Fine Dining | A Perfect Entree


Every so often I dine at a restaurant and have what I consider to be the perfect entree. What are my qualifications?

Firstly, let’s look at flavor. There needs to be depth, so that sweetness or saltiness doesn’t just fall flat on my palette. I’m looking for complexity but just the right amount so that all the tastes meld together, keeping it rounded. In my own cooking, I fail most often at achieving this when trying to make a vegetarian soup from scratch that lacks cream or milk.

Secondly, everything on that plate needs to have a place and be equally perfect. So often a nice piece of fish or meat is served with an okay vegetable or a par side dish. Veg and sides have been tossed by the wayside, and Mr. Meat or Fish steals the whole show. Now don’t get me wrong, I don’t need some fancy asparagus or crazy broccoli side, but let’s face it how often does the veg left to it’s own accord arrive overcooked or less than fresh?

Recently, I was in Fresno, California visiting family and we dined at Max’s. This little Bistro has become a favorite amongst my family. It’s well decorated, the service is pretty reliable and their menu is always inspiring. I had the fortune of having what I call a perfect entree there. I knew it from the first bite, when I opted to taste the side first as opposed to the nice salmon filet. I bit into a little square of eggplant and my palette about yelled in delight. I’d never tasted such buttery, wonderful eggplant in my life. I tried the rest of what was a herb roasted vegetable hash and even the cauliflower was divine (c’mon you have to admit how amazing that is?). Finally, the tines of my fork hit the salmon and it was confirmed that I was eating the perfect entree.

The last requirement to be the perfect dish is size. In America, so often we value size over quality, not just in food but in so many aspects of our culture. After a hard days ski or a long day exploring the park, there is nothing better than a heaping plate of Buck’s meatloaf with mash and gravy or a NY Strip Oscar style, but sometimes less is more. My perfect dish is exactly enough to satisfy; you’re left with a little feeling of I could really enjoy the taste of another bite or two. You are by no means hungry still, it’s just that like anything good in life, you wish it didn’t have to come to an end.

In my book, Buck’s T-4 has created my vision of the perfect dish for this winter’s new menu. I tried it yesterday and my palette squealed with joy. Two perfect dishes in one month, no way! Airline Pheasant Breast stuffed with wild rice and house made pheasant sausage, served with a roasted corn cake and a rich pan jus. Perfection!

I’d love to hear your thoughts on the perfect entree or what you look for in a good dinner, from one foodie to another.


Fine Dining

Buck’s T-4 Restaurant Reopens for the Summer: Taste the New Menu


Buckst4-new-menuI can’t believe that it’s already June, the off-season over and Buck’s T-4 is reopening its restaurant doors tonight. The weather is still wet and spring like but our reward for enduring all the moisture is our own chlorophyll infused oasis. It’s so green, you’re afraid it might rub off on you. We’ve spent the past week at Buck’s in high gear preparing for what is sure to be an exciting summer season.  From planting flowerbeds to spring cleaning we’re ready to go.

The highlight of this week for myself and the rest of the serving staff was definitely the menu tasting. Chef Todd Christensen and Food and Beverage Director Chuck Schommer were busy this spring coming up with a truly exceptional summer menu appealing to a wide variety of tastes and palettes. The new menu holds true to Buck’s T-4’s history of catering to both the wild game and steak enthusiast, as well as those desiring something a bit lighter or just plain good comfort food. Of course, we still have our famous New Zealand Red Deer served with port wine butter sauce (liquid heaven) but we’ve created a summer inspired pheasant dish, added coffee crusted Montana elk, and now we’re serving the ultimate summer salad—a mix of yellow and red watermelon. Oh and instead of Buffalo wings, Todd’s done one better with Thunder Thighs—you can thank owner Mike Scholz for the name. They’re chicken thigh strips tossed in Buck’s own sweet, smoky hot sauce. Folks, I’m not even especially fond of Buffalo wings and I’m hooked on these Thunder Thighs. And that’s just to name a few, everything we tried was just so, so, so, delicious.

With so many terrific additions to the menu, I’m not even sure where to start.  You have to try the watermelon salad especially on a hot day. It looks so pretty you might not want to eat it, but trust me when I say it would be a mistake not to. Since I’m a bit overwhelmed by all the delciousness in one place I figure I’ll just share with you my current personal favorite dinner at Buck’s  T-4 along with a few pictures to get your mouth watering.

To be tempted by the whole summer menu click here, and you can download our menu.

Warm Appetizer to Start:

Thunder Thighs – Boneless fried chicken thigh strips tossed with Buck’s own sweet, smoky hot sauce. Blue cheese dipping sauce, celery sticks.

Followed by:

The Summer Salad – Yellow watermelon topped with a salad of red watermelon, red onion, citrus ginger vinaigrette, arugula, Mexican cotija cheese.


Pheasant and Toasted Orzo – Pan roasted pheasant breast, yellow pepper coulis, orzo pasta with fresh vegetables, pancetta crisp.


Macaroni and Cheese – Cavatappi pasta, gruyere, white truffle, tarragon. Yum!


Baby Cake –  Mini spiced whole wheat cake, lemon curd, honeyed berries.

We hope to see you soon at Buck’s T-4.

We’re located one mile south of the Big Sky stoplight on highway 191. Our hours of operation are:
Pub: 5pm – 9:30pm daily
Main Dining Room: 6pm – 9pm daily
Bar: 5pm til’ late daily
Call (406) 995-4111 for reservations and questions.

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