One of the interesting aspects of Casper, Wyoming, is that cosmopolitan restaurant and coffee bistro venues can be found in this Western oil city of 50,000-plus people. Such restaurant and coffee bistro havens can round out a great trip to Casper, Wyoming. Here’s five Casper, Wyoming, restaurant and coffee bistro attractions that’ll satisfy your thirst and appetite:
Tasty Sauces Abound at Botticelli Restaurante Italiano
One of Casper’s tastiest Italian restaurants, Botticelli’s emanates that feel of the old county and provides an intimate atmosphere for diners. Enjoy some festive Sopranos-like dinner music throughout your eating experience here. The restaurant offers quite a menu full of antipasti, pastas, meat, and chicken dishes. What stands out for me at Botticelli’s, as you will read, is the incredible flavor of their sauces and vegetables.
For appetizers, you can’t go wrong with the Merende, which is a large plate full of Italian meats, cheese, and heavy doses of marinated vegetables, which is the best part of this dish. Those peppers, greens, eggplant, and summer squash had a real kick to them thanks to the deliciously prepared marinated sauce! I also enjoyed a large glass of sweet cherry Italian soda containing half and half cream before dinner was served.
As for the main course, I feasted on the Vitello Picatta, which contained lightly salted but tasty veal, and penne pasta that was smothered in a Rose sauce (a tasty blend of Alfredo and marinara sauces). The vegetables with this course, as well as the appetizers, were really fresh in taste. Incredible for wintertime!
For your restaurant dessert, get the Botticelli’s spicy Spumoni Italian ice cream, which is full of mint, strawberry, and chocolate flavor. This was a great way to finish my meal in the heart of Wyoming.
Botticelli’s of Casper, Wyoming, offers a fine selection of wines and coffee drinks for your drinking pleasure, including ½ price wine on Tuesday nights.
Botticelli Restaurante Italiano: 129 W 2nd St., Casper, Wyoming 82601. 307-266-2700.
Surf and Turf Action at the Fire Rock Steakhouse & Grill
Wyoming is known for ranches; and thus, for quality beef, making this state a beef eater’s paradise. The Fire Rock, recently opened in Casper, Wyoming, in July 2006, provides an intimate “Industrial Western” restaurant atmosphere with high ceilings that help to absorb the noise level when many diners are partaking of meals here. It’s a bit more of a splurge than the Outback chain, but well worth the money. The restaurant serves top quality beef that’s been aged for three weeks. You will have no problem finding a wide selection of steaks and other meat dishes here as well as seafood, pasta, and salad choices.
I chose to have a surf and turf eating experience here, so I began with the grilled Crab Cakes that came with tartar and cocktail sauce. The outer part of the cakes was crispy and the inner part tasted light and smooth.
For my main course, I just had to try the Fire Rock Meatloaf. It’s smothered in a very tangy barbeque-like sauce instead of ketchup. To me, the taste was more like some nicely tender boneless ribs. I got very full while eating this dish (which also came with grilled onions, mashed potatoes, and bread served up like a mountain), because (initially, as part of the entree) I was served some creamy soup loaded with chicken and mushrooms that I found to be spiced just right and delicious.
As for drinks, the Fire Rock of Casper, Wyoming, gives diners more than 25 different kinds of wine selections and plenty of mixed drink and beer offerings, including several non-alcoholic beer choices like the Imported Kaliber non-alcoholic beer, which I found to have a positively medium to strong aftertaste.
As for desserts, you can choose from several, including the Crème Brule and the Muddy Mountain Flourless Chocolate cake.
You will receive very friendly and attentive service from the wait staff!
Fire Rock Steakhouse & Grill: 6100 E. 2nd St., Casper, Wyoming 82609. 307-234-BEEF.
The 303 Restaurant: Casper’s Version of Midtown Manhattan
When you enter the 303 Restaurant, you enter both past and present worlds…one where your ears can take in some Big Band and Swing music, but also where your eyes will take in a futuristic motif that you’d expect to find at some swanky Midtown Manhattan restaurant save the more expensive prices in Gotham. The 303 has quickly established itself as one of Casper’s premiere restaurants, and is definitely worth a splurge for even budget travelers for the atmosphere alone!
