By Linda Hayes | November 21, 2014 | Food & Drink
Samantha and Craig Cordts-Pearce elevate Aspen's penchant for prime cuts with the eclectic Steak House No. 316.
In the colder months, Aspenites flock to Steak House No. 316 for its hearty, stick-to-your-ribs fare, such as this 20-ounce bone-in cowboy ribeye with roasted garlic.
“It’s the quintessential steakhouse,” says Samantha Cordts-Pearce of Steak House No. 316, the landmark East Hopkins Avenue restaurant she owns with her husband, Craig. “The difference is, here, we focus on 100 percent prime meats, which are hard to get these days.”
Another difference is the setting—a meticulously restored miner’s cabin which, thanks to the couple’s collector sensibilities and Craig’s handiwork, is quintessential Aspen circa 1888. The “hunting wall” beside the Carrara marble bar is hung with animal mounts and antique guns. Elaborately framed photos of “ladies of the night” are mounted on period brick walls. In back, a private, curtained dining space features an image of Lulu Wilson, a widow and famous midcentury Aspen character who once owned the cabin, and after whom the Cordts-Pearce’s prior restaurant, in the same space, was named. “It’s like Lulu Wilson matured into the madam of Aspen,” Craig says. “She never really went away.”
Amid this ephemera, diners settle into red velvet booths. White linen-topped tables are covered in enormous steaks—prime filet, New York strip, cowboy ribeye, and porterhouse, as well as American Kobe filet and flat iron cuts served in cast-iron skillets. And, this being Aspen, there’s also an ample selection of well-prepared fish and fowl: Colorado striped bass, herb-roasted chicken. The signature kale salad, which originated at Lulu Wilson, is revered.
All of this is accented by specialized service from employees who have been with the restaurant for years and are nurtured by the Cordts-Pearces (who, in case this is your first time around town, also own The Wild Fig, Brexi Brasserie, and CP Burger). “It’s our passion,” says Craig. “We design and build. But we also do wine tastings and give feedback on dishes…. We live here.” 316 E. Hopkins Ave., 970-920-1893
photography by c2 photography