Capital Grill

I’ve never been to a steak house for Restaurant Week, and have never dined at Capital Grill in general, so was really looking forward to this meal. Hitting up a steak house – or any fine-dining, high-priced restaurant – is my new game plan for Boston’s Restaurant Week, as this is the best way to get your bang for the ($38.13) buck.

Capital Grill‘s Restaurant Week menu has a few options per course, and offers its steak house classics. While the salmon did sound excellent I couldn’t not have steak during my first Capital Grill experience. Below is the Summer 2013 Restaurant Week menu and the dishes I chose.

Caesar Salad
Clam Chowder
Fields Greens with Shallot Champagne
This salad was simple, light and delicious. The greens were perfectly dressed with the shallot champagne vinaigrette. The dish really only consisted of greens, carrots, and tomatoes, but it left an impact! I’d order this again in a heartbeat.
Breast of Chicken Confit
Bone-In Dry Aged Sirloin Steak 14oz
Seared Citrus Glazed Salmon
Parmesan and Herb Marinated Tournedos
Filet Mignon 8oz
At non-steak houses I always order steak medium rare and they typically come out looking more like medium. Here I ordered my filet medium, knowing that it would come out perfectly pink and juicy on the inside, which it did. My friend ordered her filet medium rare and she got just that, with the inside of the steak mainly pink with areas of rare red meat. The filet was not only cooked perfectly but was well seasoned and better than I expected.
IMG_5680Capital Grill offers a choice of 2 sides to accompany your main course: Sam’s Mashed Potatoes, and French Green Beans with Shallots and Heirloom Tomatoes. I was intending on ordering the green beans but the waiter said he’d bring us a side of each for the table to share. Can’t argue there! I’m glad I had a chance to taste the mashed potatoes because they were excellent; smooth and creamy with a few chunks of potato skin in the mix.

Classic Crème Brûlée
Strawberries Capital Grill
Handcrafted Ice Cream
Flourless Chocolate Espresso Cake
This was kind of a no brainier for me. I don’t frequent steak houses often but hear they typically make a mean chocolate cake. The flourless chocolate espresso cake was dense, and smooth like fudge.  Paired well with the whipped cream and raspberries.
IMG_5683I have to also mention the bread basket. The dark brown pumpernickel-looking slices were incredible, warm and soft with a few specks of raisins. I didn’t try the rolls but the cracker bread was also top notch. The bread was served with softened salted butter.
IMG_0002This was my only Restaurant Week reservation this season but I was 1 for 1, with a successful meal at Capital Grill! I didn’t inspect the regular menu but would highly suggest heading here for Restaurant Week.


Henrietta’s Table

My favorite time of year is here… Restaurant Week! This program allows for customers to enjoy a 3-course meal for $33.12 at all participating restaurants. Some also feature a 2-course lunch for $15.12 and/or a 3-course lunch for $20.12. I tend to make reservations at restaurants that are known for their expensive menus, that way I can really get my money’s worth!  To explore the Boston area restaurant’s participating in Restaurant Week, click here:

My second of five RW dinners was last night at Henrietta’s Table in the Charles Hotel in Harvard Square.

Bread: Three types of bread were served with a circle of butter, 2 of which were dry but the cranberry walnut slices were excellent.

Menu: Henrietta’s Table offered their full menu for Restaurant Week which included a side, and you could even choose a starter from the Specials menu (for an additional $10 you could choose a Special entrée as well). The menu differed slightly from the RW menu I found online, but this is typical for restaurants that use fresh & local ingredients. Click below to get an idea of what Henrietta’s Table is offering:

Heirloom Tomatoes with Arugula Pesto & Balsamic Reduction
It was between this Special Starter and another special, Tomato & Summer Vegetable Soup. I love tomatoes and as summer is inevitably winding down I decided to take advantage while this fruit is still in season and you can eat it fresh & raw. A light and tasty way to start the meal!

