Sunday, July 25, 2010

Capstone Grill & Sarris Ice Cream

If you live in the eastern part of the USA, then you probably experienced the same horrible hot & humid weather that Pittsburghers experienced yesterday. At 11 am told me it was 86 degrees and felt 90+. Swell. So what did SP & I do? Go to a pool? Hunker down in the a/c? Nope. We went car shopping. The whole car saga is for another post, but suffice to say that after 2 dealers we were successful in acquiring a new car and at 5:30 pm Saturday afternoon, we decided we needed to celebrate the new car purchase and cool off with drinks & dinner.We were in McMurray, dangerously close to Sarris Candies and their homemade ice cream, so we decided to change our plans and instead of a Squirrel Hill dinner followed by Te Cafe, we chose a place in McMurray at which neither if us had eaten: Capstone Grill.

It's on Route 19/Washington Road and I think, but I could very well be wrong, but I think it was once upon a time a Freddie's - ? No matter. We entered the cool, dark restaurant. A bar/lounge is off to the right and the dining area off to the left. We were asked if we had called ahead for seating (uhhh no oops) but we didn't have to wait; they seated us right away. I quickly perused the wine/cocktail menu and decided to have a sangria while SP opted for Blue Moon beer.It was so hot and I was so thirsty that I started sucking down the sangria at a rapid pace. It was tasty - especially on such a hot day when I didn't really want alcohol but a wine drink with fruit sounded lovely.

We decided to start with an appetizer of Classic Calamari (tossed in buttermilk & seasoned flour, fried and served with marinara).My first bite of calamari seemed a tad too rubbery & chewy. The marinara sauce, however, was really good. The calamari got better the more I ate and the marinara was so good that we ended up eating all of it.

Salads come with entrees and for his salad, SP chose the daily salad special, a salad of 'Romaine Greens, Strawberries, Toasted Almonds, Red Onion, & Feta Cheese tossed w/Champagne Vinaigrette.'He really, really enjoyed the salad. I just tried a bite of feta! I chose a house salad with balsamic vinegar dressing:Apologies for the blurry photo. There were some lovely greens, cucumber chunks, a few cherry tomatoes, and croutons - it was a very nice side salad and I ate all of it. Along with our salads we were served a basket of bread with a sun-dried tomato dipping oil:The olive oil was very tasty - sun-dried tomato dipping oil is probably my favorite dipping oil - and the bread was pretty good, too.

For his entree, SP chose trout. Apologies for the blurry photo -- I don't use a flash in restaurants and it was so dark and the exposure time so long that I think I moved a bit too soon and caused all 3 trout photos to blur. This was the least blurry!Like at many fish restaurants (like Mitchell's) you can choose your fish and then choose how you would like it prepared. SP chose Cajun Honey Mango. He really enjoyed it. The fish looked very thin and I wondered if it was over cooked but he said no, it was just right and the mango sauce was excellent. Some other preparation styles are Orange Mandarin, Peppercorn Rub, Basil Aioli, Teriyaki Wasabi, Thai Chili BBQ Sauce, Almond Crusted with Banana Butter, and Balsamic Glaze.

For his vegetable side he chose the daily special of pureed cauliflower and carrots:This was very tasty. In fact, it was so tasty that at some point, we would like to try making a pureed cauliflower dish at home.

I chose Portabella & Spinach Manicotti (filled with baby leaf spinach and seasoned ricotta cheese, baked and topped with portabella mushrooms, tomato cream sauce and asiago cheese).Oh my gosh this was so good!! The tomato cream sauce was excellent - I mopped some of it up with some of the bread. The two manicotti were a very nice size and filled with lots of ricotta and spinach. The portabella slices on top the manicotti had a very tasty smokey, earthy, mushroom taste. I ate only one of the manicotti and brought the other one home for lunch today.

Capstone Grill also serves entree salads and sandwiches. We were very happy with our meals. Our server was fine. Our entrees arrived before we were done with our salads and she apologized but that's not her fault. The hostess was very friendly. The manager (or owner) walked through the dining area, stopping to say hello to people and to check on their meals. It wasn't too crowded when we arrived, but about 15 minutes later the place filled up. I'm not a fan of places with lots of mirrors on walls, which Capstone Grill has, but the mirrors do the job of projecting a space larger than it really is. It was nice and cool but not too cool, the blinds were closed to keep out the sun, it was maybe a bit too dark, but I think that was more my eyes having difficulty going from the bright sunshine to the dark inside. We would definitely go back.

We were too full for dessert, plus the whole reason we chose to eat in McMurray was to stay in the vicinity of Sarris Candies!! After dinner we went to Sarris Ice Cream Parlour. It's been a very long time since either of us enjoyed some Sarris ice cream. SP quickly made his selection: an Oregon Peach ice cream milkshake. It was HUGE!!! With whipped cream on top and a pirouette cookie sticking out the side. He really enjoyed it but didn't finish it all - he brought some home.I chose a scoop of Mint Chocolate Chip ice cream in a bowl. Yes, this is one serving. One scoop:With a pirouette cookie. The ice cream was very good and I really enjoyed eating it while sitting in the bright red colored parlour but my gosh that was a lot of ice cream! I brought some of it home. I held it right in front of the a/c vent the whole 25 minute drive home but it still managed to melt quite a bit because of the oppressive heat & humidity.

Capstone Grill on Urbanspoon


  1. I'm glad the capstone grill was good. Will have to think about that the next time we're heading that way!

  2. I've passed Capstone Grill a million times but never thought to stop in. Glad to see that it's worth a stop.

    Having a short drive to Sarris Candies is one of the greatest benefits of living in the Deep South Hills.

  3. Thanks for the detailed and illustrated review of Capstone Grill. After reading mixed reviews on Urbanspoon, I checked out your blog. You've convinced me to meet a friend there for lunch tomorrow. Looking forward to it! :)

    Oh, and Sarris ice cream parlor? Happiest place in western PA! Glad you enjoyed it!