As Cap City Fine Diner was just starting out more than 24 years ago, the culinary team wanted to develop dishes that had a nod to familiar comfort food that guests would love, but were elevated to fit the “fine diner” concept. In looking at classic dishes for the menu, meatloaf was a natural choice; however, the culinary team knew it had a challenge developing the perfect “fine diner” meatloaf.
The creation of this guest favorite dish was a team effort. According to Ian Rough, Regional Chef, “The culinary team worked collaboratively over several weeks, making meatloaf dish after meatloaf dish. The team tasted each dish and continued to iterate, week after week. Their goal was to make sure our meatloaf was delicious and heartwarming, but didn’t taste like something like grandma made.”
What makes the Cap City Diner meatloaf so special? The layers of flavor. “We start the meatloaf with a blend of beef, pork and veal, which gives this dish a depth of flavor and a tender texture that’s typically experienced in meatballs. We then layer in wild mushrooms, which are sautéed until golden brown. The cooked mushrooms are folded into the meat mixture and add a nutty, earthy flavor throughout the meatloaf,” said Rough.
Using fresh, high quality ingredients make this dish extraordinary. “We sell a lot of meatloaf, so we’re making meatloaves every day to keep up with the demand. From the start, we only use the freshest, highest quality ingredients – from the meat mix, to the breadcrumbs made in house, to the freshly cut mushrooms – and mold each meatloaf by hand,” commented Rough.
Several of our guests note our unique and tangy meatloaf gravy. “While most meatloaf recipes are topped with ketchup or tomato sauce, we wanted to take it up a notch. What we came up with was a sweet barbecue gravy that gives the dish a little more pizazz,” said Rough.
While the meatloaf generally takes center stage, the final details help to set this dish apart. “We toast a fresh piece of locally made buttermilk bread and place it on the bottom of the dish, add a slice of the meatloaf, then add our creamy, buttermilk chive mashed potatoes, crisp, fresh broccoli, and top the dish with our gravy and chili onion rings,” added Rough.
Whether you’re a long-time lover or a new fan, our meatloaf is a classic dish that epitomizes the Cap City Fine Diner experience: simple, flavorful and fresh comfort food.