The Pearl Café
Voted Missoula’s best restaurant numerous times over, The Pearl Café is a staple of the local fine dining scene. The venue’s rustic charm is present not only in the elegant, wood-dominated space, but also on the menu, which features a mouth- watering combination of European-inspired and regional flavors. The classic tender, herbed rabbit in red wine sauce harks back to the complex textures of French cuisine, while the pan-seared Idaho trout with Dungeness crab stuffing is a more local option, with ingredients sourced directly from the neighboring state. Owned and headed by enthusiastic young chef Pearl Cash, The Pearl Café is perfect for an evening of tasty indulgence.
The Pearl Café, 231 E Front St, Missoula, MT, USA, +1 406 541 0231
Five on Black is one of the trendiest restaurants around, with a gluten-free, Brazilian, make-your-own menu that showcases the freshest of ingredients and demonstrates a unique, flexible attitude to cooking. At Five on Black, you can ‘build your bowl’, starting with the base and finishing with a range of sauces and toppings, a process inspired by the owner’s vision of customizing Brazilian cuisine. All bowls are made-to-order, bursting with Latin American flavor and the perfect excuse to enjoy a generous portion of real comfort food. The designer décor, a chic affair with warm, wooden elements, a raw red brick wall and industrial metal features, only adds to Five on Black’s effortless sophistication.
Five on Black, 325 N Higgins Ave, Missoula, MT, USA, +1 406 926 1860
Priding itself on a balanced combination of rustic charm and upscale elegance, Blue Canyon serves up ‘contemporary cowboy cooking’ in its vast, wood-decked interior. From the tender elk meatballs served with a huckleberry BBQ sauce and crispy Peppadew pepper popcorn as an appetizer to the delectable mains, such as the bison pot pie, a juicy dish of braised bison, garden vegetables, mushrooms and Parmesan cream. The choice at Blue Canyon is strongly rooted within Montana’s culinary tradition while borrowing from several other sources, Chef Wes Coffel’s experience, has taken him to states as diverse as Wyoming, Hawaii and Nevada. You can find Blue Canyon at Missoula’s Hilton Garden Inn Hotel.
Airy and impeccably decorated with Venetian walls and a painted ceiling, Caffe Dolce sits in a historic building a few blocks away from the University of Montana campus. As the name suggests, Caffe Dolce specialises in Italian favourites, from the decadent wild mushroom and truffle pizza to a solid selection of pastas and antipasti. Most of the entrees served here rotate according to season, making for a dining experience where the best of the local cuisine can be sampled fresh. Caffe Dolce is also a great spot for Sunday brunch, their strong espressos make a great match for the breakfast sandwiches.
Caffe Dolce, 500 Brooks St, Missoula, MT, USA, +1 406 830 3055
Missoula’s current ‘in’ spot for an evening out, Plonk Wine certainly doesn’t serve up any plonk. With a wine menu that’s both comprehensive and skilfully curated, this place is all about quality. The wine menu alone lists bottles from five continents, while the accompanying food selection offers simple, local specials designed to bring out the flavors of the wines. Pick from the tender lavender-glazed duck breast, served with a fennel and potato puree, grilled asparagus and pomelo kiwi relish, and the bison skirt steak prepared with cold smoke scotch ale marinade, potato salad verde, tomato bacon jam and sautéed greens. Always ask the waiter to recommend the best bottle to go with these delicacies. In addition to the Missoula branch, Plonk also has a location in Bozeman.
Plonk Wine, 322 N Higgins Ave, Missoula, MT, USA, +1 406 926 1791