January 7, 2012 Posted by khelgeson in Business, Explore, Lifestyle, Local, Montana, News
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Moonlight’s Jack Creek Grille offers lively après, full bar and menu

By Abbie Digel Explorebigsky.com Editor

Big Sky – There’s nothing better than retiring to the Moonlight Lodge after a day exploring Lone Mountain on ski or board. With the big couches, warm fireplace, tall ceilings and vast windows overlooking snowy ridges and tree-lined groomers, why would you want to leave?

This year the dining area in the lodge has a fresh face: Jack Creek Grille. Take the menu of a cozy city bistro, add mountain touch, sweeping views of Lone Peak, and Moonlight Basin’s first-rate hospitality, and you get an original Big Sky experience.

Guests can take their time sitting at any of the high tops surrounding the bar or the cozy leather chairs and couches. The bar menu is complete with nachos, sliders, local brews and specialty cocktails. Bustling with an exciting après crowd, the lodge is the place to recount the day’s action.

The Jack Creek Grille is named after the creek running west through Moonlight Basin resort's property, ultimately flowing into the Madison River. The private 10-mile Jack Creek Road follows this drainage west of Big Sky; the area of conservation easements and private land abuts the Lee Metcalf wilderness and is an important wildlife habitat.

The Grille’s approachable menu offers rustic Montana cuisine, simple comfort foods and Asian-American inspired dishes with chef Eric Stenberg’s personal flair. Using local food from Gallatin Valley Botanical and local meat distributors, the plates are served at reasonable portion sizes and price points.

Stenberg, a longtime Montana chef fresh from the Club at Spanish Peaks is excited to offer an everchanging menu with frequent specials to Moonlight guests and locals.

“People are leaving saying they are impressed with the pricing structure and fun atmosphere,” said Carrie Chapin, the restaurant manager. At press time, the Jack Creek Grille had been busy every night since opening. Reservations are recommended.

The staff is quick and knowledgeable, and will guide you through the extensive wine list, pairing the perfect red with their Red Lodge Beef Tenderloin, or a crisp white with the Pan Seared Paradise Valley Trout. The kids’ menu has all of the favorites: mac n cheese, spaghetti and grilled chicken, all priced at a savvy seven dollars each. Kids love the colorful menus with games and coloring sheets.

It’s hard to choose from kitchen favorites such as house-made vegetarian lasagna, a risotto with caramelized butternut squash, and a classic bison burger. The salads are a standout, especially the Quinoa, which is made with a lemon yogurt vinaigrette that adds a tart contrast to the sweet dried cherries.

The dining room has plenty of seating for large and small parties alike, and guests also have to option to sit by the fire or stay in the bar to enjoy their meals.

Jack Creek Grille is also open for lunch. “If you’re looking for a sit down lunch, and then getting right back on the hill, Jack Creek is perfect,” Chapin said. The lunch menu has lighter fare, but with plenty of carbs and protein for a full day of hitting the slopes. Try the flatbread pizza or the fish tacos and wash it down with a cold Moonlight IPA from Lone Peak Brewery.

Like its namesake, Jack Creek Grille is genuine Montana: individuals and families will want to return during their stay because of the comfort of the atmosphere, the friendliness of the staff and the simple, delicious menu.

Call (406) 995-7777 for reservations, menu updates and specials. moonlightbasin.com