I rarely venture uptown, but today I had the opportunity to do so for a client lunch at Capital grille. The crowds are never as bad as I would expect, it’s just a totally different vibe than what I’ve grown accustomed to in the West Village – less about the fun and glamorous New York – more about the Let’s Get Down to Business New York. It’s so straight forward there are even calorie counts aside each menu item. Nonetheless, I can’t complain too much about the lunch I had there today.
Service was quick throughout, as I would assume the lunch crowd generally needs to get in and get out. As a party of 7, we sat at a large, round table, which was refreshing considering my fear of the long, segregating rectangular tables we’re often given for large groups. We started with a medley of appetizers, enthusiastically recommended by our waitress: crab cakes, beef carpaccio, and calamari. The crab cakes were large and crispy with huge chunks of crab. Fortunately, for a mayonnaise-phobe like myself, the crab stood out as the main ingredient as opposed to the filler. The calamari was good as well; but after seeing it was 1500+ calories on the horrifically calorie-labeled menu, it was tough to take down without a pound of regret.
For my entree, I kept it simple with a mediterranean chicken salad. The waitress’s description made it sound delicious and hearty, but the lettuce dominated the bowl, and the chicken was more like sliced thin cold cuts than the chunks of grilled chicken I had expected. The portion of feta cheese and roasted vegetables were a joke, but overall, the salad made good on its promise to be light and refreshing.
Capital Grille is obviously not a foodie destination, but it still serves a purpose: solid food and a varied menu for a diverse business crowd. I wouldn’t necessarily take my family or out of towners here, but I’ll definitely be back if I’m in the neighborhood and in a bind for a middle ground spot.
Location: 120 W 51st Street between 6th and 7th Ave