This jet-setting Wyoming restaurant was once a grocery distribution center and publishing company, and is named for its numerical street address on South Wolcott, one of Casper’s oldest streets. The 303 offers lunch and dinner options on menus whose covers are made of cork. The options include a nice range of seafood, burgers, and pastas at lunch to more elegant and quantitative selections during the evening (like real Buffalo Tenderloin from South Dakota as well as Petite Beef Wellington). Dinnertime is when this Casper eating spot really gets hopping, according to Service Manager Derald Moe.
I took in a nice lunch there, starting out with a very tasty cottage salad, full of fresh greens, Roma tomatoes, English cucumbers, and smothered in Bleu Cheese dressing to my liking. For their lunch offerings, they serve up two kinds of menus: Pub, which includes traditional pub grub like Reubens, burgers, and fish and chips, the latter which I selected. I found it to be quite filling as I dined off of some Aurora Plates by Elan, whose ends are curved up! Their lunch Bistro menu offers more “refined” selections like Smoked Salmon Pita and Flat Iron Au Poivre steak. For dessert, I gained some extra weight by feasting on the sinfully delicious Mexican Chocolate Mousse, made with cayenne and chipotle seasoning. The mousse was dotted with a raspberry on top!
The 303 of Casper, Wyoming, offers a wide drink selection, including beers, microbrews, and five-plus pages of wine selections (a restaurant menu in itself!!!). The service is quick and very friendly. I would strongly advise wearing at least a collared shirt and business style slacks if you venturing in for dinner.
New construction is currently going on upstairs at this restaurant which will provide a performance venue as well as a fully stocked bar when completed.
The 303 Restaurant: 303 S. Wolcott, Casper, Wyoming 82601. 307-233-4303.
The Metro Coffee Company’s Gathering Spot
The Metro Coffee Company is one of Casper’s top hangouts for both the younger generation and adults, too. This Wyoming coffee bistro atmosphere can be quite energetic, especially when a special art showing or musical performance from a local artist is being held. Many soft and comfortable couches can be lounged on while enjoying your beverage and dessert of choice. Even a couple of computers are onsite to use for free internet surfing. The coffee bistro is wired with WIFI internet access, too, for laptops.
Like any good coffee bistro, coffee selections abound. The Metro Coffee Company’s dessert offerings include cheesecake, cookie, and brownie offerings. But what impressed me the most there was the wide selection of top quality tea for those tea lovers out there. The Metro Coffee Company specializes in brewing one such smoked Chinese tea called Lap Sang Souchong, which smells like the smoke emanating from a fireplace.
The Metro Coffee Company: 241 S. David St., Casper, Wyoming 82601. 307-472-5042.
Moody Brews: Gelato Alternative to Italy!!!
Yes, Moody Brews offers a nice Casper coffee bistro atmosphere with a wide selection of coffees, espressos, and mochas. It even serves up a plentiful bistro menu of breakfast, lunch, and dinner offerings including Fresco and Panini sandwiches, crepes, soups, and salads. Yet this isn’t what makes this place special to me. Read on…
I gotta tell you all that I’ve never tasted better gelato, and I’ve been to Italy twice in my lifetime! Moody Brews prides itself on making fresh gelato in 12 cream and citrus flavors (which change regularly) ranging from Watermelon, Pink Grapefruit, to Pistacchio. It’s the Pistacchio Gelato that I want to brag on. I’ve never enjoyed 2 servings of ice cream or gelato more! The delectable delight has got a rich green flavor, and contains a really strong pistachio taste, but it’s tapered perfectly in sweetness, and has some gummy consistency within the bites.
This Casper, Wyoming, coffee bistro offers free WIFI internet access for your laptops, open mic sessions for local musicians and poetry slams for writers, so you may be entertained while dining and/or drinking coffee if you happen to drop in at the right time. Check the website for performance schedules.
MoodyBrews: 152 S. Center St., Casper, Wyoming 82601. 307-472-5114.