Sunday, July 18, 2010

Tastes of Montana

JFW is taking a break for the summer from his blog...actually he has taken a break for a long time and I thought it was high time to reinvigorate things. So I am trying my hand at a few food related entries.

JFW and I just got back from vacation in Montana. While the food scene in Montana might not be what it is here in DC, we had some amazing meals.

First, let me say that hands down I continue to think that Red Bird Restaurant in Missoula, MT has the best creme brulee I have ever had. Thanks to chef Jim Tracey for cooking it up special for me since it is no longer regularly on the menu. Red Bird is also remarkable for their amazing beer list. JFW found an Belgian oude gueze that we last had on vacation in Belgium and haven't seen since. The food of course was also remarkable the highlights including some Alaskan spot prawns, a morel mushroom and asparagus soup, and the bison filet.

We also headed up to Holland Lake, which is situated between the Bob Marshall Wilderness to the east and the Mission Mountains to the west. It was beautiful and a great few days away. While the scenery, I think, made everything taste good, the food at Holland Lake Lodge stood on its own and was worth the trip. Most notable were the dinners. My favorite meal was our first dinner. I started with a black bean soup with a mango salsa, followed by the beef filet for my main, and finished it off with a homemade coconut cake. JFW had a roasted beet salad, pistachio encrusted halibut, and frozen key lime pie for dessert. As a native Floridian, JFW was impressed that the key lime pie flavors were spot on, but I think he was less enthusiastic about the frozen pie format. What was most impressive about the food at Holland Lake was the consistency. All meals are eaten in the main Lodge because there really is no where else for miles around to eat, so the consistency in the kitchen was greatly appreciated.

Finally, the kitchen at my sister's place shouldn't be overlooked. Thanks to their enormous garden we enjoyed some amazing fresh produce - most notably the lettuce.

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