9 Best And 5 Worst Things To Order At The Capital Grille

The Capital Grille is renowned for its high-quality steaks and refined dining experience. The chain of 71 restaurants is unique in that it dry-ages its beef in-house, enhancing its flavor and texture over 18 to 24 days. During this period, the cuts are carefully stored in a temperature and humidity-controlled environment before being expertly cooked in bespoke infrared broilers — a process that results in a perfect crust and juicy interior.

The Capital Grille might be renowned for its steaks, but the restaurant's menu is also filled with plenty of other dining options. For those seeking a lighter or more diverse dining experience, The Capital Grille offers an array of appetizers, soups, and salads that showcase the restaurant's commitment to quality and flavor. Additionally, for those desiring more substantial dishes, there are numerous hearty options that include a variety of meats and seafood. And for an indulgent finish, the chain offers a variety of decadent desserts, each crafted to provide a memorable end to the meal.

Like any restaurant chain, The Capital Grille has a mix of dishes, with some standing out to diners and others falling short of expectations. With this in mind, we have scoured the internet for customer feedback, using it as a springboard to gauge the most and least favored menu items. For more details on our selection criteria and analysis, check out the methodology slide at the end of the article.

Order: Filet mignon

Highly praised for its tenderness and mild flavor, filet mignon comes from the non-weight-bearing tenderloin muscle characterized by minimal connective tissues. This premium cut of beef is a popular choice in upscale steakhouses due to its delicious taste and melt-in-the-mouth quality. The Filet Mignon at The Capital Grille is no exception. Served as an entrée, the dish comes in portion sizes of 8 and 10 ounces and can be prepared to your liking, whether you prefer it rare, medium-rare, medium, or well-done. The chain also offers Sliced Filet Mignon with Cipollini Onions, Wild Mushrooms and Fig Essence, for a different take on the classic dish.

The Capital Grille's patrons rave about the chain's Filet Mignon, impressed by the cut's tenderness and preparation. Specifically, reviewers praise the steak for being cooked to their exact desired level of doneness. One impressed diner on Tripadvisor says: "The meat was cooked to perfection, medium with a nice crust." Another reviewer comments on the tenderness of the cut, saying that they could cut it with a fork. Several other patrons describe the chain's filet mignon as divine, fabulous, and delicious. We are sold!

Avoid: Bone-in ribeye

Sourced from the beef rib primal cut located between ribs six and 12, ribeye steak is typically characterized by flavorful meat and juicy texture. The Capital Grille offers two types of ribeye. The 22-ounce Bone-In Ribeye grilled to your liking and the 14-ounce porcini-rubbed Boneless Prime Ribeye with 15-year aged balsamic vinegar. While the cuts sound great on paper — or rather the menu — getting them right is a whole different story. At The Capital Grille, ordering the ribeye steak seems to be a bit of a gamble, with varying experiences reported by diners.

Unfortunately, some of the chain's patrons haven't been overly impressed with its ribeye. One OpenTable reviewer complains: "I've been [to The Capital Grille] more times than I can count but the past year has been hit or miss at best. I ordered bone-in ribeye. I couldn't eat it. I needed a saw to cut that steak. Huge disappointment." Another diner agrees, saying that their ribeye was both dry and tough. Several other diners have also complained that the ribeye wasn't done to their specifications, with another OpenTable reviewer saying, "My friend's ribeye was raw versus medium, only to be returned with THE SAME STEAK (previously cut up to explore temperature) cooked medium well to well."

Order: Fried calamari with hot cherry peppers

When it comes to fried calamari, The Capital Grille delivers an experience a step above your average steakhouse or seafood restaurant. Listed alongside other appetizers, such as Steak Tartare and Shrimp Cocktail, Pan-Fried Calamari with Hot Cherry Peppers is a firm favorite among diners. Its appeal lies not only in the calamari, which is tender on the inside and crispy on the outside, but also in the spicy kick of the hot cherry peppers, making this a dish that balances both texture and flavor.

Terri Peters, who reviewed Capital Grille's fried calamari for Business Insider, has called the dish "a thing of beauty," adding that she will now ask other restaurants to top her calamari with hot peppers. Other diners seem to concur with this assessment, with one Yelp reviewer saying, "[It] didn't disappoint. The spice of the peppers makes the calamari taste that much better." Several other impressed diners have called the dish fresh and crispy, heavenly, and the best calamari ever.

Avoid: Lobster mac 'n' cheese

We don't usually associate lobster with comfort food like mac and cheese. Let's face it, most of us reserve lobster for special occasions or upscale dining. Nevertheless, The Capital Grille's Lobster Mac 'N' Cheese boldly attempts to blur the line between the classic favorite and the rich flavors of lobster. Unfortunately, despite this innovative culinary endeavor, the dish's inconsistent quality has left many diners feeling underwhelmed.

While the team at The Capital Grille describes the restaurant's Lobster Mac 'N' Cheese as "as magnificent as it sounds," not all patrons share this enthusiasm. One dissatisfied OpenTable reviewer complained about the scarcity of lobster in their dish, saying, "The lobster mac barely had any lobster in it and my lobster [was] overcooked and extremely chewy." Additionally, multiple diners have complained that the lobster in their dish was dry. Furthermore, several customers have observed changes in the dish over time, noting that the portions have become smaller and contain less lobster.

