The Friday that started Memorial Day weekend was off to a rocky start. I had plans to head to Fort Worth for a relaxing weekend, starting with a chef’s dinner at The Capital Grille Fort Worth. I guess the universe decided if I was going to relax, it should add a little more stress to my life first. Before 1 PM, I’d changed a diaper that would have made HazMat teams wince, fixed several tech problems on my website, done two loads of laundry, and killed a big, hairy spider found living comfortably in my suit case. With the day I was having, I seriously wondered if a four hour road trip was a good idea.
By 2:30, I was on the road and making an effort to put a lot of miles between my stressful morning and my weekend road trip. Bad luck continued when I hit Memorial Day weekend traffic, road work, and a GPS that thought going 100 miles out of the way would be amusing. Yep, my four hour road trip, turned into a five and a half hour drive with a tire vibrating like the washing machine when it’s off balance. I’d moved my dinner reservation at The Capital Grille Fort Worth from 7 to 8 PM, and still managed to be five minutes late.
Dressed for travel, not dinner, I wasn’t exactly in the best mood when I entered the restaurant to meet friends. Then we met our incredible server, Brenda, and instead of feeling like I was under dressed and exhausted, I became excited about the menu the chef had prepared to complement the wines we’d be tasting. Bring on the wine, and the food, with more wine, of course.
We started with the pan-fried calamari with hot cherry peppers. Crispy, with just a little bit of heat, it was delicious and paired well with the 2012 La Crema Pinot Grigio. While we had two salad options to choose from, how can you not order the tomato mozzarella basil salad with 15 year aged balsamic vinegar. I’m kind of a tomato addict so my mind was made up, but then Brenda told us how the fresh mozzarella is made in house every 90 minutes, and I may have drooled a little. It’s a good thing I took this photo because there was nothing left when I finished.
I was pretty sure I wouldn’t like the next wine when she described it as a Chardonnay, so I was surprised by the first sip of the Conundrum white wine. Crisp, delicious and very refreshing. Our entree’ choices were all tempting, seared citrus glaze salmon which would have paired great with the wine; breast of chicken confit; filet mignon; and bone-in Kona crusted dry aged sirloin with shallot butter. The Capital Grille is has an outstanding reputation for their dry aged steaks, and I am a beef lover, so…the Kona crusted sirloin was calling my name.
I need to tell you, I’ve had some incredible steaks in my lifetime from some of the top 10 steak houses in the United States. The Kona crusted sirloin from The Capital Grille Fort Worth is worthy of praise, that cow did not die in vain. Oh and we were served a red wine with our entrees’, but it wasn’t very memorable. Calamari, a flavorful salad, a steak worthy of awards with sides of Sam’s mashed potatoes and french beans, I was ready to call “mercy”. I should have waved my white linen napkin and surrendered.
But, then Brenda placed the dessert tray on our table. I’m not a huge sweets person and rarely order dessert, unless its a special occasion. Maybe I would have skipped it altogether, but my friends were oohing and ah-hing over the light cheesecake, the flour-less chocolate espresso cake, and the creamy creme brulee. I caved, declared the evening’s calories didn’t count, and put generous portions of all three on my plate. Don’t ask me to choose a favorite, because I can’t. I never order creme brulee, but The Capital Grille Fort Worth may have changed my mind. Cheesecake, is another dessert I can easily resist, but this was so light and perfect. And I am quite positive she said the chocolate cake was gluten-free, but I’ve never tasted anything gluten-free that was so yummy.
Incredible food isn’t difficult to find, especially in Texas, but incredible food with outstanding service is rare, no matter the location. Our evening was perfect, in large part because Brenda made us feel as if we were her only table. From when we arrived until when we left, I felt like we were regulars or VIP customers. As someone that travels extensively, and eats out often, I am always impressed when I have a memorable experience at a chain restaurant. If you live in Dallas or anywhere near Fort Worth, make a reservation at The Capital Grille Fort Worth, and ask for Brenda!
Dinner at The Capital Grille Fort Worth was a prize I won in a sweepstakes, and was completely unrelated to my blog. I chose to share my experience with you because it was incredible, not because I was obligated.