Seafood is the name of the game at Hooked | VailDaily.com

Seafood is the name of the game at Hooked

Heather Hower
EAT magazine
Kinmedai (Red Snapper) sushi and sashimi.
Dominique Taylor/Dominique Taylo
If you go ... What: Hooked, a Pacific-style high-energy seafood restaurant. Where: 122 The Plaza | beaver creek Cost: Dinner appetizers: $8-$30; Large plates: $22-$55; Whole fish preparation: Market Price Signature dish: Half raw and half cooked whole fish preparation More information: 970.949.4321 | hookedbc.com

Editor’s note: This story first ran as a paid feature in EAT magazine.

Belly up to the swanky expanded bar at Hooked in Beaver Creek for après — that just might turn into one of your best nights of the season. The craft cocktail bar positively swims with unique spirits on draft — house-made ginger beer, barrel-aged mai tais and a seasonal (read fresh and yummy) tiki drink, wine, Colorado beers and for a caffeine kick, a cold-brew coffee.

The sushi at Hooked is the freshest possible — not fresh as in flown in a few days ago — but fresh as in caught yesterday from Japan’s Tsukij market to Beaver Creek today; Owner Riley Romanin wouldn’t have it any other way.

Seafood is, obviously, the name of the game at Hooked and the plethora of options is really what makes it so special. One of the restaurant’s signature dishes is the Japanese Kinmedai, a whole fish served two ways on one plate: Half is cooked and half is raw. Select from the varied and ever-changing list (go for the Kinmedai — deep water red snapper — if it’s available, but of course the options change daily); go raw or cooked — or a combo. Raw options include ceviche, rolls, nigiri or sashimi. Sushi Chef Ken San ensures you get the most out of your fresh fish. The cooked portion is just as mouthwatering with options including grilled, steamed, pan seared and more, with a variety of sauces.

The sides get as much attention as the mains — Chef de Cuisine Rick Tanaka’s Japanese pumpkin puree, topped with shaved, roasted Brussels sprouts, fried leeks and a bit of brightness with the pricked wasabi root is a great way to get your veggies in.

Insider’s tip: the Austrian ski team loves Hooked’s fresh sushi so much, Romanin opened early just for the powerhouse skiers during the World Cup races. Do you want that VIP experience? Reserve the Chef Table, in the newly expanded room at Hooked, a specially curated dining experience for up to 10, with private chef and complete attention to detail. “It’s a more individual, craft experience,” Romanin says.

Hooked opens at 11 for lunch, with hearty sandwiches, Po’ Boys three ways, homemade soups and salads — and of course seafood. But the fun takes off at après when it’s just so much fun to hang out in the tiki bar area and order through the window; plan to stay outside and sip one of the carefully crafted cocktails.
No need to rush, no need to plan ahead. Sidle up and enjoy a long afternoon of fresh and tasty — you’ll be absolutely hooked on Hooked.