There’s a new steak house in town, and it’s vying for a spot as one of downtown Boulder’s best restaurants.
Prime steaks. Caesar salads made right at your table. A long list of house-made sauces.
Steakhouse No. 316 opened in December just off the Pearl Street Mall on 13th Street, where Conor O’Neill’s Irish Pub used to be. It’s the sister of the original Steakhouse No. 316, which husband-wife duo Samantha and Craig Cordts-Pearce opened in Aspen seven years ago.
It bills itself as a “boutique” steakhouse.
Steakhouse No. 316 only serves dinner; it’s open 4-10 p.m. Of course, steak is the spotlight here. The emphasis is on the top 2 percent prime meats — from Kansas City strip to rib-eye to bone-in filet and beyond — all served in a hot cast iron skillet. You can also find some unique options here, such as an American Kobe flat iron and a bison filet.
But the menu also spans unique sides, like Branding Iron Onion Rings, miso-glazed shishito peppers, wild mushroom gnocchi or bone marrow and steak tartare with a dijon crust, quail egg, fried cornichon and parmesan, as well as a large wine, local and international beer and cocktail selection.
Manhattans are a specialty. If you’re feeling the school spirit, order the Kiss of the Buffalo, a Manhattan made with local Buffalo Trace bourbon.
Not into steak? There’s also buttered lobster and tuna tartare, a full raw bar with oysters and plenty of fowl and fish options, such as a whole Dover sole served with shallot lemon brown butter.
The house sauces provide unique flavors to the plate, like cognac peppercorn demi or Argentinian chimichurri or blue cheese bone marrow butter.
Also, don’t overlook the unique experience of ordering a Tableside Caesar Salad. Servers have mastered this traditional art; it’s entertaining to watch, made right before your eyes.
Servers macerate fresh ingredients with two forks in an 18-inch, hand-carved, cherry wood bowl. The real art lies in the emulsification of oil into the mixture with precision, making a creamy and nuanced dressing. Tossed with romaine lettuce and croutons, the salad is plated and finished with white anchovies and fresh-cracked black pepper.
If you have space for dessert, prepare for indulgence with treats like Bourbon bread pudding with a salted caramel drizzle.
Beyond the plate, the atmosphere is romantic, elegant and dramatic. It doesn’t feel like anywhere else in Boulder. The restaurant seats 120, with many private nooks in deep reds and black, a marble bar, black lacquered walls, white tablecloths, velvet seats and a cozy fireplace.
The restaurant feels like a lavish step back in time, perhaps because of the 1920s-inspired art on the walls or the building itself, which dates back to the turn of the century.
In a bold move in animal-activist Boulder, Steakhouse No. 316 is even decorated by taxidermy animals and skulls.
The space doesn’t feel anything like the casual Irish pub it was for many years — the transformation so huge it can be hard to even imagine — making Steakhouse No. 316 stand out in a town known for its relaxed, mountain (and let’s face it, vegan) reputation.