REVIEW: Capital Club 16 – Raleigh
I finally made it out to eat during a Downtown Raleigh Restaurant Week. I have been trying to do it for about two years now. I guess moving to Raleigh made it a little bit easier to do. I headed down to Capital Club 16 with some friends (Aaron, Brooks, Brock, Liz and Tyler) for dinner before we went out for some cocktails with some college friends at 42nd Street Oyster Bar.
Capital Club 16 was offering a $20 fixed price menu with a variety of options:
FIRST COURSE (APPETIZER/SALAD – Choose One)
- Butter Lettuce Wedge Slab (bacon, grape tomatoes, pickled red onions, and Sweet Bonnie’s Blue Cheese dressing)
- Shrimp Skewer (with sautéed spinach and crispy cheese grits cake served with smoked paprika aioli)
SECOND COURSE (ENTREE – Choose One)
- Summer Squash Mac and Cheese (our blend of Vermont white cheddar, Gouda and Jarlsberg; served with a side of market greens and fruit)
- Steak Frites (NY Strip Steak with handcut fries, cabernet mushroom demi sauce and basted egg)
- Red Drumfish (with smoked paprika and cauliflower potato gratin; petite local field green mix)
THIRD COURSE (DESSERT – Choose One)
- Dotchie’s Poundcake (with fresh berry or fudge sauce served a la mode)
- Apple Fritters (beer battered apple rings with vanilla sauce served a la mode)
The bar menu was fantastic with a bunch of great beers and wine plus what I’ve heard are some of the best mixed cocktails downtown although I will have to try them next time because I stuck with beer.
The Butter Lettuce Wedge Slab was very simple. The pickled onions were nice and added some sour notes to the salad. The grape tomatoes were sparse and truthfully was just a grape tomato cut in half. I know it is a fixed price menu and the portions are smaller than usual but that is kind of ridic. The wedge was fresh and plentiful with a heaping amount of blue cheese dressing. The most impressive part of the salad was the bacon on top which seemed to be more pork belly than bacon because of the thickness. All in all, it was a good salad.
By the time that we got to Capital Club 16, they had run out of red drum and substituted it with tuna. I was a little disappointed but I love tuna about as much as I love drum. It came with the same smoked paprika and cauliflower potato gratin with a petite local field green mix on the side. They pan seared the tuna but I think they could have seared it at a higher temperature for a more well-done outside and more pink on the inside. The gratin was delicious although I don’t think it paired very well with the tuna. The salad was a nice addition to the dish (even though I didn’t plan on eating two salads) because the sweetness from the watermelon was a nice contrast to the heartiness of the tuna and gratin.
I am not normally a dessert guy but, since it was included, I went ahead and got the apple fritter and asked for six spoons so everyone could try a bite. I was blown away by the one bite that I had. They cut an apple into rings, covered the rings in a funnel cake-like batter and then dropped them in a deep fryer. The fried apple rings were extremely tender and sweet and were a hit at the table. It was a good palate cleanser for everyone’s meal.
I tried their skillet lobster mac ‘n’ cheese thanks to Brooks and a bite of griddled belly with sauerkraut from Capital Club 16’s “The Butcher’s Plate” thanks to Aaron. Everything we had was fantastic and I look forward to going back sometime soon. It is definitely a place that I would recommend for a casual dinner out on the town or just to hang out for the evening drinking anything from $1.50 Miller High Life to $9 Sir Walter Raleighs (Gin, Blood Orange Juice, triple sec, Absinthe with candied lemon).