The Capital Grille: The Generous Pour
Tuesday night I joined several other food bloggers for a taste of The Generous Pour at The Capital Grille. This event pairs some special wines with your meal for a flat $25. While we had an orchestrated meal due to the nature of the event, normally you’d work with your server to choose wines that complement your food choices.
The event runs through September 2 and features nine wines from several wine growing regions. Many of the wines are from lesser known regions or grapes so it’s a great way to increase your wine knowledge and broaden your perspective. If you are not feeling adventurous, don’t worry. There are also wines you’ll recognize like a gorgeous Bordeaux and a Pinot Noir from Russian River. My only complaint (if I actually had one…) is the Northwest is not represented. Since this is a national event I would have loved some great Washington or Oregon wines to gain exposure with diners in other areas of the country. Maybe next year the Northwest will be represented.
We started the night with Lunetta Rosé from Trentino, Italy. This is an elegant sparkler made in the Prosecco-style. Lots of strawberry flavor it was delicious with the amuse, smoked salmon on an onion pita crisp. Two appetizers were accompanied by an oaky Chardonnay and Simčič Rebula, an interesting wine from Slovenia.
I decided to “splurge” and ordered the Bone-in Kona Crusted Dry Aged Sirloin with Shallot Butter Sauce for my entrée. The Capital Grille dry ages their meat for 14 to 21 days. A few of us chose to visit the drying room to take a look at the process. Of course, other than racks of meat, there isn’t a ton to see. The meat basically sits in a temperature and humidity controlled room while the moisture evaporates intensifying the flavor and tenderizing the tissue. But the racks of meat are pretty gorgeous! Dry-aging is less common than wet aging. It’s takes more time and is also more expensive. The drying process forms an inedible crust around the meat which is discarded when the meat is ready. The loss of moisture in the meat means the portion on your plate started out as something larger. Those losses increase the price per pound.
But back to the wine/food pairing….
Two wines were paired with my steak. One was an Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon, which you might expect as a pairing. The other, Felesco Assisi Rosso, a Sangiovese blend from Umbria was a little unexpected and one of my favorite pairings of the night. Those of us who had ordered the sirloin were also offered a taste of the Château du Pin, a smooth and luscious Bordeaux. Those who ordered the cedar-planked salmon for their entrée experienced the classic pairing of Pinot Noir. The salmon was so cute served on its own tiny plank!
I chose cheesecake with fresh berries for dessert. I loved The Capital Grille’s twist on the standard cheesecake presentation! The top of the dessert was sugar crusted like a crème brûlée; not traditional but what a great idea. I also grabbed a bite of the Flourless Chocolate Espresso Cake from one of my dining partners. The Kanu Kia Ora, a dessert wine from South Africa accompanied both desserts. I thought it was especially good with the cheesecake.
As our American diet is changing it’s easy to forget what a great experience a good steakhouse can provide. I don’t do many business dinners these days and when I do they are often much more casual. But at this dinner I remembered how much I love an expertly prepared steak and the superb service that often accompanies it, as it did on this night.
If you are interested in this pairing event, don’t dawdle! September 2 marks the end of the promotion. Of course those dry-aged steaks will always be available!
You can see the full set of photos here.
For another view of the night check out my friend Nancy’s blog post.
The Capital Grille
1301 4th Ave