Outdoor signage at Walt’s Hitching Post

Perhaps you remember the song “Wild Thing, You Make My Heart Sing” by The Troggs, a British band of the 1960s. The tune reached No. 1 on the US rock ‘n roll charts in 1965. Today, we might paraphrase those title lyrics and apply them to Walt’s new menu section, saying “Wild Things, You Make My Taste Buds Sing.”

According to Donny Arnsperger, GM, and restaurant co-owner along with Bronson Trebbi, Walt’s Hitching Post is in the process of creating a menu section featuring wild game. “We’re working on it right now. We have bison—a bison filet—and we’re working on elk and some other ones too,” he said.

The bison filet mignon on new woodcut plate, and part of the “Wild” menu

Arnsperger said the new menu items will be showcased even down to the presentation of the choices. “We found these plates that look like the crosscut of a tree trunk, really perfect, about 12 inches in diameter, and you can see the rings of the tree in the design of the plate. We’re excited about the wild menu. We have been doing the bison for a while now. It’s a really good filet! It comes with a rich port wine demi-glace, and we top it with onion straws. I’m working on the elk right now, and we will have that on the menu soon, as well,” he said, adding that the wild game adds another dimension to a menu that features a lot of choices for Jewish diners-out.

Walt’s most popular side dish, the signature creamed corn, serving two

At the other end of the spectrum from wild game, Walt’s offers a super-premium cut of domesticated beef that perhaps is the most pampered in the world. Arnsperger describes this steak as not simply beef on a plate, but a dining experience. “We’re doing a 12-ounce Sakura waygu New York strip steak. This is the very best beef on the planet. It’s the Japanese waygu process for the cows and the way the cows are raised, and everything makes for the best marbling and the flavor of the beef is just unsurpassed. It’s an experience. The steak is done on the broiler with our (proprietary) steak dust, charred on each side, and done to order. The broiler is so hot we can char the outside (of the steak) nicely and the inside will be cool and rare if that is the way the diner wants it. Most do. We serve it at the table in an elegant copper pan—it’s just the best you can imagine!”


The rack of lamb

Another entrée that is a long-time standard for Walt’s is the smoked chicken, available in half-chicken or whole-chicken portions. The chickens enter the smoker as whole birds, and the process of roasting is “low and slow,” Arnsperger says. That is, a lower heat than the normal roasting process, and a longer time in the roasting environment. The chicken is smoked using a combination of oak and cherry wood, both of which add to the flavor profile.  “Because of the way we do our chickens, roasting them whole, and the time we take to roast them, we finish with a different texture. The chicken is so tender and tasty at the end of the process, and we add our own (homemade) barbeque sauce. It’s just delicious!”

Having put the cart before the horse, it’s time to mention a relatively new appetizer at Walt’s—cauliflower wings! Not a misprint, that’s how they are listed on the menu. Here’s the scoop: “We wanted a veggie option on the appetizers, but something that was really good and different. So, we decided to do them (cauliflower wings). We lightly bread the cauliflower (pieces) and then deep-fry them. But not to the point where they are mushy; they are al dente, or firm but cooked through. And they are good! We serve them with our barbeque sauce,” he said, adding that his patrons go nuts over them.

“Our whole thing is focusing on our guests who come here to enjoy themselves and have a special experience. The wild menu is one of those special things we’re doing for that reason, and the cauliflower wings and things like that. We’re also doing some refurbishing around the restaurant—some new chairs and new bar stools and little things that keep the experience fresh and inviting. We always try to keep things high and tight, because that makes for a better experience for everybody who comes here to dine. We appreciate everybody, and especially the Jewish community; some of my friends in the community have been coming here since the day we opened,” he said.

See you at Walt’s Hitching Post!