Order: Double cut lamb rib chops

For those not in the know, double-cut lamb rib chops are thicker than single-cut chops and feature two rib bones. This equates to a more substantial portion of meat per chop. When cooked correctly, lamb chops should be juicy on the inside and wonderfully crispy on the outside. This is precisely what has been achieved by The Capital Grille with its Double Cut Lamb Rib Chops. To prepare the dish, the chops are marinated in a blend of honey and mint gremolata — a finely chopped mixture of mint, parsley, garlic, and lemon zest — before being cooked until they form a crispy outer layer. The dish is served with shallot and white wine jus.

The Capital Grille's lamb chops have clearly struck a chord with diners, who rave about their flavor and flawless execution. One contented reviewer on Tripadvisor says: "Honestly I've never had a lamb as good as this one. I highly recommend eating at this place." Another customer on OpenTable also praises the lamb chops, saying that they were "perfectly seasoned and cooked to perfection." Some of the other phrases used by diners to describe the dish have included a mind blower and to die for. We get the picture!

Order: Pan-seared sea bass with miso butter

Native to the western Atlantic Ocean, from Cape Cod to Florida, sea bass is recognized by its dark, almost black color. The fish has a mild flavor with a firm, white, and flaky texture that's highly prized in various dishes. The pan-seared sea bass at The Capital Grille is no exception, serving as a testament to the fish's gastronomic appeal. The dish is complemented by miso butter, asparagus, and shiitake mushrooms.

Diners rave about The Capital Grille's Pan-Seared Sea Bass With Miso Butter, praising the dish for both its flavor and the accompanying sauce. One enthused patron on Yelp says: "[The dish] was cooked to perfection with a nicely seasoned crust. I am not big on steamed carrots but even those were delicious in the savory sauce that came with the sea bass." Another customer, who says that the dish was their introduction to sea bass, comments that it was delicious and that they are looking forward to enjoying it again.

Avoid: Roasted chicken breast

The trick to the perfect roasted chicken breast lies in seasoning, temperature control, and letting the meat rest after cooking. Unfortunately, The Capital Grille seems to have missed the mark on these crucial steps. Served with mushrooms and Parmesan risotto, the dish has been criticized for being overly dry. Besides being available as an individual dish, the chicken breast can also be served alongside a Caesar Salad, Field Greens Salad, or New England Clam Chowder — although we can't say we recommend it.

The main issue with Capital Grille's Roasted Chicken Breast is its consistency, with some diners calling it too dry and others saying that it arrived at their table undercooked. For instance, one reviewer says that while the accompanying Parmesan risotto was delicious, the actual chicken was overcooked. Another OpenTable diner agrees that the meat was too dry, adding, "We mentioned the chicken [...] to our waitress and she apologized, removed it from our bill and told us four other diners had also complained about the chicken."

Order: French onion soup

The Capital Grille's Caramelized French Onion Soup is one of the cheapest items on the restaurant's menu. True to its name, this appetizer features sweet onions topped with a layer of a blend of melted cheeses. While the dish also likely consists of garlic, stock, herbs such as thyme and bay leaves, and croutons, we are just speculating. Depending on the size of your hunger, the chain's French onion soup comes in either a cup for $11 or a crock for $13.

Diners have given the French onion soup the thumbs up, with many highlighting its flavor and the perfect portion size. Deemed a decent value, reviews consistently praise the soup for being flavorful and appropriately portioned. One diner even says that the appetizer was so filling they weren't able to finish their main meal. Some other adjectives used to describe the dish include outstanding, spectacular, and cheesy. With so much positive feedback, it's clear that the chain's French onion soup is a must-try dish for both soup aficionados and those seeking a hearty start to their meal.

Avoid: Sautéed spinach

Side dishes can elevate an overall dining experience by adding balance and a depth of flavor to the main course. When it comes to shareable sides, The Capital Grille delivers plenty of options, including mashed potatoes, lobster mac and cheese, Parmesan truffle fries, roasted wild mushrooms, and grilled asparagus. Unfortunately, the chain's Sautéed Spinach with garlic confit doesn't quite deliver the level of flavor of some of the chain's other side dishes.

The biggest complaint about The Capital Grille's Sautéed Spinach has been its lack of flavor. Diners have also mentioned that their dish had a tangy aftertaste and was overly oily. Customers with a preference for spinach that's both creamier and packed with more robust flavors might be better off opting for Capital Grille's Creamed Spinach with béchamel sauce. This side dish alternative has consistently earned high praise from reviewers, who have labeled it terrific, outstanding, and wonderful.

