by Steven Doyle
I recently made my way to Capital Grille and was blown away not only by the fare, but the amazing and well-tended service. And the pie. All I heard that evening from patrons to staff was how amazing this coconut tart adorned with a lush whipped cream was. But to get to this pie you must first take a near Wonkaland of whimsy through their menu, which for several excited diners, including myself, this was perfectly OK.
We started our journey with verve. The Seafood Plateau. If you know me in the least you know I am a sucker for these towers. Large platters iced and overflowing with cold lobster, choice oysters, large lump crab, king crab and more. This is how people should dine each day.
Soon plates with filet of beef and copious amounts of crab and bearnaise, and a slab of Chilean sea bass seared to beauty adorned with braised mushrooms and a miso broth topped with a smattering of caviar all arrived. My group worked through this bit of distracting deliciousness, but our eyes were on the prize. That promised pie.
With barely enough room to accommodate or even appreciate the very best of pies, it arrived. This pie is a thing of beauty. The crust is delicate but sturdy enough to stand up with a proper crispness. The filling is light and creamy without an annoying amount of sweetness. And the whipped cream, so light so effortless does it stand in the way from the rest of the tart. With each bite we claimed it would be the last, but somehow the entire pie vanished as if Merlin was lying in wait sneaking secret mouthfuls. I confess it was me. I ate the whole pie. Tuile and all.
I later found out that we could have just ordered pie at the bar, but seriously it tastes better when you work for it.