I travel a lot to the US, and usually reserve one night in the week for a really good (slightly expensive) meal. And by choice being in the southern US it tends to be a good steak or some juicy ribs. Once I got to my hotel in Raleigh North Carolina – Morrisville to be exact – I set up my wireless and found a high ranking steak house on Urbanspoo.com. It surprised me that it would be on the same street as the hotel since my hotel really was a quieter street off the highway but there it was, right next to my hotel: The Capital City Chop House. My expectations were quite high since Urbanspoon ratings were high for the area.
The hostess with her bedazzled hoodie should have been my first tip off that maybe this wasnt going to be a 4 star night. Once she knew I was dining alone she took me to the back of the restaurant to sit by my self secluded from any other diners. And then I was greeted by a lovely gentleman who offered me reheated buns and butter to go with my water.
The front page of my menu displayed this:
I know its a little blurry so let me retype something for you:
We put in the quality and time it takes to be better than the best…we take the time that others dont to make the dining here an exceptional experience…we serve the best available
Well I believed it. The server listed off a few of the top dishes including steaks, chops, and seafood. I asked which fish was fresh and after looking at me like I had four eyes said only the sea bass (and I think he named one other fish but I had made up my mind I was having the local sea bass). With the sea bass I was offered another side along with the bed of rice and spinach. I went with the peppered button mushrooms. In the meantime I sipped on my chardonnay and ate my bread. The plate came along while I was watching another server set up tables for a large group coming in, and you can see it looked beautiful. I was starving and the mushrooms spelled buttery and delicious. Here we go, I cut into the sea bass with my fork and… couldn’t. It was rubber. Dare I say, I needed a knife to cut into my sea bass.
I couldnt believe it myself so I looked up the normal texture of White Sea Bass. It is indeed a firmer fish so cooking this needs special attention, which sadly was not given here. Along with the bland rice and spinach I was smoothing each bite down with a gulp of chardonnay. So back to the quote above, I dont think they have achieved better than the best. Maybe another location is better, but I was already thinking about the candies I had in my overnight bag.