Local chef adds some "speakeasy" spirit to the Million Dollar Cowboy Steakhouse

(Jackson, Wyo.) - The Million Dollar Cowboy Steakhouse recently reopened under the leadership of local chef Paulie O'Connor. O'Connor hopes to rejuvenate the historic restaurant with a new menu of large steaks, craft cocktails and fine wine. O'Connor's foodie roots began at the Culinary Institute of America in New York. Shortly after graduating in 1999, he moved to Salt Lake City and opened the Stoneground restaurant with his cousin. When he moved to Jackson, he became chef at the Old Yellowstone Garage just off of Town Square and then helped open Il Villaggio Osteria, and run Bin 22 and the Q Roadhouse for the Fine Dining Restaurant Group. Following his tenure at the Fine Dining, he opened the Old Yellowstone Garage in Alpine, which celebrated its first anniversary on January 15. On November 1, 2015, O'Connor took over the Million Dollar Cowboy Steakhouse and they officially opened on December 11. The rustic feel of the restaurant is much the same as it has been for years, but the ambiance is slightly enhanced with white linens and altered lighting. The food and drink menus, however, have been completely revamped. "My concept was to come in and bump up the level of the steakhouse," he said. "We have been importing Japanese and Australian Wagyu beef and we have been using beef from Snake River Farms. We want to be known for big steaks." [image: Inline image 1] *Tomahawk on the Grill.* *h/t Million Dollar Cowboy Steakhouse / Pitchengine Communities* And he isn't exaggerating by calling it a big steak. The Million Dollar Cowboy Steakhouse now serves a 60-ounce bone-in Tomahawk steak from Snake River Farms, an 18-ounce Allen Brother bone-in ribeye, as well as buffalo, venison and more. Besides steak, the restaurant serves creative and eclectic dishes like roasted bone marrow and cheddar fondu, cajun duck "poppers," a grilled iceburg salad and a cowboy tuna poke. "We are trying to source the best product we can get our hands on from all over the country," said O'Connor. "The quality is a lot different." [image: Inline image 2] *Tuna Poke. h/t Million Dollar Cowboy Steakhouse / Pitchengine Communities* By increasing the quality, O'Connor is striving to get the historic steakhouse on par with other high end restaurants in Jackson Hole. "We are trying to label it as a speakeasy steakhouse, because it is off the beaten path -- when you walk in the Million Dollar Cowboy Bar, you don't event see the restaurant," said O'Connor. "We are trying to be known for really high quality steaks." *Feature Photo: Paulie O'Connor / Pitchengine Communities* #buckrail #news