The Capital Grille's Exceptional Tuscan Wine and Food Feast
By Christopher J. Davies
Photos (C) The Capital Grille
Darcy and I just had the pleasure of visiting the Capital Grille Restaurant in Denver's historic and trendy LoDo neighborhood. The restaurant is located in the heart of Larimer Square.
While the Capital Grille has been on my short list for amazing steaks, seafood and service, this meal was a very special occasion as we were set to try the Capital Grille's five course, Italian-fare dinner, a promotion that goes on at all of the 35 Capital Grille's restaurants across the US, until April 5, 2009. The five-course dinner is offered at the recession buster price of $49 per person, which is definitely well-worth the cost!
Best of all, the dinner offers an exclusive opportunity for diners at The Capital Grille to preview the premier vintage of Banfi Vintners 2005 BelnerO Sangiovese di Montalcino, a delicious Sangiovese made from unfiltered cuvée of specific clones that have been selected after 30 years of research. The Capital Grille's Corporate Wine Sommelier, George Miliotes scored a home run by securing an exclusive on this Tuscan wine release. The wine is deep ruby in color with rich fruit flavors. It is aged for 2 years in classic barriques. Bottle's are offered at $69.
When we arrived at the restaurant, we were warmly welcomed by the host and personally escorted to a table in the middle of the restaurant. The décor was rich deep mahogany with massive paintings and pleasant subdued lighting. The place reminds me of a stately country club in the country side, with patrons deep in conversation. The place was bustling with activity and a little loud. But the tone of the room was celebratory.
Within in a minute of being seated, servers had swarmed our table offering the menu, water selection and advice on cocktails. When I received the special printed Italian Fare menu, I was impressed with the generous amount of food that would be served. But the biggest surprise was that the wine pairing would all be done with just one wine for all five courses...the 2005 BelnerO Sangiovese di Montalcino!
I must admit, that in all my years of attending wine pairings I have never seen this done before. This would be a very interesting meal indeed!
Our waiter explained the restaurant's extensive wine list, which was loaded with more than 5000 bottles. And while you can find exceptional values in the $40 to $75 range, the listed is weighted with Rock Star friendly bottles that will reach the peaks of even Mick Jagger's wallet with cult wine lover's Harlan Estate, Napa Valley Cabernet offered at $1,900 per bottle.
Since the pairings with the food would be all with the red wine, I asked the waiter to suggest a glass of Champagne to wet our taste buds. Our waiter suggested that he also open a bottle of Banfi Vintners 2005 BelnerO to allow it to breath.
After 25 minutes of savoring the Champagne we got to have our first sip of the rich and powerful BelnerO. Magnifico!
Swordfish Roasted inside Parchment Paper
Black Truffle Mac ‘N’ Cheese
·ZUPPA DI FUNCHI PORCINI
Creamy Porcini Mushroom Soup Garnished with Chive Oil
•INSALATA VERDE DEL CAMPO CON FINOCCHIO E CAPRINO
Field greens, shaved fennel, goat cheese, 12-year balsamic; Tuscan extra virgin olive oil
·FILLETTO DI MANZO CON POMODORI E PEPERINI ARROSTITI, CIPOLLINE CARAMELLATE
Herb-Marinated, Dry-Aged Tenderloin with Garlic, Roasted Tomatoes, Red Peppers and Cipollini Onions
·PESCE SPADA IN CARTOCCIO
Swordfish Roasted inside Parchment Paper with White Wine, Roasted Tomatoes, Oil-Cured Olives and Capers
·MACCHERONI AL FORNO IN CREMA DI MASCARPONE CON TARTUFO
Black Truffle Mac ‘N’ Cheese
* GELATO FATTO IN CASA, CON SALSA CIOCCOLATO E BISCOTTI
House made Carmel gelato with chocolate sauce and home baked biscotti
SUMMARY & OBSERVATIONS
The wine paired amazingly well with the dishes. Darcy ordered the steak and I ordered the fish, so we experience the full menu selection.
The creamy porcini soup was rich and creamy with an earthy finish. The pairing with the wine was fantastic and we tasted an increased earthiness with the mushrooms.
The salad was huge and tasty. The balsamic classed a little with the wine but when tasted together with the goat cheese it was heavenly.
The filet was cooked perfectly "black and blue" as Darcy ordered it. The pairing with the wine was a good match.
My Swordfish was delivered in a sealed parchment paper. Our waiter sliced the parchment slowly to allow the steam to escape. The fish was smothered in a rich tomato sauce. The pairing was surprisingly spot on with the wine.
I am a big fan fan of Mac and Cheese, the Black Truffle Mac ‘N’ Cheese hit home just like Grandma's comfort food! The truffle oil gave it a nice sophisticated touch. And the wine paired very well.
The dessert was impressive as when I think of a chain restaurant, I do not associate homemade desserts. The House made Carmel gelato with chocolate sauce and home baked biscotti were delicious. Darcy and I enjoyed our final sip of wine with the dessert.
If you can, make a reservation at your local Capital Grille to enjoy their exceptional five course, Italian-Fare Dinner before Sunday April 5, 2009. This is dinner is bound to tantalize your taste buds!
The Capital Grille states" our partnership with Castello Banfi exemplifies the restaurant’s commitment to offering our guests an exceptional dining experience. The unique, five-course Italian-fare dinner was inspired by an exclusive opportunity for The Capital Grille to debut in the U.S. Banfi’s 2005 BelnerO Sangiovese di Montalcino. The Capital Grille will continue to explore distinctive partnerships."
For more information on the latest on The Capital Grille’s current and upcoming offers visit www.thecapitalgrille.com