57 Eighth St.
Antares is open from 5:30 p.m. to close seven days a week. Reservations are recommended but not required.
Age dulls the taste buds, something Paul “Rocky” LeBrun has come to realize firsthand. In response, LeBrun, the executive chef and co-owner of Steamboat’s Antares restaurant, has adopted a fresh approach to his work, incorporating bolder flavors and spices into the eclectic variety of dishes he prepares.
Classified as new American cuisine, Antares boasts a menu sure to please any connoisseur of fine food.
The restaurant’s Pacific Rim focus is evident from its Cantonese chicken and pork pot sticker appetizer to its Thai chili prawns entree. But LeBrun includes a variety of other styles and tastes on the menu, including the Indian-influenced grilled Bengali prawns and the Rocky Mountain-inspired Elk Capone.
Of course, French culinary practices play a major role in LeBrun’s cooking. Trained at the Culinary Institute of America, LeBrun began his professional career with stints at several high-profile East Coast French restaurants, including New York’s L’Bruge Bretton. The French, LeBrun says, are the best in the world at coaxing flavors out of food.
Patrons who dine in Antares’ elegant yet understated interior have the pleasure of choosing from a menu sure to please any appetite.
For starters, Antares offers miso encrusted chicken skewers with pickled ginger aoili, the Cantonese chicken and pork pot stickers, an Asian pear salad, a house salad and a chef’s choice combo platter featuring an array of appetizers chosen each evening by LeBrun. Antares’ house salad features gourmet greens, fresh apple and avocado, Romano cheese, grape tomatoes and sugared walnuts. The salad is tossed with an orange Muscat vinaigrette. The Asian pear salad features caramelized Asian pear, pecans and gorgonzola cheese over Bibb lettuce and is tossed with a champagne tarragon vinaigrette.
For entrees, the smashingly popular Mix Grill allows LeBrun to pick an assortment of meats and sauces to accompany them. Wild game such as elk and quail often make up part of the mix grill, as do more traditional meats such as sausage and lamb chops.
The Thai chili prawns are sauteed with broccoli, red bell peppers and shitake mushrooms in a spicy green coconut curry and served over Jasmati rice.
The tournedos of beef LeBrun are sauteed tenderloin medallions with a Port wine and fresh shallot sauce. The dish is served with angel hair pasta tossed with parmesan cheese and fresh herbs.
Other dinner selections include a sesame crusted Ahi tuna salad, Cantonese baby back ribs, grilled leg of lamb, pan-seared North Atlantic salmon and veal Marsala – a veal tenderloin sauteed in a Marsala mushroom sauce and served with angel hair pasta.
All of Antares’ desserts are made on premises, and the revolving menu often includes homemade ice creams and sorbets.
In addition to its fine food offerings, Antares boasts an extensive wine list that’s a 10-time winner of Wine Spectator Magazine’s Award of Excellence. “We spend hours tasting wine so it will accent the food,” LeBrun said. “We have to have a contrast between the food and wine so they can accent each other.”
The wine list features more than 200 selections from around the world and covering five continents.
The role of wine is to cleanse the palate between bites, LeBrun said, and his knowledgeable wait staff can help diners selected the ideal wines for their meals.
The restaurant is housed in the historic First National Bank building in downtown Steamboat Springs.
The interior of the restaurant has changed little over the past 30 years, blending a Victorian feel with the natural wood floors and large stone fireplaces characteristic of the American West. Antares’ bar and parlor area are a local’s favorite. The bar, known for its martinis, offers 27 different varieties of vodka and a casual and quiet atmosphere for happy hour cocktails or late-night refreshers.
Lucky patrons might even spot a supernatural occurrence. The historic building is rumored to be home to a friendly ghost, the spirit of “Old Man Shaw” who died in an upstairs apartment long ago.
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User Legend: Moderator Trusted User
It seems like the best celestial events too often happen in the wee hours of the morning, in the cold dead of winter.