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Capital Grille Takes a Bite Out of Breast Cancer

October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween! Don’t worry, there are no tricks in this post, just pleasant treats.

Remember at the beginning of October when I participated in Take a Bite out of Breast Cancer, a DC blogger initiative that partners with area restaurants to donate a portion of the profits to Pink Jams!, a local non-profit that educates young people about breast cancer?

My partnered restaurant was Hudson Restaurant, which generously gave 35% of that night’s profits to Pink Jams!. Awesome, right? The month-long program — October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month — raised thousands for breast cancer education and research. As a way to say ‘thank you’ to the participating bloggers, organizer Lisa set up a dinner at The Capital Grille, a DC institution.

I’ve walked by The Capital Grille and its distinctive lions on Pennsylvania Avenue literally hundreds — if not thousands of times — but never been in. Not a steak eater = not so much wanting to try a steakhouse, even one as famed as this. But I was definitely always intrigued by this stereotypical DC wonk hangout, plus its friendly neighborhood lions.

The chef prepared a special menu for the 20 DC bloggers gathered last night, and came out to say a few words before dinner started. Each steak he described sounded amazing and seriously tempting, especially one rubbed with Kona coffee!

The wine kept flowing all night. You have to love a restaurant that keeps your wine glass filled, although I was definitely happy to be walking home and not have to worry about driving. Yikes! I do love a good sauvignon blanc though.

Despite being in a formal, fairly stuffy setting, the dinner itself was relatively casual. Appetizers and side dishes were shared family style so each person could try a little bit of everything. I fell in love with the (unpictured) miniature lobster & crab cakes (OMGood) but couldn’t stop picking at the delicious calamari, which ended up sitting right in front of me. So hard to resist, so why even try?! An arugula (it’s so much more fun to call it by its British name, ‘rocket’) and beef carpaccio also came around, but I simply picked off the arugula for some greens.

A simple mixed greens salad came next. I was happy that the salad was perfectly dressed, not drowning in vinaigrette like too often happens at restaurants.

After debating whether or not to order steak — the restaurant is obviously known for its meat and each steak choice sounded better than the last — I decided to order the cedar-planked salmon. I did end up trying bites of both the filet mignon and the Kona-crusted sirloin, which were each delicious, but felt happy with my seafood choice. Whether — and when — to eat meat is still a struggle for me, and I was comfortable with the food choices I made.

A huge chunk of salmon means half for dinner, the other half for lunch today.

Shared, passed side dishes included creamy mashed potatoes, creamed corn and roasted mushrooms.

What a feast!

Just as I was ready to waddle out of there, pleasantly stuffed, the dessert tray arrived bearing gorgeous treats: flourless chocolate cake (sinfully rich and delicious), creme brulee (mmmm — and fresh berries!) and and the most incredible coconut cream pie.

I would never order coconut cream pie — team chocolate, all the way! — but it may have been one of the best desserts I’ve ever eaten. So good. I could have eaten the entire piece myself, then licked the plate and asked for more. Absolutely incredible. Good thing there was a tableful of us sharing or else things might have gotten ugly…

As delicious as the dinner was, I can’t say enough good things about The Capital Grille. Yes, it’s a chain. Yes, the only thing I knew about it was that rich Washingtonians use aliases on their wine lockers there. Yes, it (seemingly) caters to a mostly older and touristy crowd.

But the service was impeccable. They couldn’t have been nicer. And to host a group of 20 bloggers with such a delicious menu — that just goes above and beyond. So thanks Capital Grille. And to find out more about Pink Jams!, check out their website. Events are happening all the time and for my fellow 20-somethings, it’s not too early to be aware of your breast cancer risk and start taking your health seriously.

Are you dressing up for Halloween? I went to a party this weekend as Kimmy Gibbler but I’m costume-free today.

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5 Comments leave one →
  1. October 31, 2011 8:00 am

    Great summary of our evening! Sorry for my hand there on the left, I couldn’t resist the coconut creaminess either! haha

  2. October 31, 2011 12:20 pm

    Very cool! Everything looks good, but that dessert looks pretty fab.

    • October 31, 2011 2:13 pm

      I wish they had to-go bags for the dessert, too!

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