The grill masters at Caminito Argentinean Steakhouse stay true to their culinary roots with a distinctly South American cooking tradition, which begins with hormone-free meat from cows that were fed a vegetable-only diet and raised on pastures instead of in cages. Manning a cast-iron grill stoked by locally sourced hardwoods, the expert chefs fire-kiss select cuts of beef to smoky perfection, infusing filet mignons, skirt steaks, and short ribs with rustic flavors that pair harmoniously with the restaurant’s robust selection of Argentinean red wines.
Although Caminito’s wood-fired steaks have earned it the Valley Advocate’s award for Best Steak House from 2010 through 2013, the menu proves that the restaurant does not live and die by expertly charred beef. Lobster-filled ravioli, pan-seared salmon, and seasoned chicken breasts showcase the kitchen team’s culinary repertoire, in addition to vegetarian entrees that aren't just snapshots of steak printed on soy paper. Refreshing sips of ale from Peak Organic Brewing Company complement hearty bites, and spoonfuls of flan and mousse bring meals to their bittersweet conclusion. On weekends, the acoustic strumming of guitarist Alvaro Olvera Sanchez nourishes famished ears with flamenco notes and classic Spanish songs.
Named Valley Advocate’s Best Steakhouse for five years in a row, Opa Opa Steakhouse and Brewery grills an array of steak cuts—ranging from sirloin tips to prime rib—to a juicy and house-recommended medium rare. Beyond its steaks, the eatery’s grub follows the same Southwestern theme as its dining room’s decorative touches, which includes a wagon wheels and a cattle skull. The kitchen’s carefully roasted baby-back ribs, barbecued chicken, and pulled pork complements homestyle favorites such as meatloaf, lasagna, and fish and chips. All of the hearty entrees pair with sides that run the gamut from fries to cowboy beans. An array of beers, encompassing award-winning pours such as Red Rock Amber Ale and King Oak Milk Stout, wash meals down more effectively than a good, long yawn in front of water slide. Opa Opa Steakhouse and Brewery also caters events on-site or at the customer's choice of location.
Swirls of sauce and fresh orchid blossoms adorn entrees at Hirosaki Prime, where chefs craft traditional and contemporary Japanese dishes. At tabletop grills throughout the 54-seat hibachi room, they blend cooking and performance in a showy display as they sauté vegetables and seasoned meats. In the smaller lounge, alit with votive candles, otherworldly artwork, and walls inlaid with a soft red glow, guests can sample other Japanese dishes such as chicken teriyaki, as well as specialty sushi rolls such as the Ninja roll, whose shrimp tempura, cucumber, and spicy tuna hide in plain sight.
As Italian eateries go, Peppercorn?s is a chameleon. Entrees can be elegant?grilled salmon over mesclun, steak tips with a seafood casserole?or downright comforting, such as a pot roast with natural pan gravy. Families have an easy time ordering thanks to the thin-crust pizzas and kids' menu, whereas more mature crowds enjoy the benefits of Peppercorn?s proximity to Wormtown Brewery. The craft-beer producers are just next door, so they keep Peppercorn?s bar stocked with their regular brews, rare offerings, and to-go growlers. In the lounge, seven high-definition flat screen TVs broadcast the day?s athletic proceedings, and here spectators can order anything off the full menu while they second-guess the manager's decision to replace the catcher with a pyramid of fragile milk bottles.
Tucked into the rolling greenery of the White Mountains, The Woodshed Restaurant resides in a converted 19th-century farmhouse and barn. The decor reflects the rustic charm of the setting, but the menu features plenty of modern treats. Chefs coat duck breast and confit leg in a cherry port wine reduction, or age steak tips in a sweet bourbon marinade. Though inland, they're still close enough to the sea to get fresh scallops, which they wrap in applewood bacon and serve alongside fire-roasted corn salsa. They follow up meals with all-American desserts such as apple crisp with vanilla ice cream, Denver chocolate pudding, and the chef's choice of flavored cheesecake.
Ken's Steak House is an improbable success story. Ken and Florence Hanna opened the Lakeside Cafe in 1935, the throes of the Great Depression. Bite by bite, they built a loyal base of customers (who always just called the eatery "Ken's"), and after five years, the restaurant took up residence in a small diner on Route 9, then known as Starvation Alley.
But Ken dreamed of a day when the grimly named strip would flourish. Today, it's known as the "Golden Mile"—and Ken's Steak House itself has mushroomed. The kitchen still serves the salad dressing recipes created by Florence Hanna—now a national line of salad dressings—and Ken's son, Timothy, and his wife are in charge.
Chefs broil and fire-grill prime cuts of steak, marinating the chateaubriand's center cut roast tenderloin in a reduction of port wine, or infusing the 8-ounce filet mignon with the earthy smoked notes of the warm cedar planks it's served on. Seafood options nestle up against their turf counterparts, including bacon-wrapped scallops, a full pound of lobster stuffed with crab and shrimp, and pistachio-crusted Atlantic salmon. Chicken and pasta dishes round out the menu, and diners discover Italian influences and plenty of seafood-pasta plates. The rustic wood paneling harkens back to Ken's Steak House's roots, and the upscale fare and soft light cast from chandeliers make the spot an ideal choice for an anniversary dinner or a piñata's last meal.