I'm always shocked/amazed/surprised (pick one) when I'm talking to a fellow Salemite and they don't have an inkling about the dining gems we have in town. I know Rebekah has written about the transformation of the block just south of the court house on her blog, "Look What's Happening in Salem". Me? I get downright giddy talking (to anyone who'll listen) about it.
Our happy hour group had La Capitale on our list from the beginning, but a visit on another day of the week was necessary as they're closed on Mondays. Sadly, that meant Amy couldn't join us. Rebekah and I synchronized our twitter and arranged to meet a quarter past happy hour's start. I easily found a spot to park along Court St. and enjoyed the short brisk walk to my destination. I followed another customer through the front doors and around the entrance's corner to the beautiful bar, where I secured one of the last tables for the two of us.
It's obvious that every detail was carefully considered when la Capitale's chef/owner, David Rosales, made the decision to open this restaurant. What a gift to his faithful customers! Sadly, I didn't take the time to snap photos while we were there. I spent my time savoring Rebekah's company and the atmosphere around me. I'd been reading on twitter about the talents of la Cap's bartender. If you follow him (on twitter) you'll be tempted to drive to the bar every day of the week they're open. Why? His infused liquors and use of fresh ingredients.
I decided on a Limon Drop and an order of pomme frites. Rebekah ordered a Bistro Salad (she said the goat cheese toast that comes on the side is amazing) and asked if there were any special drinks. The bartender said no, but to see what he could come up with. He returned with a warm, creamy, drink in a small brandy snifter. It reminded me a little of a hot toddy. BUT better than any I've ever had. My Limon Drop made me wish I could safely continue on down the drink menu. The pomme frites were hot and crisp with just enough salt. Some of the best fries I've ever eaten.
If it's any indication of my overall impression, I shared the experience with several co-workers the next day. It's a safe bet that describes our experience better than a number rating.
508 State Street(503) 585-1975