Order: Flourless chocolate espresso cake

The Flourless Chocolate Espresso Cake is one of Capital Grille's five dessert options. The other four include crème brûlée, cheesecake, coconut cream pie, and seasonal berries. So, what makes the Flourless Chocolate Espresso Cake stand out from the chain's dessert pack? Firstly, it boasts a delectable blend of smooth Belgian chocolate and the robust flavors of decaffeinated espresso. Moreover, the fact that the cake is gluten-free makes it an ideal dessert option for those with gluten sensitivities or celiac disease. Finally, the addition of fresh raspberries isn't just visually appealing, but also offers a tart contrast to the dessert's sweetness.

Capital Grille's Flourless Chocolate Espresso Cake is a favorite among patrons. Perhaps one OpenTable diner sums up the general consensus about the indulgent treat best, saying, "It seemed impossible to cram more chocolate flavor into the flourless cake dessert." Another reviewer also comments that the cake is a must for those sensitive to gluten. Additionally, various other reviewers have praised the cake for being exceptional, beyond wonderful, and absolutely amazing.

Order: Parmesan truffle fries

Truffle oil is a unique condiment created by infusing a high-quality oil, such as extra virgin olive oil, with the aroma and flavor of truffles. Drizzling the condiment over dishes can imbue them with the distinctively earthy flavor of the elusive mushrooms without costing a fortune. At The Capital Grille, white truffle oil is used to transform french fries from a simple side dish into a gourmet creation. The dish is then finished with a sprinkle of freshly-grated Parmesan cheese.

Diners have lauded Capital Grille's Parmesan Truffle Fries with positive feedback. The Food Lover Girl calls the side dish addictive and comforting in her review, adding that the fries' truffle aroma and flavor were outstanding, and that the Parmesan cheese made a nice addition to the dish. Another patron on OpenTable agrees, saying: "Perfectly cooked with correct crispness and flavor. Not stale or sitting under the heat lamps too long." A handful of other diners have also praised the chain's truffle fries, describing them as a must-try, their favorite, and perfect.

Avoid: Caesar salad

While there are many different takes on Caesar salad, the classic version of the dish comes with romaine lettuce, shaved Parmesan cheese, croutons, and Caesar dressing. The salad is also sometimes served with grilled chicken and bits of bacon. While we aren't exactly sure what goes into Capital Grille's Caesar Salad, we do know that it comes with Grana Padano croutons. We also know that the salad can be incorporated into a plate with your choice of seared salmon, roasted chicken breast, or sliced tenderloin steak.

According to patron reviews, the quality of Capital Grille's Caesar salad varies from delightful to a complete letdown. While some diners praise the dish, others indicated that the chain's other salads might be a safer bet. For instance, one OpenTable reviewer says: "The go-to Caesar salad was a huge disappointment — wilted lettuce, cheese strips on top were extra thick." Several other unhappy diners have also called the salad tasteless, overly cold, and overloaded with anchovies.

Order: Lobster bisque

Known for its creamy texture and rich flavor, lobster bisque is a classic French soup that's gained international acclaim. The dish is usually made with lobster shells and veggies such as onion, celery, carrots, and tomatoes. Other recipes also call for broth, cream or milk, white wine, and a touch of brandy. At The Capital Grille, lobster bisque also comes with bits of fresh Maine Lobster. The dish can be served in either a cup or a bowl, offering two portion options.

The Capital Grille's lobster bisque seems to have left a positive impression on many of the chain's patrons. In particular, many diners praise the soup for its rich flavor and generous lobster content. Marc Bona in his Cleveland.com review, notes that the restaurant is far from stingy with its lobster meat, to the extent that he almost required a knife and fork to eat the soup. A TripAdvisor reviewer echoes this sentiment, saying, "[The lobster bisque] was excellent, filled with large pieces of lobster." Various other diners are also partial to the dish, describing it as delicious, outstanding, and perfection.

Order: Coconut cream pie

When dining at The Capital Grille, be sure to leave a little room for the Coconut Cream Pie. Infused with a touch of rum and topped with rich caramel sauce, the indulgent dessert delivers a sweet and creamy ending to the evening. The chain's executive chef has been gracious enough to share their recipe for this toothsome treat, illustrating the intricate steps involved in its creation. In particular, the recipe brings together multiple elements, including a coconut pie base, coconut pastry cream, whipped cream, a caramel rum drizzle, toasted coconut flakes, and a crunchy coconut cookie.

The Capital Grille's Coconut Cream Pie has been a hit among patrons, drawing a plethora of positive reviews. One enthused Yelp diner says: "You will not be disappointed. The first time I had it, I literally stopped mid-bite because once the flavors hit my tongue I was in awe." Another Yelp reviewer seems just as taken by the dessert, saying, "I got coconut cream pie which was scrumptious!! I didn't even want to finish it. I took it home. It was so beautifully done and delicious." However, the praise doesn't stop there. Several other impressed diners have also described the dessert as absolutely divine, beyond amazing, and incredible.


To identify the standout and lackluster dishes at The Capital Grille, we sifted through countless customer reviews on reputable platforms such as Tripadvisor and Yelp. Given Capital Grille's upscale dining experience, patrons often provide detailed insights into their culinary journey, including dish recommendations and occasional critiques. By examining how often certain dishes were mentioned and the strength of the positive or negative feedback, we were able to come up with a list of the chain's top dishes and menu items you might want to steer clear of.