Periodic Table transports guests to 1920s New York City
STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — When customers walk through the doors of Periodic Table when it opens Wednesday, Dec. 18, at the Catamount Ranch and Club, owner Phil Armstrong hopes to take them back to a different time and place with each visit.
This winter that place will be New York City, 1920, but next summer, the theme and menu will be different, which is the beauty of Armstrong’s latest dining concept.
“Pat (culinary director Patrick Ayres) had a whole list of different concepts, and I had a really hard time choosing because I was in love with all of them,” Armstrong said. “I think with such a new concept to Steamboat, in terms of the way we’re changing everything, I wanted to open with something that is rather approachable, so that people could kind of latch on to what we’re doing.”
To get there, Armstrong is leaning on the culinary talents of Ayres, who moved to Steamboat Springs with his family in 2001. Ayres attended the Louisiana Culinary Institute after high school and worked as the executive sous chef at the James Beard award-winning Canlis Restaurant in Seattle, Washington.
He returned to Steamboat a few years ago to open and run Cloverdale Farm and Restaurant, which closed its doors in September 2018. He was then hired as the culinary director for Armstrong’s Destination Hospitality restaurant group, which includes Aurum Food & Wine, Table 79 Foodbar and The Periodic Table in Steamboat as well as Aurum Food & Wine Breckenridge.
“It’s just exciting for me to be able to do stuff that I’ve never done before,” Ayres said. “I get to dive into different cuisines. Normally, when you go to a restaurant here, that’s the cuisine. That’s what you do forever. But that’s not the case here.”
This winter the Periodic Table will be offering lobster thermidor, roasted Muscovy duck and chicken á la king as entrees. The starters menu will include oysters Rockefeller, foie gras torchon and lump crab beignets, and desserts will include baked Alaska and berry tarte. The bar will also feature 1920s inspire cocktails.
“We were trying to build as many experiences into this restaurant as possible,” Armstrong said. “Little touches, like when people enter we’re going to have complimentary sparkling for everyone, we’re going to be doing a table side martini cart and a table-side Caesar cart.”
He said the artwork on the walls, staff uniforms and table settings all reflect the period.
“The food is very authentic, and it’s plated the way it would have been plated back then,” Armstrong said.
The Periodic Table is located just seven minutes from downtown Steamboat in the clubhouse at the Catamount Ranch and Club.
“We still have a few openings for reservations, but we are pretty tight from Wednesday through Jan. 2,” Armstrong said. “There’s a limited number of tables, but there are definitely some openings for early and later reservations.”
Ayres said the menu was created following extensive research.
“We built the menu by pouring through the New York Public Library website,” Ayres said. “We looked at a ton of menus and tried to find repetitive things that were obviously popular because every restaurant had them on the menu.”
The Periodic Table will be open for dinner Wednesday through Sunday through March, and then the restaurant will reopen in summer 2020 with a completely different menu and concept.
Ayres said reservations are recommended, especially for the first few weeks, but the bar will be open to anyone who wants to walk in for dinner.
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