “heard” from you in a while!!! Love seeing you comment and I’m so happy you enjoyed the video!!! I’ll keep doing my best for you guys! x

  • Megan says:

    Just got back home last night from my first trip to Vegas, and decided to eat at The Capital Grille from your recommendation and we had tickets to La Reve across the street.
    It was fantastic. We love beef carpaccio and it didn’t disappoint. Same for the French Onion soup, (I think it’s the best I’ve had). The lobster and crab cakes, had no fillers, big pieces mixed together with shredded. Heirloom tomato salad. Yum! and the service was 5*

    If it wasn’t for your write up – probably wouldn’t have eaten here (restaurant in a mall!!) Thank You!!!

  • Mijune says:

    @megan – WOW!! That is so cool!!! All the way in Vegas and you went for my rec! Unreal!! Thank YOU Megan!! I’m so glad your experience was just as good as mine! I was very surprised with the Capital Grille considering it’s a chain. A good chain it is though! I loved the French Onion soup too!! This comment is really rewarding for me to get so thank you for taking the time to write back!

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