Steakhouse Style

Local chef refreshes classic menu

Evan Smith
January 15, 2019 - 4:19 pm

Scott Kroener, the new head chef of Rick Erwin’s West End Grill, has been on the job for just about six months now, having relocated from Washington DC in the summer.

When we last spoke with Kroener – which, aptly enough, was during last year’s iteration of Restaurant Week – things were a little hectic.

“Of course I start here and two weeks later it’s restaurant week,” Kroener said at the time.

Food pun aside, he had a lot on his plate. Restaurant Week was a chance to bring in new customers, who may not be familiar with the West End Grille, as well as older customers who might believe they already knew what the place had to offer. Kroener wanted to upend expectations.

Now that he’s gotten some more experience under his belt with the new job, he’s more confident.

“Restaurant Week is such a great thing,” he said. “It gives you that opportunity to bring people in who haven’t been in in a long time – because this is a 13 year old restaurant – and maybe they haven’t been in in awhile, they’ve seen the menu before. Well, now there’s a new sheriff in town.”

The menu for this year’s Restaurant Week reflects that. Start off with chicken and shrimp gumbo, or your choice of salad, then move on to a second course offering that includes everything from seared salmon, filet mignon with truffle butter, linguini alla vongele, or smoked bone-in pork chop. Round that out with a banana cream pie, some crème brulee, or a drowned brownie sundae.

A lot of what Kroener is trying to do is inject a modern sensibility into classic steakhouse fare.

“I’m going to bring in a little fresh energy, some fresh ideas to a great concept in a great town,” he concluded, “and I don’t see how we can miss there.”

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