I felt obligated to try the porterhouse, even though inflation has raised its price to $32.95 — seven dollars more than in 1995. It was medium rare as I ordered it, and was every bit as good as I remembered it. The truth is, I find steak rather boring after a half dozen bites, but this was steak fit for a king, even if I could only finish half of it. Art had the lamb chops, three bloody rare rib chops that he pronounced superb.
Kribben is one of several waiters who have been here since day one, including Silva Lin, Cliff Horsfall and Wayne Anderson — who waited on me at lunch recently. “It’s one of things I’m most proud of, the tenure of the staff,” said Managing Partner Bill Butler, whose predecessor, Steve Fedorchak, is now Atlantic regional vice president for the parent company, Atlanta-based RARE Hospitality. There are now 15 Capital Grilles, including one at Tysons Corner, Va., with two more to open soon in Phoenix and Denver, but this one is the second busiest, doing over $8 million in volume last year.
Last week, Tom Graves, executive director of the Mid-West Electric Consumers Association, based in Denver, invited me to join him and several colleagues at dinner. Gary Williamson of Minot, N.D., and Lars Nygren of Bismarck, who know their steaks, both ordered the porterhouse and raved about it.
Executive Chef Bryan Thomas prepares most of his steaks simply, cooking them at 1,200 to 1,300 degrees Fahrenheit in a drawer broiler with the heating element on top, and using Lawry’s seasoning salt. His favorite is the Delmonico, a 22-ounce bone-in cut, that he says is the most flavorful on the menu, but he describes the Kansas City steak as “awesome.”
He prepares it two ways. One is with a spicy Montreal seasoning, a mixture of salt, pepper, coriander, crushed red pepper, thyme and oregano, and topped with saut