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[Jarrod Ballou/The Daily Pennsylvanian]

Philadelphia is a city that loves its steak. There are dozens of places where meat lovers can enjoy a meal that will keep them full for days. But those looking for the most tender steak in town, one that will literally melt in your mouth while you sit awestruck, should look no further than the Capital Grille. Driving down the Avenue of the Arts, you can't miss the Capital Grille and its sleek exterior. Make no mistake -- this is a businessman's steakhouse, more suited for a corporate dinner than a friendly evening downtown.

Capital Grille 1338 Chestnut Street (215) 545-9588 Fare: Steakhouse
And if you can get through the door (no easy feat, and you'd better have reservations if you expect to dine), you'll find the after-work crowd out in full force. Some mingle around the bar while others enjoy drinks at their tables. The restaurant has an elegant, streamlined appearance, one that makes you feel as though you're dining in high society. It's a no-frills menu at the Capital Grille. The appetizers are worth a look, but true steak enthusiasts will appreciate the simplicity of dining options. While there are a multitude of alternatives, those who opt for something other than red meat are missing out on a truly scrumtrilescent experience. For starters, the soups and salads are worthy of mention, but the more adventurous will try the Lobster and Crab Cakes ($13.95). It's more than enough for one person and just enough to leave two people with plenty of room for the main course. Those looking for more punch might try the Fried Calamari with Cherry Peppers ($9.95), although be forewarned that it has some kick. The main course is a matter of personal preference. But regardless of your choice, the sight of juice oozing out from the steak as it sits on your plate will entice you to dig right in. You can't go wrong with the Filet ($28.95 for a 14 oz.), which arrives tall, thick and cooked to perfection. If a filet is the standard bearer for judging a steakhouse, the Capital Grille is likely the best in the city. The soft, buttery taste of the steak will make you forget the price and appreciate it all the way to the last bite. For those looking for something on the bone, the 24 oz. Porterhouse steak ($32.95) is worth your while. While not as thick as the Filet, it is cooked to the same even-colored perfection throughout and might be the best value on the menu. At around $5.00, the side dishes are not overwhelming, but the mashed potatoes are a solid choice. And there's no beating the creamed spinach, which is a perfect complement to any steak. If you've saved room for dessert (which is difficult at the Capital Grille), try either the Chocolate Hazelnut Cake ($6.95) or the Flourless Chocolate Cake ($5.95). Both are big enough to share and are rich enough to make you full after two forkfuls. And if you enjoy after-dinner drinks, you will certainly not be disappointed by the large array of ports and single-malt scotches. So if you're a steak-lover, the Capital Grille is the cream of Philadelphia's extensive crop. The prices are a little steep, but if you're going to dine with the high-rollers, you'll have to spend like one.
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