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The Capital Bistro: Industrial Chic Charm and Fresh Local Food

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The first thing I noticed as I entered The Capital Bistro, also known as The Capital: American Eatery and Lounge, is the decor. It felt like home, with high ceilings, exposed brick and that industrial feel of metal mixed with wood décor. Metal pipe with metal elbow joints section off the seating areas and there is a row of church pews that makes up one side of the seating for the tables. I loved the decor so much I was hoping I would enjoy the food as well!

My companion and I had to sample an order of the Chip Platter, house-made chips with an assortment of dipping sauces. The chips were sliced on the thicker side, but still crunchy and seasoned with salt and pepper with a little bit of heat. The dipping sauces change regularly; the selections for that evening included a salmon with dill and pistachio, lobster and clam and my favorite, a sour cream salsa. The two seafood sauces had very subtle flavors and the sour cream salsa packed a bit of a punch, but the sour cream tempered the heat of both the chips and the salsa. We also shared an order of the Pork Dumplings. The dumplings were a little bland, but the ginger soy sauce with a hint of orange was delicious and added some needed flavor to the dumplings.

I was in a meat-and-potato kind of mood, so I chose the Filet Mignon. According to the menu, it was to be wrapped in bacon and served with a mushroom demi glace. I requested a substitution of the herbed butter for the demi glace and my request was cheerfully accommodated, however, the filet arrived without the bacon. Truthfully, I got through the entire meal without even noticing because the herb butter was such an incredible complement to the steak and added that fat content the bacon would have provided. My entree came with mashed potatoes. I guess I’m so used to everyone adding things to mashed potatoes that I almost forgot how delicious real mashed potatoes, done right, can taste! My companion opted for some comfort food, The Capital Grilled Cheese. This was an adult grilled cheese that combined cheddar and brie and was perfect dipped in the Tomato Soup that came with the sandwich. My companion had that happy, contented smile on her face.

The dessert menu changes regularly, so our server explained the offerings to us. We chose two offerings from Junior’s Bakery in Times Square, one of my favorite places to go before or after a show in Manhattan. My companion chose the Chocolate Candy Bar Explosion. It was wrapped in chocolate ganache and topped with a variety of chopped candy bars. Although the ganache and candy bars were sweet, the dessert overall had a nice balance. I chose the Red Velvet Tower. It was layers of red velvet cake alternating with a cream cheese filling and topped with the same, then rolled in red velvet cake crumbs. Prior to arrival, my companion and I had a lively discussion about whether red velvet cake was made with chocolate or vanilla cake. I am happy to report the answer is chocolate cake. This dessert is quite intimidating; I would suggest that two or even three people could easily share this dessert. It is worth every bite!

If you are looking for a great place in downtown Albany for dinner before a show or hockey game or for dessert afterward, The Capital Bistro is a great choice and the location is convenient to the Capital Rep, Palace Theater or the Times Union Center. HLM

Visit The Capital Bistro, also known as The Capital: American Eatery and Lounge at 55 North Pearl Street in Albany, New York. Call 518-694-3122 for more information, and visit for menu previews and to make reservations. At, you can preview drink specials and other special events.


Joanne DiMarco lives most of her life living the Good Life in upstate New York.  She graduated from Paul Smith’s College with a degree in Hotel and Restaurant Management.  She is currently an Associate Real Estate Broker with Select Sotheby’s International Realty and the owner of My Sales Diva.  She is known for her exceptional networking skills, fund raising and charitable works.  Check out her blog at