Aspen’s Best New Restaurant: Steakhouse No. 316

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Cowboy ribeye (photo by Brad A. Johnson)

Steakhouse chefs rarely garner much attention from the national press because, generally, if they’re doing things right, they’re not reinventing the wheel. Well, here’s one who deserves to be noticed: rising star chef Kathleen Crook at Aspen’s new Steakhouse 316. And no, she’s not reinventing the wheel, but that’s beside the point.

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The dining room; iceberg wedge; mussels; onion rings; bread pudding; staff (photos by Brad A. Johnson)

Crook is an incredible technician who really nails this concept.She serves enormous, outrageously fine steaks from a nearby herd, perfectly cooked and dramatically presented still sizzling in cast-iron skillets that barely fit on the tabletops. The onion rings are epic. She serves insanely plump mussels, steamed with jalapeños and garlic, served in Staub pots. She makes an iceberg wedge like nobody’s business. A single serving of bread pudding is as big as your head. The dining room is sexy as hell, too, swathed in black-and-white wallpaper, exposed brick, black lacquered wood, dark red velvet and crystal chandeliers. 316 E. Hopkins Ave., Aspen, 970-920-1893

For the full list of Aspen’s best restaurants, check out my story at Food Republic.

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