Capital Grille Debuts Bar Menu

The Capital Grille, a national steakhouse chain with about 50 locations across the country, recently debuted a bar menu. Essentially a reduced menu from the one offered to dining room patrons, it’s divided into categories such as plates to share, soups, salads, sandwiches, entrees and sides. What’s new though are a couple just-introduced dishes: seared dry-aged sirloin with sweet chili vinaigrette and wasabi oil ($15), very tender and full of beefy flavor nicely balanced with a bright chili vinaigrette, and cast-iron garlic shrimp served over olive-oil crostini ($18). Both of these new items are sized to be shared although I would have been quite happy with the sirloin as an entree.

Cast Iron Garlic Shrimp
Cast Iron Garlic Shrimp
Sirloin-Sweet-Chili-H-2
Grilled Sirloin with a sweet chili sauce

You’ll find the same size salads, apps, soups, salads and entrees on the bar menu as you would on the dining room menu. If you’re looking for for a quick bite before visiting the Westfield Garden State Plaza’s AMC or after a long afternoon of shopping, the sandwich selections may be just the ticket. There’s a hefty signature cheeseburger ($18) or Maine Lobster roll ($21) which are sizable portions.

Flanked by two flat screens with a row each of bar and counter seating and a half-dozen tables, the bar still offers a more luxe feeling for patrons looking for something more upscale with table linens and a full bar. In fact, the bar menu has a number of hand-crafted cocktails to boot which explains the large groups of men and women mingling at the bar. On a recent Saturday night visit to the Capital Grille at Westfield Garden State Plaza, that was the case, making it a festive scene for couples and clusters of friends who chose the bar over the dining room as their destination.

Another desirable aspect of the restaurant is free valet parking for guests. Since this Paramus, NJ mall can be challenging to park in, this feature is very welcome.

 

Address: 1 Garden State Plaza Blvd, Paramus, NJ 07652

Website: http://www.thecapitalgrille.com/locations/nj/paramus/paramus/8045

Phone: (201) 845-7040

Hours of Operation: Mon-Thurs 1130 am – 10pm; Fri & Sat  11:30 am – 11pm; Sun 4pm – 9pm

Names of Management: David Bryson, Managing Partner; Luis Estacio, Executive Chef Partner

 

The ‘Real Housewives’ Restaurant Addition is the Talk of the (Little) Town in New Jersey

Originally founded by Funbars Hospitality owners Michael Sinensky and Sean McGarr, Little Town expanded from New York into New Jersey this past spring into Hoboken.  Funbars partnered with Albie and Chris Manzo, the sons of Caroline Manzo, one of the recently exiting stars on “The Real Housewives of New Jersey” on Bravo when opening their Hoboken location.  I took my teenage daughter, Olivia, to the restaurant to sample a new menu from Little Town’s 25 year old executive chef, Jordan Andino.

ChefJordanAndinoPic
Chef Jordan Andino

A native of Toronto and Philippino master chef, Andino has a degree from Cornell University’s Hotel School of Administration, the nation’s leading hospitality school and  credits his culinary expertise to his father, also a chef.   Andino scrapped 90% of the existing Little Town menu when he was brought in to helm the restaurant a couple months ago.  He replaced them with some lighter, female-friendly options although the menu has lots of man grub remaining.

The standout on my visit was braised short rib served over a taro root mash ($26) and topped with the chef’s own 9-hour prepared sriracha demi-glace.  The taro root mash was buttery, smooth and loaded with nutty sweetness, a nice counter to the lush richness of the tender beefiness of the short rib.  The viscous demi-glace was luxuriously flavored and textured.

ShortRib
Braised Short Rib ($26)

The lunch menu is split up into 5 sections:  Little Town Bites, which consist of appetizers including their popular Little Town Rice Balls that are the perfect size for a bite of ham and cheese on the inside of a crispy, browned exterior.  Little Town Sliders and Dogs offers five types of sliders and two types of hot dogs of choice.  Three sliders are served with each order.  Sammy Town offers twelve sandwich options and the last two menu sections comprise soups and salads along with wings.  The prices of lunch selections range from $7-$15.  Caroline Manzo’s own recipe for meatballs is incorporated into the menu and is available in a sandwich version or atop red sauce with a large garlic bread slice.  They were tasty and fried for a crispy exterior which gave way to a tender, beef interior.

Meatballs
Manzo Meatballs ($9)

The dinner menu offers extensions from the lunch menu.  The main section of the menu consists of Little Town Big Tastes, which range from carbonara, linguini tossed in parmesan, egg, green peas, roasted garlic and pancetta ($18), a bit dry on our visit, to the braised short rib mentioned above ($26).  Little Town offers a wide array of entrée options, from seafood to salmon.  Entrees range from $14-26.

Carbonara
Carbonara ($18)

For guests with a sweet tooth, Andino remakes one of his childhood memories with the dessert selection, Traditional Funnel Cake.  Order it “Carnival Style” and it will arrive with a combination of traditional funnel cake topped with the house-made berry compote, 3 scoops of vanilla ice cream and powdered sugar, at no extra charge.  Tell them Redhead With A Fork sent you.