Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Capital Fill

With our older son's elementary school commencement, Father's Day and my birthday all within a week of each other, we had many reasons to celebrate with a luxury meal at The Capital Grille in Cherry Hill (2000 Rte. 38, 856-665-5252) on Sunday.

Fresh mozzarella, tomato and basil with
12-year aged Balsamic
When making the reservation, I noted that one member of the party would be eating gluten free. I was impressed that the information was conveyed to Anthony, our server, who reassured us that he'd be in touch with the back of house. After double-checking with the staff in the open kitchen, Anthony let us know that several of the salad dressings and steak sauces were not safe but recommended alternatives.

Bone-in Kona crusted dry aged sirloin
I began the meal with two hearty slices of fresh mozzarella layered atop handsome heirloom tomatoes. Our graduate started with a chopped salad - a mixture of greens and vegetables - that came out the first time adorned with croutons. Anthony realized this as soon as he set the plate down, removed the offending dish, and retrieved a new salad that our son drizzled with extra-virgin olive oil and Balsamic vinegar. As he began to eat his appetizer, our older son repeated what I'm sure every 11-year-old says at the dinner table: "Ooh, chickpeas."

Going outside his comfort zone, our younger son enjoyed the seared citrus-glazed salmon, while the lemony breast of chicken confit I had was moist and flavorful. Our older son - ever the adventurer - carved up the medium-well bone-in Kona coffee-crusted dry aged sirloin sans shallot butter; my wife added the Kona rub to her filet mignon. The steaks were perfectly done, and the addition of the coffee flavor to the preparation made them even more piquant.

Flourless chocolate espresso cake
Many of the sides are gluten free, and we shared the creamy Red Bliss mashed potatoes and the Parmesan-and-truffle oil fries.

There was little room left for dessert, but we felt obligated to end the celebratory dinner on a sweet note. My wife and younger son shared scoops of the mango and pineapple sorbets. Our older one and I were more indulgent, cleaning off the plate that once had a dense flourless chocolate espresso cake on it.

There's no doubt that without an expense account to cover the tab, dinner at The Capital Grille makes for an expensive evening. You live only once, though, and this was a meal that was worth the money.

The Capital Grille on Urbanspoon
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