Half a year ago I was invited to Seasons 52 opening at Roosevelt Field, after which I raved about how the Darden Restaurants group (which owns Red Lobsters, Olive Gardens along with Seasons 52) has elevated the level of cuisine in Garden City.
What I didn’t know at that time, and much to my delight, Darden Restaurants didn’t stop just there. In October, Legal Sea Foods announced that it was closing, and soon came word that it was being replaced by The Capital Grille, another brand under the Darden umbrella.
While the Capital Grille is well known to many New Yorkers (there are 3 in Manhattan), few people know that it came from Providence Rhode Island. Apparently it’s taken its name after a state capital, not the nation’s capital as many believes. The restaurants are known for their steaks and seafood, very much a business lunch destination, for those who can afford to take off for a 2 hour lunch.
For a location in a mall, however, things will need to be different. Luckily, you can see the Darden corporate influence in a positive way. The front desk is efficient almost to a fault, as the staff slowly adds a personal touch to the very systematic greet and seat process.
The wait staff is young, amicable and energetic, distancing itself from the notion that steak house waiters are generally as aged and dry as the meats they serve. The menu itself features familiar steakhouse classics, though some of the items come with a twist of either fusion or exotic spices.
This was very much evident in the beef carpaccio appetizer. What seemed like a boring, run of the mill plate of raw beef with arugula, turned out to be packed with flavors from a herb rub before the meat is sliced. This being a corporate kitchen and all, the manager was able to come by to explain the flavors through an app on his iPhone. The spice rub is made of cardamon, sesame seeds, cumin, and fenugreek, giving it a slightly Indian and Mongolian edge.
For mains, I decided to keep it simple with a steak. Dry aged around 14-21 days, the meat has the right amount of tenderness, and is quite flavorful, though not to the levels of Lugers. Maybe an extra few days in the dry age box would bolster the flavor somewhat. A side of truffle fries gave me the requisite steak side serving of potatoes.
For dessert, simple berries and cream, a crowd favorite. My waist line thanks me for the selection.
Eating at Roosevelt Field has gotten very interesting.
What does this rating mean?
The soft opening meal was partly complimentary of the restaurant, though it did not affect my opinion, nor was I required to write.
The Capital Grille
630 Old Country Rd
Garden City, NY 11530