Swordfish with Herbed Polenta and Peppers & Onions
A small rectangular piece of swordfish was served over the herbed polenta and topped with sautéed peppers & onions. Before ordering I asked our server how the polenta was prepared (I prefer a creamy polenta over a polenta cake) and she described it perfectly as being stiff enough to hold up the fish but still soft enough to have that gritty texture. It was really excellent, a different preparation of polenta that I’ve never had and truly enjoyed.

Campfire Taza Chocolate S’mores Skillet
I was really intrigued by the Warm Blueberry Upside Down Cake but earlier in the evening I saw the S’mores Skillet walking by and just couldn’t resist! Served in a warm cast iron skillet with a mound of melting chocolate, toasted marshmallow, 2 cinnamon graham crackers, and scoop of vanilla ice cream, this dessert was heaven. My only issue is that after devouring evening you see in the photo I was left with a large piece of chocolate that didn’t quite melt; some may see this as a perk but I’m not a fan of just a plain chunk of chocolate.

Service: This service on this particular evening was a little spotty; I had to ask for bread which I hate doing, it took quite a while for our waitress to even approach our table, and the courses were served rather swiftly, which I don’t mind but I felt like we were being rushed at times. 

Overall: Henrietta’s Table is a great spot to try for Restaurant Week as it offers its full menu and then some. Along with our 3 courses we were also able to choose a side dish; I went with the Spicy Squash & Zucchini while Matt had the Mashed Potatoes – both were excellent. The sangria however (consisting of Pinot Grigio, Bacardi Rum, Creme de Cassis, sparkling wine, cranberry juice, fresh squeezed orange juice, sugar, mixed berries) tasted like a fruity alcoholic drink gone wrong – way too sweet, extremely disappointing. We sat outside on their patio (on a perfect summer evening) so I didn’t fully experience the dining room. We did walk through the restaurant and it’s quite casual, you almost feel as though you’re having dinner at someone’s kitchen table. A relaxed and rustic setting for a low-key date night or a family dinner.

Spicy Squash & Zucchini, Mashed Potatoes

Spicy Squash & Zucchini, Mashed Potatoes



The Perfect Bite: Graham cracker dipped in melted chocolate with a scoop of toasted marshmallow.

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I hadn’t really heard of Marco until a friend recently mentioned that I need to try it ASAP. As Restaurant Week was approaching at that time, I knew this would be the perfect opportunity to try multiple courses for a decent cost.

Bread: Small bites of foccacia bread were served with a bowl of peppers, onions, and capers. The accompaniments were atypical and luckily for Matt (he’s not a fan of peppers & onions) EVOO was also poured into a small dish. The bread was great and served well for dipping in future courses.

Menu: Marco was only offering their Restaurant Week menu which was actually 4 courses instead of the usual 3. They began with 4 options for Antipasti, followed by 3 for Insalate, 7 items for the main course of Piatti Principali, and finally 4 selections for Dolce. I made sure to come hungry!

Gambero Bruschetta: shrimp, grilled foccacia, garlic, white wine, butter, tomatoes & capers
This is not your typical bruschetta! I had been warned by a friend who dined at Marco last week so luckily I knew what I was getting myself into with this dish, otherwise I may have been a bit confused. One piece of bread – submerged in the garlic, scallion, caper, white wine, and butter broth – was surrounded by tomatoes and topped with 3 large shrimp. The bread was thick enough that it wasn’t too soggy and the tomatoes were a great consistency of ripe yet soft due to being marinated in the broth. This was light & refreshing, and so delicious! You better believe I used the leftover foccacia bread to dip in that amazing broth.

Insalata di bietole: roasted beets, herbed goat cheese, frisee, hazelnut vinaigrette
A mound of cubed beets was topped with goat cheese & frisee, and surrounded by a scattering of chopped red onion and hazelnuts. Often beet salads are more greens than actual beets, but this was not the case here. I could have used a bit more cheese, but otherwise I loved everything about this course, especially the plentiful onions & hazelnuts!

Tagliatelle alla Bolognese: house-made tagliatelle, classic bolognese
I couldn’t resist ordering my favorite pasta dish! The tagliagtelle was of course cooked al dente, and was swimming in an almost creamy sauce of ground meat and pieces of tomato. In general I consider myself an over-saucer (I pour on extra gravy like it’s my job) but if I’m being critical I would say this dish was just a bit over sauced. The sauce was delicious, but too much of a good thing isn’t always the best. I did however really enjoy it, and especially appreciated the amount of tomato chunks!

