The Capital Grille, located in Hartford across from the Convention Center is centrally located and a perfect spot to have an afternoon lunch. If the weather is good, ask to be seated outside. They invited us to a complimentary lunch to try out their Wagyu beef burgers, which are only available during lunch.
For those who don’t know what Wagyu is, Wikipedia gives a great explanation: “the tender beef obtained from Wagyu cattle, typically containing a high percentage of unsaturated fat. The meat from such wagyu cattle is known for its quality, and demands a high price. In the United States, Japanese Wagyu cattle were bred with Angus cattle. This crossbreed has been named American Style Kobe Beef.”
The Capital Grille is an upscale restaurant featuring dry-aged, hard-craved steaks, outstanding seafood, and an extensive wine list. They have over 350 selections of wine. The Capital Grille has a private wine locker membership for the wine enthusiast that prefer to have their favorite vintage available whenever they stop in. Executive Chef Sebastiao Pignaton features local and artisanal ingredients in his daily cuisine. If you just want to stop in and unwind with a glass of fine wine or sensational cocktail, they have a spectacular lounge. They are open seven days a week for both lunch and dinner.
We took advantage of the warm, sunny day by relaxing and enjoying our lunch on the outdoor patio. The entire staff was pleasant and attentive, ensuring we had a pleasant lunch.
For beverages, we choose the Fresh Squeezed Mint Lemonade and house made Grapefruit Soda. These light and refreshing drinks paired well with the richness of the Wagyu burgers.
Our server brought us samples of their signature cocktail – Stoli Doli – which is a martini consisting of Stolichnaya vodka infused with fresh pineapple, chilled and served straight up. It is a light and refreshing cocktail with the pineapple coming through well – great for sipping on those lazy, hazy summer nights to come.
We started our lunch with an appetizer: Fresh Mozzarella, Tomato, Basil with 15-Year Aged Balsamic. They hand pull their mozzarella every two hours. The combination of mozzarella, balsamic dressed tomatoes, and fresh basil was delightful.
The Capital Grille offers four different takes on the Wagyu burger:
- Kona Crusted Wagyu Burger with Shallot Mayo
- Wild Mushroom Wagyu Cheeseburger with 15-year Aged Balsamic
- Wagyu Cheeseburger with Fried Egg and Crisp Onions
- Oscar-style Wagyu Burger with Jumbo Lump Crab and Bearnaise
We decided to try the the Wagyu Cheeseburger with Fried Egg and Crisp Onions and the Wild Mushroom Wagyu Cheeseburger with 15-Year Aged Balsamic.
Our tender and juicy Wagyu burgers were cooked just as we ordered them, medium rare. Everything was seasoned just right, allowing the flavorful beef to shrine. The melt-in-your-mouth burger was covered with a gooey layer of melted cheese. The egg on the burger was sunny side up and the yolk ran over the burger nicely when cut. The crispy onions added a little “crunch” to the burger. The wild mushrooms added a pleasant earthy flavor and when combined with the sweet taste of the 15-year aged balsamic vinegar evaluated the overall culinary taste of the burger.
Accompanying the burgers were Parmesan Truffle Fries. These are house-cut fries topped with freshly grated cheese, white truffle oil, and a blend of herbs. These fries were nicely cooked with a golden brown and crispy exterior. The Parmesan cheese and white truffle oil added depth of flavor to them.
They also offer a “plate” lunch that gets you in and out in 45 minutes, perfect for lunch time. This “plate” offers a choice of soup or salad to start. Choosing from either: clam chowder, arugula and watermelon salad with feta, or a field greens salad of mixed greens served with an olive vinaigrette. The soup or salad is paired with your choice of either:
- Dry Aged Sirloin Hash with Crisp Onions
- Mini Tenderloin Sandwiches with Parmesan Truffle Fries
- Maine Lobster Pot Pie
- Seared Sea Scallops with Mushroom Risotto
We bypassed dessert, but did enjoy a double espresso and cappuccino to close out our lunch.
Just as with our first visit, we had a wonderful experience coupled with an excellent lunch. The service was outstanding the entire time. If you are ever in Hartford and in the mood for exceptional Wagyu burger, I suggest you try The Capital Grille.