On Harrisburg’s N. 2nd Street, between South and Pine streets, the once sparkling, nightlife shine of that block (dim since the closing of Ceoltas Irish Pub and The Quarter) once again beacons bright to the city’s spirit-revelers and culinary connoisseurs.
In late June, business partners Erik Sohadze and Anatoly Gutman opened Capital Gastropub, and by September, they will follow suit with Bridge’s Social Club across the street.
“My partner and I just moved from New York City,” Sohadze explains. “I had been working for one of the most famous restaurants in Manhattan – The Russian Tea Room. We wanted to bring Manhattan elegance to downtown Harrisburg. …When we first came to Harrisburg, I was 100-percent sure that this was the right place to invest because we want to bring a renaissance back to 2nd Street Harrisburg.”
With Chef Jeffrey Utzman (of Carlisle’s 1794 Whiskey Rebellion renown) at the helm for cuisine, Capital Gastropub boasts an impressive menu.
“We hit American classics, like steaks and seafood, along with traditional British pub fare, like fish-and-chips and shepherd’s pie,” Sohadze explains. “Everything is prepared with the best ingredients.”
To complement the menu, Capital Gastropub also offers a unique and tasty beverage selection.
“We serve only craft beers and Prohibition-style cocktails,” Sohadze says. “We also have an amazing selection of wines – old-world, new-world and premium.”
In addition to the first-floor bar and dining room, there is the second floor reserved for private parties and events (called The Empire Room) as well as the seasonally popular rooftop garden.
Both Sohadze and his business partner believe in the Harrisburg restaurant scene, and their hefty investment to resurrect two former staples is proof of their commitment.
“We are literally bringing these two buildings back to life. We see the potential, and we want to keep going further and further.”
Top 3 Must-Sample Appetizers
1. Shark Board: Seared Ahi tuna sliced thin, dayboat seared scallops and wonton-wrapped shrimp with wasabi ginger drizzle and soy sauce.
2. Nahis: Wonton crisps, wasabi dust, seared Ahi tuna, avocado, grape tomatoes, scallions, ginger salsa and wasabi aioli.
3. Elk Carpaccio: Seared herb-crusted elk tenderloin with pink peppercorn and pinot noir currant demi sauce.
Top 3 Must-Order Entrées
1. Drunken Sailors: Broiled seafood combo made up of three jumbo shrimp, four ounces of dayboat scallops and one crab cake with chardonnay lemon butter, mashed Yukon potatoes and a seasonal vegetable.
2. Gastro Ribeye: A 14-ounce, bone-in, spice-rubbed ribeye with two sides.
3. Boston Lobsta: Gently steamed Maine lobster salad with celery and Boston Bibb lettuce on a butter-toasted brioche roll.
Top 3 Happy-Hour Must-Haves
1. The Last Word: Reposado tequila, green chartreuse, maraschino and fresh lemon – shaken.
2. Hemingway Daiquiri: Aged rum, maraschino, fresh grapefruit and fresh lime – shaken.
3. Scottish Pear: Single malt, fine gin, organic pear, agave and fresh lemon – served up.
Capital Gastropub (310 N. 2nd St., Harrisburg) is open Monday through Wednesday 11 a.m. to 11 p.m., Thursday through Saturday 11 a.m. to 2 a.m. and Sunday 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Capital Gastropub also offers a Manhattan Express Lunch (three-course meal for $9.95) Monday through Friday 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., High Tea daily from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., bar specials, live entertainment and much more. For more information, call (717) 200-3155 or visit capitalgastropub.com.