You know that scene in Father of the Bride Part II when Steve Martin wears a down parka and fur hat in the house because both his wife and daughter have the A/C turned all the way up? I'm Steve Martin. Everywhere I go in Montana.
I moved to Montana from Scottsdale, Arizona three months ago and the winter cold has been an adjustment to say the least.
With that being said, even though I have been suggested tons of places to go and fun things to do outdoors, I can't bring myself to bundle up and get outside during these chilling temps.
So, instead of suggesting some great, healthy outdoor activities to do for the wintertime, the next best thing I can do is suggest all the amazing restaurants I've eaten at in Montana! Again, I've only lived in Montana for three months so I've barely scratched the surface when it comes to dining out, but my suggestions are tried-and-true. Get your stretchy pants out - you're going to need them.
Below are my favorite restaurants from Gallatin Gateway, to Bozeman, Belgrade, and Livingston.
I live in Gallatin Gateway, and what I love most about the town is that it's so small. Gallatin has one steakhouse, one bar, one pizza joint, one school, and one fire station. Stacey's Old Faithful, the towns' local steakhouse, is a must if you're ever in the area.
Stacey's Old Faithful $$
l Photo Cred: Instagram @jscahhh l
Stacey's Old Faithful bar and steakhouse is legendary. If you're looking for an old-fashioned, no frills, steak and potatoes Montana restaurant, go there. This is a casual western bar and steakhouse with a great atmosphere. I love sitting at the bar next to locals, ranchers, and fly fisherman. Get the prime rib and deep fried rocky mountain oysters!
Honestly, this place is lucky they have a sneeze guard protecting their baked goods because it keeps people like me from drooling all over the cinnamon rolls. This place has great coffee and AMAZING pastries. Their sticky buns and cinnamon rolls are as big as your head. I swear I gain five pounds just breathing in their pastry air.
This is by far my favorite place for dinner and drinks in Bozeman. Plonk has great ambiance, infused cocktails, good service, and consistently amazing food. My favorites are the beef tartare, seared pheasant, and a Gin & Juice (yes, that's what it's called).
Blackbird Kitchen $$
l Photo Credit: Left Instagram @anna_dalyora Right Instagram @blackbirdbzn l
I was told by many people to try this place out, specifically for their wood fired pizza and house made bread. I'm a big fan of New York style pizza, but wood fired is sooooo good. If you go here, try to sit at the kitchen bar. It's cool to watch the kitchen in action while you're sipping your wine with great company. So far I've had their house marinated olives, Blackbird bread, Burrata, and Funhgi pizza. Everything was so dang good - absolutely no complaints here.
Live From the Divide
Side note: a fun thing to do when they are open for business is to plan a night at Live From the Divide. After eating at the Blackbird, a friend and I headed to this live music venue and public broadcast that celebrates the lineage and contemporary voice of the America Roots Singer/Songwriter. This place is so small and intimate, it's almost like you're witnessing your own personal concert.
South 9th Bistro $$
Since I moved to Montana, I haven't heard anyone suggest this gem, which is truly unfortunate. The outside is a converted house with white Edison lights and a cool outdoor searing area. I tried this place with no expectations and was blown away. My friends and I all shared the escargots, 3-beet salad, kale salad, beer bourguignon, coquille St. Jacques, blackened Pacific Cod, and a crack tart. Halfway through dinner I had to unbutton my pants - everything was amazing.
I lived in Portland for ten years and this sushi joint reminds me of Portland's "atmosphere." There's usually always a wait, but for good reason. Dave's is super laid back, the rolls are creative and fun, and the servers are down-to-earth Bozeman locals. There are only a few sushi restaurants in Bozeman, but this is by far the best and won't break the bank. Dave's has a daily special-something of which I always try and am never disappointed with.
This is my favorite place to go for a quick reasonable priced pizza. Red tractor offers New York Style brick-oven pizza with a twist. They use fresh, locally sourced in ingredients on their hand-tossed pizza. I always order the beet salad with verdante pizza.
The Mint Cafe and Bar $$
I come here at least once a week- The Mint is Belgrade's dirty little secret. Their happy hour menu is UNBELIEVABLE. The happy house menu is so cheap for the quality of the food. If I can make it here for happy hour, I'll always get the drumsticks ($6) and some drinks. On the dinner menu, I've tried the onion soup, tomato bisque (the best tomato soup I've ever had in my life), wedge salad (can easily feed 3+ people), beer-braised beef shoulder, organic half chicken, and dry rubbed flank with chimichurri. The Mint always goes above and beyond with service, something of which is pertinent. Thursdays are live music and $5 martinis!
The Murray Bar $
I've been to Livingston once, and was told to come to The Murray Bar for a Bloody Mary. This place has long been one of Livingston's best places for fun times with friends (and apparently a frequently visited place for John Mayer). The Murray has great drinks, micro brew on tap, cocktails, food from Gil's Goods next door, and an amazing regular lineup of some of the top local and national traveling bands. I was only able to try their extra spicy Bloody Mary but am definitely coming back to sit at the bar, try some food, and listen to some music!
"Drink like a God at Neptune's" is this restaurants motto. I'm not a beer drinker so I can't say much about their brews, but if you're ever in Livingston, this is a place you need to try out. The decor is super funky, beachie equipped with a sushi and burger bar. I've sat at the sushi bar and ordered omakase and it was awesome. I'll be back to try their burgers-I've heard they're delicious. Neptune's is super casual with great food-the experience alone is worth the visit.
What are some of your favorite restaurants I should try?!