My group of Dining Women, (as we call ourselves), has some winter requirements. During the warm months we’re willing to rough it, eat on scruffy patios, at neighborhood watering holes, or even travel out of town.
But winter is different. We seek out a restaurant within a few miles of where we live, preferably with valet parking. This time of year we want cozy—no overhead fans, drafty corners, or outside entrances that let in gushes of arctic air. White tablecloths and napkins are a charming bonus, as are tables nicely spaced with soft seating, and easy music from an era we recognize.
Where to Go?
We adore servers who inquire regularly about our well-being. Of course, we want all this at a price that doesn’t require raiding our retirement accounts. Admittedly, this is hard to find. But for the sake of camaraderie and a deep need to get out of the house, we make compromises. This month we ate at Capital Grille, which fulfilled 90-some percent of our winter requirements. Besides, it was Restaurant Month in Clayton and they were running a three course special. That cinched it!
I checked the online menu before we arrived. Knowing what you want, takes the last-minute indecision out of ordering. So when the nice server with pencil and pad in hand, smiles and says, “Are we ready to order?” I can respond with a hearty yes, rather than waving her away for a few minutes more of peering blankly into the menu.
More Information Than I Need
Capital Grille lists the calorie count next to their menu items. I’m not sure that’s a good thing from a marketing perspective. When I saw that the roasted chicken and baby potatoes with white wine had 1350 calories (for heaven’s sake, the cheesecake has only 1060!), I moved on to the citrus-glazed salmon (840 cal.) and green beans.
I’ll not bother to look at their calorie count again. I’ll simply enjoy a portion of what I order and take the rest home with me for another meal. In that spirit, I went with the salmon. I always feel more virtuous ordering salmon. It’s one of those foods we should eat once a week, because it’s high in protein, omega-3 fatty acids, and vitamin D and helps with inflammation, circulation, memory, mood and blood sugar control.
After such a tasty, healthy and cozy meal with friends, I feel better already. 🙂