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31 August, 2011

Capital Club 16

Posted in : Dining in Raleigh - NC, Restaurants, Spirits on by : The Gourmez

Capital Club 16
16 W. Martin Street
Downtown Raleigh
Entrees: $10–$18

About a week and a half ago, I went to Capital Club 16 with the Social Media Supper Club, which is always a fun time of trying a restaurant together.

The Supper Club tw-eaters this go-round.

I quite liked Capital Club 16, which may be related to its reputation as a hipster locale—I think I meet several of the vastly changing definitions of hipster, and I’m not afraid to admit it. Especially when being hipster means enjoying a relaxed dinner in a room with tasteful, rather than boring, white walls full of light and most importantly, delicious cocktails.

That is the Moore County Moonshine cocktail, made with Gentleman Jack moonshine, peach-mint preserves, triple sec, and a mint sprig garnish. The peach-mint combination made for a delicious drink that was just a little too sweet.

The menu is a blend of classed-up Southern American comfort food and German specialties.

Contemplating the menu options.

The former consists of items like skillet macaroni and cheese made with white cheddar, gouda, and jarlsberg and roasted chicken with dill cucumber and potato salads. The latter includes schnitzel sandwiches and sausage platters of varying sizes and ingredients. For the meat lovers among you, the Butcher Plate is a pretty good deal at $12 per person for mixed grilled sausages, smoked pork chops, griddled pork belly with sauerkraut, hand-cut spaetzle and gravy, sautéed apples, and house mustards.  Not loving meat that much, I opted to start with the pimento cheese and fig crostinis with apple jam.

They were fantastic. The pimento cheese was sharp and zingy. That doesn’t look like much fig, but its flavor was pretty intense. I believe they were somewhat dehydrated, and each slice managed to bestow its essence on the whole crostini.

A few orders of shanny fries also came as appetizers.

Those were perfectly seasoned fries for me, and the trio of dipping aiolis was great. We also had the potato pancakes with caramelized onions and greens.

I didn’t try enough to develop an opinion of them, but they looked like they might compare with the potato pancakes I used to serve back at Little Prague in Davis, CA. I did try the currywurst, which came smothered in curry ketchup.

Good sausage, good sauce. Sausage doesn’t make me very verbose, I’m afraid. But you all know what does, right? More cocktails!

That was the Sir Walter Raleigh, and it’s a  of a drink. It’s made with gin, blood orange juice, triple sec, and candied lemon. The juice goes really well with the light licorice notes from the absinthe.

Next up was my main course.

Gorgeous colors. It was quinoa with wilted baby spinach, cranberries, roasted butternut squash, mint, sage, pecan crunches, and sweet potato-maple puree. I wasn’t expecting to love this, not being ready for the transition to fall menus yet, but the textures really won me over. The mushy puree with the crunch of pecans, chewiness of cranberries, and granular qualities of quinoa combined super well. The maple flavor was not overdone at all, which takes an excellent hand, as maple can easily dominate a dish. It was a pleasure to lick this plate clean.

So what did I think overall?

I agreed with Dawn in that picture. Capital Club 16 delivered on all drinks and dishes I ordered. I will be happy to go back again, though the menu is a bit limited if you aren’t in the mood for sausage.

Reviewed 18 Aug 11.

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