Consider These Tips When Adjusting Your Winter Menu

Consider These Tips When Adjusting Your Winter Menu

As the chillier months hit most of the states, it is time to make menu changes to keep dishes relevant. Winter menu planning is now. Delicate zucchini, little heirloom tomatoes and sweet berries are heading south for the winter. Dig deep to pull out the more burly elements of your repertoire.

Is Seasonality Real?

We still serve tomatoes on a burger, even in February. So seasonal menu changes aren’t always the only impetus to change. Rather, bending around customers’ desire to beef-up their plates makes sense for this time of the year. Reflect those changing tastes to keep seats full and not look like you missed the flow of the seasons. Baked and roasted dishes, for instance, play on the sentiment of the season versus simply grilled or chilled preparations. Chicago’s Boka gets all seasonal with cold weather’s shiny elements, like caramelized celery root and cabbage with their roasted venison dish. And their roasted chicken is equally winterized with preserved mushrooms, rutabaga and delicata squash.

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The Capital Grille: A Fine-Dining Chain Success

The Capital Grille: A Fine-Dining Chain Success

By Kerri Adams, Managing Editor 

The Capital Grille is one of the many brands operated by Darden Restaurants . But out of all the fine dining chains that the firm owns, including Eddie V's Prime Seafood and Season 52, The Capital Grille is the most successful. The fine-dining segment is crowded with other upscale steakhouses, including Ruth's Chris Steak House, Morton's The Steakhouse, Fleming's Prime Steakhouse, Texas De Brazil, Shula's Steak House– to name a few. Nonetheless, this restaurant continues to expand, with over 50 restaurants in roughly 20 states. 

How the Brand Reached Success Against the Odds

The opening of the first The Capital Grille was risky for two reasons. One it first opened in 1990, during the ongoing recession and in Providence, RI. Downtown Providence was not the downtown it is today with the upscale and dining at Providence Place (which opened in 1999.) The downtown area was a bit rundown and was needing some tender  love and care. However, this is where the founder Edward P. "Ned" Grace, III decided to open the first location. From humble beginnings, the restaurant's initial success lead to the opening of other chains in city markets, including the neighboring cities Boston and DC. The Providence location is projected to move by July 2015 from it's original location to a larger location in the GTECH center. The fine dining restaurant has been celebrated today with several awards– the brand was named one of the top 50 American restaurants in Open Table’s Diners’ Choice Awards and has won a number of “Best of Awards of Excellence” from Wine Spectator magazine.

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