Review: The Montana Club in Butte, Montana
I found myself passing through Butte, Montana at dinner time during a long business road trip recently. Butte has to be one of the oddest little cities I’ve ever been in. The entire place rests on the edge of a huge copper pit mine, and has a giant statue of the Mother Mary (2nd largest in the world) located on a mountain top overlooking the city. The city is comprised mostly of brick buildings, which look cool descending the hill to the mine. The city also has a large selection of small, sketchy looking casinos.
With all of Butte’s wonderful choices of fast food and iffy sounding establishments (like Pork Chop John’s), we elected to give sin a try and eat at one of the casinos. We went with the least scary looking one, which was actually pretty nice; The Montana Club.
The Montana Club Ambiance and Menu
The Montana Club was actually built with pretty nice materials. The bathroom was very pleasant and the flooring and walls nice. The seating felt a bit like an overpriced Denny’s, but all in all it was fine.
I was impressed with The Montana Club’s extensive menu. Salads, sandwiches, pastas, pizza, burgers, steaks, seafood, and scratch-made soups filled the pages of a well described menu. It was pretty standard fair, however, each section had a little surprise listed; like Parmesan Crusted Halibut, Macadamia Nut Chicken in a Hawaiian Cream Sauce, Greek Pasta with Feta and Artichoke Hearts, and Pork Frangelica (which I ordered).
The Montana Club Pork Frangelica
This new menu item really caught my eye. I was very surprised to find such a creative dish on the menu of a small town rural casino. Kudos to The Montana Club’s chef for being creative and daring with this dish. The menu reads, “Tender Pork Medallions flour dusted, pan seared and sauteed with Shallots, Garlic, Diced Apples, then simmered in a Hazelnut Cream Sauce and topped with Candied Pecans. $16.49″
This dish could use some presentation help, but it was unique and pretty tasty. It was very heavy and rich though, and I couldn’t finish it off because of it. But the medium-sweet hazelnut sauce was nice with a prominent but not overbearing hazelnut flavor. The apples (Granny Smith) added a nice tartness to the sweet sauce. I liked the pecans and the faint hint of garlic in the dish. Pretty good job, but I’m not going to say that it was 5 Star fair. Good dish and a nice find in the middle of nowhere though.
I think this dish would have been better with a larger cut of pork though. Or better yet, make the sauce lighter by reducing or removing the cream altogether. I may develop a dish off this by using Frangellico, apple juice and stock with some fresh thyme, shallots, apples, a touch of cinnamon, and thicker flame grilled pork chops. Finishing it off with a touch of maple syrup would be a nice touch.
The Montana Club Ginger Vinaigrette
My meal included a small house salad. One of their dressing options was their house Ginger Vinaigrette. This stuff was very good. Again, very surprised and pleased. It was slightly sweet, mildly tart and vinegary, spicy from some red pepper (I think), and a subtle ginger flavor that tasted like dried ginger rather than fresh. It was excellent with the greens, cucumbers, and grape tomatoes. There were a couple slices of pepperoni, which was random and didn’t fit with the vinaigrette, but I can’t complain about pepperoni. Who doesn’t love pepperoni?
The Montana Club BBQ Pulled Pork Sandwich
My coworker went with one of the plain menu items and ordered the BBQ pulled pork sandwich. This very large helping was described as follows: “Slow Roasted with our In-House BBQ Sauce and Melted Smoked Cheddar Cheese. $10.49″
Again, very surprised at how good this sandwich was. The pork was terrific…. moist, tender, and well seasoned. The BBQ sauce was exceptional….. sweet, tart, a touch spicy, and very thick. The smoked cheddar sounds nice on the menu, but didn’t really add that much to the sandwich other than unnecessary calories. The pickles on the side were appropriate. The bun was moist and firm. Great sandwich.
It was served with an ungodly amount of crinkle cut fries which were sprinkled with paprika. I’m not a big fan of crinkle cut fries, but these were fairly good. However, if you happen to eat at The Montana Club and have their fries, make sure to ask for a side of brown gravy. Holy crap they were good dipped in their brown gravy (from a powdered mix for sure). What a great combo. Makes me want to eat fries this way all the time.
Concluding Recommendation of The Montana Club in Butte, Montana
So all in all I recommend eating at The Montana Club the next time you are in Butte, Montana. Good food, nice building, friendly and helpful service, and a robust menu to satisfy most of what you may be in the mood for.www.montanaclub.com
3540 Harrison Avenue Butte, MT 59701-3548 (406) 494-1400
The Bald Gourmet reviews restaurants like The Montana Club while traveling on business in Montana.
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