A TASTE OF WESTERN MONTANA’S GLACIER COUNTRY

As you drive through Western Montana’s wide open spaces you will see elk and deer along with cattle and bison herds roaming the landscape. Along with these ranches, Western Montanan’s Glacier Country has an amazing growing culture producing some of the finest crops such as sweet cherries, sugar beets, morel mushrooms and wild huckleberries, and sets the stage for why Montana’s culinary scene is so spectacular. In fact, the phrase farm-to-table describes Montana perfectly. So whether your group is here on a culinary tour or your meeting is set to take place in Western Montana, be prepared. With all of this mouth-watering goodness, your tummies are in for a real treat.

With the abundance of amazing farmers markets for fresh ingredients and well-supported agriculture operations in communities as well as farm-to-table school programs, it’s likely no surprise that Montana was recently ranked the seventh best state in the nation for its commitment to healthy, locally grown and produced food.

And when you add in some of the top chefs in the country, diners will find a winning culinary combination. For instance, Montana’s own Executive Chef Andy Blanton of Café Kandahar in Whitefish has not only been nominated for the prestigious James Beard Award on several occasions, but has also had the honor to cook as a guest chef at the storied James Beard House restaurant in New York City.

Food is such a sensory experience and whether your group is in Western Montana for a corporate meeting or conference or touring the region as part of a larger itinerary, people want to experience the local flavor of the state and region. Many of our restaurants, hotels and resorts pride themselves on sourcing fresh, locally grown, in-season fare throughout Montana and Glacier Country.

Beef tenderloin tartare appetizer and a glass of wine from Plonk Wine Bar in Missoula. Delicious.

Beef tenderloin tartare appetizer and a glass of wine from Plonk Wine Bar in Missoula. Delicious.

Recent conference attendees enjoyed a hearty breakfast at Holiday Inn Downtown at the Park Missoula. My favorite—the fresh fruit parfait in the mason jar and—and the Montana placemat. Nice touch.

Recent conference attendees enjoyed a hearty breakfast at Holiday Inn Downtown at the Park Missoula. My favorite—the fresh fruit parfait in the mason jar and—and the Montana placemat. Nice touch.

Braised bison short ribs with garlic roasted baby carrots and saffron risotto finished with a root beer demi glaze from Blue Canyon Kitchen & Tavern. Blue Canyon has locations in Missoula and Kalispell next to the Hilton Garden Inn.

Braised bison short ribs with garlic roasted baby carrots and saffron risotto finished with a root beer demi glaze from Blue Canyon Kitchen & Tavern. Blue Canyon has locations in Missoula and Kalispell next to the Hilton Garden Inn.

Loula’s in Whitefish has amazing pie. Just so you know this huckleberry-blackberry pie is available for breakfast.

Loula’s in Whitefish has amazing pie. Just so you know this huckleberry-blackberry pie is available for breakfast.

The elk meatballs are a must at The Boat Club Lounge and Restaurant located at The Lodge at Whitefish Lake in Whitefish.

The elk meatballs are a must at The Boat Club Lounge and Restaurant located at The Lodge at Whitefish Lake in Whitefish.

Casey’s rooftop Skybar in Whitefish offers great atmosphere along with amazing signature cocktails like their Huckleberry Margarita.

Casey’s rooftop Skybar in Whitefish offers great atmosphere along with amazing signature cocktails like their Huckleberry Margarita.

For those looking for an authentic western culinary experience, Western Montana has several guest ranches that can offer a chuckwagon lunch or dinner.

Artemis Acres Paint Horse Guest Ranch in Kalispell serves a delicious burger.  After the meal, I suggest a horseback trail overlooking the Flathead Valley.

Artemis Acres Paint Horse Guest Ranch in Kalispell serves a delicious burger. After the meal, I suggest a horseback trail overlooking the Flathead Valley.

Bar W Guest Ranch in Whitefish also offers chuckwagon options to groups, but take a look at this hearty breakfast cooked up fresh for guests.

Bar W Guest Ranch in Whitefish also offers chuckwagon options to groups, but take a look at this hearty breakfast cooked up fresh for guests.

On the sipping side of our culinary scene, one thing is for sure—we like beer in Montana. Microbreweries can be found in Western Montana’s towns and cities and are producing some of the best beers in the nation. Groups could easily sip their way through more than 20+ tasting rooms in Western Montana’s Glacier Country alone. For a little added group excitement and a workout, visit the breweries in downtown Missoula peddling a 15 passenger bike on Thirstgear or let Tap Room Tours plan the tasting itinerary. An added bonus: an excursion with Tap Room Tours allows your clients or groups to sit back and enjoy the views.

Samplers from Big Sky Brewing. Some favorites: Moose Drool, Trout Slayer and Powder Hound.

Samplers from Big Sky Brewing. Some favorites: Moose Drool, Trout Slayer and Powder Hound.

A brewery and spirits tour on Thirst Gear in Missoula.

A brewery and spirits tour on Thirst Gear in Missoula.

We hear it from visitors all of the time, “We knew the scenery would be stunning and we expected there would be an abundance of outdoor activities, but the culinary scene in Montana was incredible and such a pleasant surprise.”

Drop us a line here if you are in need of itinerary or dining suggestions in Western Montana’s Glacier Country.

Bon appétit,

DP

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