Get ready Hartford, dry-aged steak, premium seafood and a “cellar” full of fine wines served with top shelf service begins Monday.
That’s when the tony, long awaited Capital Grille restaurant opens, the newest tenant in Hartford’s Front Street entertainment and dining district.
And the place is ready from its main dining room with lush banquettes and fine linens to its spacious bar complete with a floor to ceiling display of top shelf liquors and impeccable decor.
“We are ready and excited,” said Joe Butler, the 28-year-old managing partner who, with staff, were putting the finishing touches on the place that has its soft opening later this week. “We are bringing great food and professional service and our unique dining experience to Hartford,” said an enthusiastic Butler.
Butler began working for the well-known steakhouse chain, part of the Darden Restaurants group, about nine years ago as a server when he was a student at Johnson & Wales in Rhode Island. Recently engaged, Butler has moved to the area.
“Everyone has been great,” he said about the experience so far in Hartford. “Warm and welcoming.”
The 8,000-square-foot space has a spacious, modern feel and includes some private and small party dining area as well as the main dining area that seats 150 people. The bar also includes granite topped communal tables as well as traditional dining tables. The impressive wine “cellar” is a floor-to-ceiling, 12- foot-long, glass, temperature-controlled case with hundreds of bottles of wines including Jordan, Insignia Opus One and Far Niente. A collection of individual wine bins for those with their own discriminating tastes have already begun to be marked with customer names.
The restaurant will employ about 85 people.
The Hartford location is The Capital Grille’s second in Connecticut. There is also a restaurant in Stamford.
The Hartford location also offers al fresco dining on a small patio that faces Columbus Boulevard and the Connecticut Convention Center.
On Tuesday, chefs were busy “practicing” the menu that includes entrees like steak au poivre with Courvoisier cream and dry-aged porterhouse, as well as seafood dishes and house made desserts.
The Capital Grille will serve lunch and dinner, Butler notes. The grand opening and ribbon cutting is Monday at 11:15 a.m.
The Capital Grille will be open for lunch Monday through Friday from 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m., dinner from 5 to 10 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 5 to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 4 to 9 p.m. on Sunday.