WLM Winter 2013-14 - Page 43

WLM I recently had the pleasure one Saturday night of enjoying FireRock Steakhouse and J’s Pub & Grill, both owned by Johnson Restaurant Group, with friends Ken & Sondra Stoecklin of Casper’s Beartooth Photography. First place we visited on our night out – FireRock Steakhouse, on East 2nd Street in Casper. Whenever I drive by or bring magazines by the restaurant, I always salivate over the exterior. The use of wood and stone are both masculine and welcoming – and excite my inner design diva. Add in rich earth tones, a patio for an outdoor dining experience and one instantly recognizes that this building plays off elements of the Wyoming landscape. These facets continue inside the restaurant, between the mammoth stone fireplace, dining area, private dining rooms and bar. The ambience is warm through the use of rich wood tones, copper, muted light and glass. I couldn’t help but look around me, and I noticed many other patrons doing the same. While the ceilings are tall, the atmosphere is cozy, and the warm oranges and reds created by the lighting offer a chromo therapeutic dining experience. The second thing I noticed when we stepped inside – the place was packed for a late Saturday night. The bar was full, diners filled the tables, and the energy was high. We joined a group of the Stoecklin’s friends at the bar and settled into drinks, appetizers such as Calamari FireRock and their famous dinner rolls. The menu describes Calamari FireRock, “Golden fried calamari sautéed in garlic butter and tossed with banana peppers; served with | taste Diablo sauce,” (or ‘Buffalo style’ and dressed with bleu), but the Stoecklins describe it as highly recommended. However, our fellow diners and those who responded to my Instagram picture posted from our night out raved about the steaks – and Wyomingites love their steaks. FireRock serves the finest USDA Certified Angus Choice Beef, from Sirloin and Ribeye to Prime Rib served daily after 4:00 PM and noon on Sunday. “Our steaks are hand cut, aged a minimum of 28 days and cooked to perfection over almond and oak on a wood fired grill,” FireRock says. Maybe you’re craving seafood? Try their Cedar Plank Salmon, Ahi Tuna Medallions or Alaskan King Crab Legs, just a sampling of their seafood menu. My husband is a burger lover, and I’m planning a trip back so he can sample his staple – and their ‘famous’ – Bacon Cheeseburger. He loves the basics. To cap our meal, we were paid a visit by the new head chef at FireRock, Brian Escalante. Coming to Casper from Las Vegas, Chef Escalante’s credentials are impressive, including fine dining establishments in the Bellagio, Cosmopolitan www.wyolifestyle.com 43