Thursday, January 06, 2011

This Dine Downtown Week: Park it at Capitol Garage!!

Last night, I was selected to preview the $30 prix fixe Dine Downtown menu at Capitol Garage (available starting on January 7th). The meal at Capitol Garage includes a salad, entree, dessert, AND a glass of wine!! I asked a friend of mine (we'll call her SB) to join me and help taste some of the food on the menu.

To begin the meal, I selected the Spinach Salad with toasted hazelnuts, apple wood smoked bacon, fresh diced granny smith apples, cucumber, chevre cheese and honey. I appreciated the crunch and toasted flavor of the hazelnuts, and the freshness of all the salad components. I ordered the Toasted Head Chardonnay (one of three wines from which to choose). Still really loving that the wine comes with the meal!! And I used to work for Toasted Head (RH Phillips) so I knew the wine was going to be reliable.

SB started with the Chipotle Caesar salad comprised of petite romaine hearts with a mildly spicy chipotle Caesar dressing, fresh avocado, manchego cheese, cilantro, lime and crispy tortilla strips. The dressing was spicy as indicated on the menu, but easily balanced by the avocado. My dining companion (SB) stated she wouldn't hesitate to order it again....and again....and again. The crispy tortilla strips were a terrific topping and a welcome variation from croutons.

For my main course, I ordered the Jack & Blue: a ½ pound angus burger topped with gorgonzola cheese, Jack Daniel’s onions and mushrooms, applewood smoked bacon, on a burger bun. No mayo!! My only complaint is that I was not asked how I would like my burger prepared. It arrived cooked well, and I didn't send back because I forgot to tell the server my temperature preference, and I didn't want to throw off the timing of the dinner. I would have loved to try medium rare. I skipped the bun and went for the meat and the toppings. The flavor of the cheese was tamed by the bacon and candied onion/mushroom duo. I didn't know the burger came with fries, but it did. They come seasoned... something similar to Lawry's. The star of the plate was indeed the burger.

For my entree, SB had the Crab Cake Linguini. The dish can be described like this: crab cakes over linguini with sautéed cherry tomatoes, prosciutto, garlic and herbs in a lemon cream sauce, and served with bruschetta bread. SB commented that the dish was "tasty, tasty, tasty", and was delighted at the portion size. She had expected one crab cake along with loads of pasta and bread, but there were two sizable crab cakes covering a major portion of the plate.

In fact, the crab cakes were ample enough that SB said she could have skipped the pasta completely and been a happy camper. There is prosciutto within the pasta, making the dish a little on the salty side.

The crab cakes were full of meat and also had pieces of potato in them. The potatoes provided a great texture balance for the flaky crab meat. Another positive, SB noted the flavor of the potato gave her taste buds "a break so that the next taste of crab was as wonderful as the first taste".

The desserts we chose were both cheesecake, because I don't eat dessert and I thought SB should try one and take one home with her. She decided on the Black Bottom Cheesecake and Butterfinger Cheesecake (shown respectively below). I at least got to look at the desserts as they were presented to us before boxing up. They were personal cupcake-sized desserts and almost too pretty to eat!

The Black Bottom started with a chocolate cookie crust, followed by a berry puree cake with a delicate taste. The top layer, the cheesecake, was so light that it felt almost like a whipped cream. This was topped with a sprinkling of cocoa and some juicy blackberries. As a dense cheesecake lover, SB was surprised how much she liked her dessert. 

Overall we were both quite pleased by our choices, and I recommend Capitol Garage for Dine Downtown week because it is a real VALUE for the money. Remember, not only do you get a salad, a main course, and a dessert, but you also get to choose a glass of wine to pair with your meal!

You can take a gander of the Capitol Garage pre fixe menu by clicking here:

You can follow Capitol Garage on twitter here and friend them on Facebook here. When Dine Downtown week ends, check out their happy hour prices here! On Monday nights, Capitol Garage hosts a trivia and movie night with drink specials. More info is on their website!!

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