By Josh and Cassidy Geiger, Contributing Editors
On the edge of where the Great Plains meet the Rocky Mountains is Casper, Wyo., a town with a deep Western pedigree. Beginning as a frontier outpost and bridge across the North Platte River, it has gone on to be a center for the oil industry, thanks to local refineries and the city’s proximity to the Salt Creek oil fields.
Silver Fox Steakhouse has been serving quality food and excellent service to Casper residents for 40 years – it’s practically an institution that has watched Casper grow and change. Since 2012, it has been owned by the restaurant’s longtime chef, Bernard Ambrosino, who has been highly invested in the local community.
The odd circumstances of the current pandemic have made going out to eat a very different kind of experience than it used to be, but it hasn’t changed what the Silver Fox Steakhouse does best. So my wife and I strapped on our masks to get some truly excellent food. The restaurant’s decor is carefully chosen, and it is classically Western themed, with paintings and other art on the walls depicting wildlife, fishing and Wyoming-inspired scenery. With the dimmed lighting and tall booth backs, each table provides an intimate experience for the patrons.
Everything on the menu has been crafted and tested by Chef Ambrosino, whose passion for good cuisine is evident in the care he has given to each of his recipes. Their shared plates include fried green tomatoes, escargot and their famous bacon knots. When speaking with Brian, Silver Fox assistant manager, he explained how the bacon is knotted, covered in brown sugar, then baked. The most important part is the timing.
“It’s an art,” Brian said, to get it perfect. If so, it’s an art the Silver Fox Steakhouse has mastered. The results are wonderfully chewy, sweet, savory and impossible to leave on the plate.
Silver Fox Steakhouse’s menu runs the gamut of salads, handheld options, house specialties and an impressive meat selection, including Prime cuts of steak, chicken and seafood. Each night they run a different special, depending on what they have received from their butchers and the inspirations of the chef. It’s a wonderful addition to their already excellent menu, as you never know just what surprises the chef might have for you that night.
While we were there, the special was bacon-wrapped filet mignon with shrimp alfredo fettuccine. The restaurant looks far and wide for the best Prime grade beef and, due to the current economy, they have been able to acquire some incredible Prime cuts to incorporate into the daily specials. All of the meat is hand-cut and hand-trimmed on site.
Along with the bacon-wrapped filet, our table ordered the Prime rib, blackened. Both cuts of meat came cooked beautifully. The bacon around the filet was wonderfully crisp, while the filet was perfectly pink and juicy. The alfredo that came with the filet mignon was creamy to a point of decadence. However, it was the Prime rib that stole the show – a tender cut of meat, well-seasoned and then blackened. Truly one of best meat dishes we’ve had all year. Alongside the Prime rib were horseradish, au jus, vegetables and a cheesy potato casserole – another chef recipe – well and truly the perfect companions to the hearty slab of prime rib.
The restaurant has a full bar, and serves wine as well as a good selection of beer on tap. The Ùð
atmosphere for our early dinner was quiet and personal, accompanied by unobtrusive jazz. Combined with the privacy of each of the booths, the dinner was pleasantly conversational as we received each of the courses: the bacon knot appetizers, the house salad and the mouth-watering main course.
The portion sizes are generous and slightly more than we could finish in one sitting. That didn’t stop us from perusing the dessert menu that included several kinds of cake, New York cheesecake and ice cream. During our meal we saw an incredible slice of cake served to the table next to us, but in the end we chose one of our favorites – crème brûlée. The crème brûlée is homemade with fresh vanilla bean, topped with whipped cream and a pair of fresh raspberries. The dish was large and a perfect size for the two of us to share.
Ultimately, if you are in the Casper area and are looking for a restaurant with a high-end meat selection and recipes that will make your mouth water, Silver Fox Steakhouse is the perfect place to dine.