A Perfect Pair: The Capital Grille and Clayton
Written By Johnny Fugitt
Photography By Carmen Troesser
Not much is needed for a steak. Perhaps salt, pepper, a hot grill and attentive eye. Yet this fundamental dish can be so much more. The Capital Grille adds delicate flavors and deliberate preparation to provide what soon may become some of the most coveted courses in Clayton.
The bone-in, coffee-rubbed, dry-aged, shallot-butter-topped New York Strip, for example, hosts as many compound adjectives as one can handle, yet does not disappoint. Perhaps the filet mignon with cipollini onions, wild mushrooms and fig essence more closely suit your tastes. If you simply can’t decide, try the flagship porcini-crusted ribeye with aged balsamic.
The restaurant’s newly renovated and classically decorated space, previously occupied by J. Bucks, stands at 101 Hanley Road in Clayton. The restaurant seats 244, with private rooms seating up to 48 for corporate, charitable or social gatherings.
The Capital Grille is a national brand, but it came to St. Louis with the help of a local. Managing Partner Geoff Dill was born in the St. Louis area, has lived here for much of his 17-year restaurant career and now calls Newtown, St. Charles, home.
“Barbecue put the St. Louis food scene on the map, but the region has grown considerably as a Midwest culinary center and the entire Capital Grille team is excited to be a part of it,” says Dill. “Our exceptional personalized service is a perfect match for the area’s vibrant business community and we look forward to welcoming our guests.”
Dill circles back to individualized service time and time again, believing this is what sets The Capital Grille apart and will lead to its success. The private wine lockers and concierge service provide the sense of belonging and traditional service appreciated by one generation. This generation’s children may appreciate the convenience of the restaurant’s connectedness.
“We are excited to be able to offer our guests a seamless and approachable experience around our award-winning wine program,” says Dill. “For example, our Interactive iPad wine list allows guests to find a wine based on personalized criteria, such as varietal and food pairing. Being that it is one of the only live digital wine lists in the country, you can view up to the minute offerings.” Using an app on one’s phone, wine locker members may even gift a bottle to a friend with just a few taps of the finger.
As the traditional stalwart steakhouses prepare to move out of Clayton – Morton’s is heading to Downtown St. Louis, and rumors are circulating that Ruth’s Chris will move west – they are making room for this new generation, led by The Capital Grille and 801 Chophouse. These restaurants promise an updated dining experience with extra attention paid to the drinks list.
With over 350 labels, The Capital Grille’s wine list instantly becomes one of the most robust in town. Of the 2006 Barolo class, Antonio Galloni of Vinous commented, “…the finest 2006 Barolos – and there is no shortage of fine bottles – reveal a modern expression of ripeness married to a firm sense of structure that readers are likely to find immensely appealing…” The Capital Grille’s Advanced Sommelier, Brian Phillips, selected a bold 2006 Barolo from Federico Ceretto’s vineyard while tasting in the Piedmont region of Northwest Italy. It’s available by the glass at The Capital Grille. Other deep red pairings include Napa selections from the likes of Pahlmeyer, Fisher Vineyards and Dominus Estate.
One might expect the most popular cocktail at a steakhouse to highlight whiskey or bourbon – such as a play on an Old Fashioned or Manhattan. At The Capital Grille, however, it’s the ‘Stoli Doli’ - vodka infused with fresh pineapple; an unexpected ray of the sweet, sunny tropics within the dark woods of a steakhouse.
The holiday season beckons us to gather, give and grow. The Capital Grille is an obvious choice for business lunches, entertaining clients or date nights, but it could also be the setting for a special meal with loved ones. The restaurant emphasizes service, which centers around relationships, and this makes The Capital Grille a comfortable setting to deepen, renew or create personal, or professional, relationships.
Years from now, the gifts of 2017 will be outdated, forgotten or discarded; it’s the memories we’ll hold on to forever. Here’s to this holiday season being one filled with hope, joy and no shortage of quality meals with the people we love.
18 oz Dry Aged Kona crusted NY Strip with Caramelized Shallot Butter
The Capital Grille “Cobb” Salad with sliced tenderloin and mustard dressing, “a unique take on the classic salad.”
Pan-fried calamari with hot cherry peppers, The Capital Grille’s signature appetizer, served crisp and golden with a fiery flavor.
Lobster mac 'n' cheese
Classic crème brûlée with seasonal berries
‘Stoli Doli,’ vodka infused with fresh pineapple.