Hooked is not only a new Beaver Creek restaurant but a rare find that IMHO you won't find anywhere else. Sure as a new restaurant it has growing pains and the chef owner Riley is passionately aiming for customer enhanced enjoyment and a deeper understanding of food.
My family has been privileged to have eaten in many of the best known and heralded restaurants in New York, Chicago, Paris among other cities. On our recent return ski trip to Vail, we discovered Hooked on TripAdvisor and despite the mixed reviews read between the lines and were extremely excited and priveged to experience it.
We were not disappointed! Instead from the moment we entered before 6 pm too both beat the crowds and to see a show at the Vilar PAC, we were entranced by the dining delights that awaited us.
To understand Hooked you need to be open minded since it is a truly unique and unusual seafood dining experience. Here are a few ways that it differs from other seafood-sushi-markets:
1. The menu has great humor and is divided by heat temperature cooking plus has meat,sandwiches and a kids section in Oder to please everyone.
3. One can Order fresh fish seven (7) ways! From pan seared to steamed to pan fried to la Padilla to en papist the to flash fried to flame broiled. Each method uses different techniques and different seasonings, sauces and accompaniments. So you can return every day for of the week and have you salmon or tuna prepared a different way! WOW!
4. We were lucky to have the chef owner Riley bring out a large presentation board with the nights many alternative fish and shellfish options. It was just like what expensive steak restaurants used to do. wow!
5. We selected on two subsequent trips different whole fish prepared two ways: half as different types of sushi and the other half as flash fried. Wow! Superb!
6. We also tried other things. The New England clam chowder was the best that I ave ever eaten. The Brussels sprouts, ditto. The fries were sieved with both mayo and ketchup to please everyone. The miso soup was also special. We only wish we could have tried everything as in a tasting menu as they all weeper so tantalizing.
7. On our two dining adventures the service and waiter enthusiasm matched the quality of the food and greatly enhanced the overall dining experience.
8. The chef owner Riley is continually trying to improve his customers enjoyment and learning about food and seafood. As a TripAdvisor enthusiast I have read very few restaurant reviews where the owner chef comments on the review with so much passion as Riley does. My only hope is that as his new restaurant is "discovered" that he will continue is love for food and continual improvement.
9. During our two week ski trip to Vail and discovery of Hooked we returned twice despite the drive. Both times it was a feast for the eyes and mouth!
10. As food lovers we hope that as word of Riley's seafood dining experience grows in reputation, we will continue to be able to return to an even better and improved experience.
11. Although Vail and Beaver Creek are not inexpensive and we ate at most of the "best" places, IMHO nothing came close to the unexpected dining experience that so surpassed our expectations as did Hooked! And for the very high quality it was fair priced.
12. Even the wines and beers were, as the menu boasts, "only the best" and reasonable.
In concluding this review I can only say "thank you Riley" for bringing so much passion, knowledge, and enjoyment to your restaurant. It was a real and unique pleasure to have met you and savor end your unique approach to food.
We can't wait to return. We are HOOKED!!!