Sitting along the Gallatin River is a sanctuary, of sorts, a beautiful place called Rainbow Ranch Lodge. I discovered Rainbow Ranch for the first time at Big Sky, MT in 2012, thanks to a bartender at the ski resort’s Moonlight Basin Lodge. She worked at Rainbow Ranch as a sommelier as well, and recommended us to go. I am so thankful for that tip. We’ve been going every year since, staying overnight a few times, and always going for drinks and dinner. Rainbow Ranch is one of those special, magical places where everything is just done so tastefully right, down to every last detail.
There is always a great fire going in the huge fireplace by the bar. The decor is distinctively Montana, very rich with lots of wood, heavy, dark leather furniture, elk antlers accenting the chandeliers and beautiful wildlife paintings on the wall. Leather bound menus with Rainbow Ranch’s logo “RR” branded in the cover.
We started this visit with cocktails at the bar, which I highly recommend you do. It was a hard decision, but I went with the Huckleberry Tramcar, their twist on the classic sidecar. Delicious, as their cocktails always are.
For dinner we moved into the dining room, which has large windows allowing for a great view of the ranch’s property, complete with twinkling lights reflecting off the snow.
The menu was different this year, so we tried some new things, Brandede de Marue to start, which was roasted garlic, salt cod, and potatoes whipped with milk and arugula, served with garlic crostini. (Mashed potatoes on crostini). It was interesting and good. My main entree was Arctic Char with wild sea buckthorn berry jam, smoked trout and roasted seasonal vegetables. Bison Short Ribs for my husband. They were done in a guajillo chile sauce, served with roasted corn and avacado salsa and green chile polenta with roasted asparagus. Both were very good.
Rainbow Ranch Lodge is one of my favorites. It is an overall amazing and very special experience I think everyone should have. They are located at 42950 Gallatin Road, halfway between Bozeman and West Yellowstone.