Tiramisu: espresso and rum soaked lady fingers, mascarpone cream
This dessert was equal parts soaked ladyfingers and creamy custard. I have to be careful with dairy and cream in general, so it wasn’t my personal favorite tiramisu due to the amount of custard but it was still good. A perfect little portion to end a really excellent meal.

Bathroom: Past the bar are 2 doors, each a unisex restroom. Not much to say here; the room was quite small, with 2 mirrors on opposite wood-paneled walls, and a wicker basket holding a fan of paper towels.

Service: The service was great and each course was delivered in perfect timing. Our waitress was friendly and informative. I liked the glass bottle of tap water they left on the table for us to pour.

Overall: I very rarely have a 4-course meal but I’m glad we did tonight; everything was really great! The restaurant itself is quite charming, a small spot located on the 2nd floor above Bricco on Hanover Street. Marco has a cute bar that sits maybe 6 people and a dining room featuring hard wood floors, brick walls, wooden tables & chairs, and a faux fireplace setting a casual and rustic atmosphere. Serving family style dinner on Sundays, I would recommend Marco any day of the week!
A bonus: they validate parking in the Parcel 7 Garage for $1 if you’re in & out in less than 3 hours.

The Perfect Bite: There was a perfect bite in each course! But if I must choose one I’ll say dipping bread in that bruschetta broth and topping it with a soaked tomato, oh wow!

oh there you are bread!

oh there you are bread!

dish EVOO was poured into

dish EVOO was poured into

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My first Restaurant Week Lunch experience! Forum was chosen because of their outdoor seating, their presence on OpenTable, and the menu looked delicious!

: None was served during lunch.

Menu: This was my first Restaurant Week Lunch, and the menu looked excellent with 3 options in the first course, 4 in the second, and 2 for dessert. I opted for the Light Lunch for $15.12 and ordered an appetizer and entrée.

Fish Tacos – local cod, red cabbage, pico de gallo, chipotle aioli
Three fish tacos were served in soft tortillas in a taco holder. I guess it’s my fault for not asking, but I assumed the fish would be grilled and not fried. After getting passed that initial disappointed I did end up enjoying this course, especially the chipotle aioli, yum. Not the best fish tacos I’ve ever had but certainly not bad at all.

Flatbread – roasted garlic, butternut squash, ricotta, fontina, basil
Sounds amazing right? Well it would have been had I been in the kitchen. I’ve made a butternut squash flatbread 5 times better than this mess (granted I was following a recipe, but still). The squash seemed to be haphazardly thrown onto the dough, as was the random shreds of basil. The cheese was also a bit overwhelming; the ratio of squash to cheese was way off for me. Maybe it’s my OCD kicking in, but I like flatbreads to be even with each piece consisting of all ingredients. Sub-par 2nd course.

Bathroom: Really nice, with a pretty flower display (I have a thing for branches in arrangements). Two stalls, two sinks, large wide mirror.

Service: I found myself looking around for our server every now and then, wondering where our 2nd course was, and why it was taking so long to bring the bill. Perhaps I shouldn’t be so critical; I tend to have a “hurry up and go” attitude and need to learn to relax every now & then!

Overall: A bit of a disappointment overall. I’m glad I went for Restaurant Week, otherwise I wouldn’t have been happy paying the regular prices for the dishes I ordered: the fish tacos are normally $13 and the flatbread around $15. Salads and Sandwiches run $12-$16 for lunch, and dinner Pastas and Entrées range $26-$38 – kind of steep. Their menu items sound incredible, but then again so did my flatbread. I sat outdoors but the interior had a contemporary yet elegant vibe. Cocktails are a normal city price ($10-$12) so I’d consider returning to sit at their long rectangular bar, which is equip with at least 8 TVs on either side and comfy stools.

The Perfect Bite: Honestly, nothing about this meal was perfect. The fish tacos weren’t bad, I just wish they weren’t fried…

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