You have to move fast to see all the sights in Rapid City, as the city’s very name suggests. Roaming buffalo, expansive landscapes and a reputation for fostering pioneering spirits, this South Dakota city has many draws for those looking to experience the local lifestyle. Following on from our previous guide to the best restaurants in Rapid City, we take another look at the culinary giants of this intriguing region.
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Looking for an expert's perspective?Uncover my top 3 recommended places from each continent on the map.
1. GuatemalaAn express adventure for those with limited time off. Prepare yourself incredible experiences. You will hike a volcano, visit mayan temples and witness a ceremony and take in beautiful colonial Antigua.
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Bistro at the Black Forest
The Bistro at the Black Forest offers casual, relaxed dining snugly positioned in the Black Forest Inn, at the heart of the Black Hills mere moments from Pactola reservoir. There is a pervadingly rustic yet sophisticated and almost grown-up atmosphere, making this a versatile establishment suitable for everything from family outings to romantic frissons. Begin the truly American way with two soft pretzels served with an aromatic cheddar beer dip or perhaps simple smoked salmon spread across a variety of crackers. Move from here to a chicken breast filled with spinach, cranberries and feta with a garlic cream sauce and asparagus or fresh garden penne with sautéed spinach and mushrooms tossed in a garlic wine sauce.
Warm hospitality, nostalgic charm and local, seasonal produce greet you at the well-loved Colonial House. The intoxicating aroma of freshly baked caramel rolls is the famed introduction to any visit – they remain the crowning glory of Colonial House according to its many loyal diners. Begin dinner with true American classics such as steak-house onion rings or perhaps branch further afield with their hummus platter, served with freshly cut tomato and cucumber slices, Kalamata olives, feta cheese and Lebanese flat bread. From here, sample flat iron steak with fries or succulent salmon sautéed in olive oil with spinach, garlic, onions and mushrooms tossed in an alfredo sauce and topped with parmesan cheese.
The Delmonico Grill is situated within a wide, high-ceilinged restaurant space complete with crisp white tablecloths and sleek monochrome furniture. Enjoy fresh ahi tuna seared rare with seaweed salad, ginger soy glaze, sesame oil and wasabi, or scallops with cava sauce, lemon and grilled crostini, before sampling Scottish salmon with white wine and creamy leek sauce or aged rib-eye with poblano chilis, crimini, mushrooms, caramelised onions and cream sauce. Complement the romantic atmosphere and a la carte cuisine with a bracing pinot noir from the Sonoma Coast, a glass or two of Perrier Jouet Grand Brut or a full bodied merlot from the Napa Valley.
Everest Cuisine offers a taste of Nepalese and Indian food in the heart of South Dakota. Everest is locally renowned for its lunchtime buffet, offering delectable platters of chicken and shrimp tikka, lamb biryani with aromatic herbs and a selection of hot naans prepared in a traditional tandoor clay oven. In the evening, begin the repast with succulent lamb samosas, thick lentil soup or mixed vegetable pakoras before progressing to indulgent shrimp masala or a vegetable biryani with toasted nuts and spices. The colourful dishes, creamy desserts and wide naans toss up a variety of aromas in the comfortable and unassuming atmosphere of the Everest restaurant – a venue marked out for true enthusiasts of spicy, fragrant Indian and Nepalese cuisine.
Fuji Steak and Sushi Bar
The Fuji Steak and Sushi Bar offers not only a fantastic fusion of flavours but a fun evening of interacting with chefs and observing expert preparation and presentation. With the kitchen placed in the centre of the Japanese-inspired restaurant, diners may watch their food being prepared whilst questioning or talking with the chef, learning the tricks of the trade and the methods of Japanese technique. Enjoy lobster tempura or a chicken teriyaki Bento box, or try a sushi plate with exquisitely formed rolls before indulging in filet mignon, chicken and shrimp served together with fried rice, onion soup, vegetables and house salad.
With red and green walls and yellow napkins, Juniper is a colourful yet unassuming flourish in a quiet neighbourhood. Start with a portobello mushroom stuffed with burrata, tomato, basil pesto and balsamic glaze, or perhaps an antipasti platter of artisan cheese, cured meats, olives, grapes, crusty bread and generous swirls of olive oil. The main courses are a culinary triumph: choose between fresh Atlantic salmon with heirloom tomato risotto and asparagus, five spice duck with blackberry gastrique or chicken breasts pounded thinly, dredged in flour and pan fried until golden brown, served with green lightly tossed with olive oil, lemon, sea salt and black pepper.
The cosy, brick and oak furnishing of Murphy’s Pub and Grill, together with the hearty food, expert cocktails, fine wines and ales, welcomes in the expectant diner with the promise of relaxation and a convivial atmosphere. Using seasonal and local ingredients, executive chef Blake Itterman blends traditional and modern pub classics accented with occasional international flavours. Begin a truly indulgent feast with pulled pork hand cut chips that have been crispy fried then topped with savoury watermelon-Jalapeño barbecue sauce, sliced cherry peppers and a blue cheese fondue. Move from this decadent starter to a pulled duck confit salad complete with cubed mozzarella and sliced red onion, served with a plum vinaigrette, or enjoy a traditional shepherd’s pie with marinated lamb, roasted root vegetables and a crispy potato crust.
Piesanos Pacchia boasts the best pizza in town. With a small, quaint and intimate restaurant space bedecked in cheering colours, the hand-crafted, lovingly prepared food really speaks for itself. Their famous crust is both perfectly baked and seasoned with the finest olive oil: choose to load it with the chicken, broccoli and parmesan or opt for the South of the Border classic, with a refried beans and salsa base loaded with beef, black olives, onion, jalapenos, cheddar and melting mozzarella cheese. Another speciality are the sumptuous subs, with roasted red peppers or tomato slices and lettuce added after oven heating, served with soup, chips or homemade baked beans and pickle. Pack the subs with onions, fresh mushrooms, green peppers, banana peppers and vinaigrette dressing for a vegetarian special or a classic meatball sub with homemade meatballs, green pepper rings, cheese and spaghetti sauce.
As part of the successful and ever-popular Texas Roadhouse chain, Texas Roadhouse Rapid City offers fall-off-the-bone ribs, hand-battered chicken strips, fresh seafood and freshly baked bread, enjoyed with ice cold beers. The restaurant itself is artily crammed with American bric-a-brac scattered across the rafters above the wagon wheel hanging lights, thick beams of oak cheerily bestrewn with American bunting. Enjoy their juicy American beef burgers after a shrimp skewer starter, or go straight in with a USDA choice sirloin with buttered corn, chilli and Caesar salad. Finish the evening with a Wisconsin cheese platter, decadent brownie or a rich strawberry cheesecake.
Vertex Skybar is, both literally and figuratively, a truly high class establishment on the 10th and 11th floors of the historic Hotel Alex Johnson. Boasting spectacular views across the Black Hills, Vertex has indoor seating and an outdoor deck with gorgeous gas-heated fire pits on both levels. The custom built bar with sparkling bronze and nickel details is the perfect place for a glass of chilled wine, to be enjoyed whilst stretching out on the seating near the large, mahogany wine cases. Begin your evening with punchy cumin and red pepper hummus served with warm pita bread, olives and celery sticks before moving to chicken breast filled with blue cheese, flowering kale and laced with a velvet parmesan béchamel sauce served with sweet basil risotto and seasonal fresh vegetables.
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