We had tried to go to Capeo a long while back before we realized they don't do lunch service. This time, I made reservations to ensure we got in and wouldn't have to wait. When we arrived, the hostess greeted us as if we were old friends, and our table was ready to go. We were seated and had cocktails (a white Russian for D and a Tanqueray 10 martini for me), and before long had decided to do the Capeo Dinner--six courses and dessert. They will let you choose your own courses for the table, or you can go with chef's choice. We went with the chef's choice, only requesting that we not get any sweetbreads (we just weren't in the mood for glandular dining). Here's what we were treated to:
Fried Fish: We saw this on the menu and initially were like "ok," but not wowwed by the idea. The reality, however, was quite different. This was no sodden log of deep fried cod--instead, it was a lovely nest of squid, scallops, and shrimp done in an incredibly light dredge and perfectly cooked. We could have eaten mountains of it.
Caprese Salad: Made with house-made mozzerella and the chef's home-grown tomatoes and herbs, this was a hit.
Tomato Soup: I'm sure there was cream in there--and some nutmeg, perhaps--gorgeous.
Fettucine Alfredo: Perfect. Pasta was fresh, al-dente, and luxurious. Just enough sauce to make it fantastic, no gloppy mess, no stodgy-ness.
Halibut: A beautiful piece of halibut that flaked off in sheets. This was simmered in its natural broth along with tomatoes, artichoke hearts, and kalmata olives. Very similar to a puttanesca sauce in terms of tartness and spice. We were slowing down at this point, but it was so good you wanted to keep eating, even though you risked your pants button shooting across the room and blinding another patron.
Elk Chop: The best piece of red meat I've ever put in my mouth. The chop was dredged in peppercorns (au poivre) and seared, then served with a light brandy-cream sauce that had a hint of parmesan.
Dessert: We were going to box it and take it home, but somehow, managed to get it down with a cup of coffee. I'm not sure how we fit it in, but the chocolate mousse was great.
It took us close to three hours from start to finish, but we now feel like we've got a pretty great grasp of the menu, and are planning on going back. Capeo takes reservations online and by phone (see the link above) and they also have an extensive wine list (you can peer into the cellar on your way in and out of the dining room). We sampled glasses of Cantele “Salento” Primitivo and Penfolds “Koonunga Hill” Shiraz Cabernet as we ate our meal, and you can also bring your own bottle ($17 corkage fee).