Glad you enjoyed the pictures. I've added some of the Black Hills from yesterday's travels. Snapshots
You asked about food, Mezzaluna... Well, on Monday night was the moon ceremony and Rachel made a wonderful end of summer soup with zukes, summer squash, corn, and fresh garden tomatoes. Tuesday, we picked up a little smoked buffalo roast at the RBL ranch. If you haven't eaten it, properly prepared, buffalo is really tender and it is much leaner than beef.
Ah, but yesterday, while traveling in the Black Hills, we discovered the Pheasant Dining Room at the State Game Lodge. A pretty unassuming little place tucked back in the hills in a kind of hard to reach area. The Game Lodge was the summer White House for Calvin Coolidge, and was built in 1922. Probably wouldn't stop if you were just driving by, and few people take the highway through there because in general, it is easier to go around.
The kitchen at the game lodge is run by Chef Michael Burchfield. We started our meal with a couple of appetizers - buffalo short ribs, lightly smoked and braised with a very light barbecue sauce. The sauce was almost sweet and sour-like and didn't cover up the taste of the buffalo, which was more tender and succulent than any meat deserves to be, especially ribs.
We also had the smoked chicken fry bread. This is Indian-fry bread topped with apple wood smoked chicken, finely diced tomatos, herbs, wild forest mushrooms and finely sliced, fried leeks. I can't even begin to describe the wonderfulness of this dish.
Sharon had the buffalo stew for lunch. It had slow simmered over 6 or 7 hours and the broth by itself would have made you dance. The buffalo was incredibly tender and flavorful. It was topped with creme anglais and fresh cilantro.
I had the spinach pheasant salad. Baby spinach with shaved, marinated fennel, teardrop tomatoes, tossed in a hot apple smoked bacon vinaigrette, with crispy, smoked pheasant on top. Simply put, it was perfection.
I knew that after such a lunch, they must have a fabulous dessert. We ordered one to split, but after it came, Sharon ordered her own, thank you very much. The desert had three layers of phillo squares [lightly sweetened, about 4 or 5 layers thick] with lemon custard and fresh raspberries - which were piped full of lemon custard - in between the layers. It was sauced with a fresh raspberry puree which was to die for. The raspberries themselves were the biggest, plumpest, sweetest berries I have ever eaten. The people at the next table ordered the same dessert after Sharon and I had moaned over it for 10 or 15 minutes. mmmmm, mmmmmmmm, mmmmmmmmmmmmm.
Honestly, we formed a plan for going back for dinner. It got rather late after touring the Needles and hiking around the Heads, so we ended up doing the responsible thing and heading back to Rapid City. I really didn't want to drive the state park in the middle of the night.
So, for dinner [which diabetics need to eat, whether hungry or not] we stopped at the Elk Creek Steakhouse. They butcher their own meat there, and you cannot get a better, more flavorful, tender steak anywhere. No, not anywhere. I would hold these steaks up to any you want to compare them to. [Everyone has a website... Elk Creek
Well, that has been our eating tour. I never did get my fresh mountain trout which is why we drove to the State Game Lodge, and it closes for the season tomorrow. It wouldn't be that unreasonable to head out there this afternoon, would it? It is only about 3 1/2 hours away.
I hope and pray that Chef Michael Burchfield is returning to the lodge next season. I begged for a copy of the menu and am really wanting to try the pan fried mountain trout on creamy herb sweet potato cake with orange-lime butter, micro greens, and fried carrot garniture. Sharon had her eye on the grilled antelope chops in red-onion demi-glace with roast garlic whipped potatoes. Have to admit, I'd also like to try the blueberry peanut coleslaw.
What is this restuarant doing in the middle of the Black Hills? Don't know, don't care. Want to go back!!! Recommend that you call for reservations during the season [May to October] now!
Here is the link to the resort, and the menu... State Game Lodge
[ October 04, 2001: Message edited by: nancya ]