By Renae Counter Explorebigsky.com Editorial Assistant
BIG SKY – July 11 is National Rainer Cherry Day.

As part of a national campaign known as Tree-To-Table, Northwest Cherries of Seattle, Wash. is providing Rainer cherries to one restaurant in each of the 50 states to be featured as a special menu item. This year, Montana’s restaurant is Big Sky’s own The Restaurant at Rainbow Ranch Lodge.

Rainer cherries are famous for their light, yellow colored flesh that bursts with sweetness.
The campaign looks to pair them with locally owned restaurants that are iconic within a certain region.

On July 1, Executive Chef Mattew Fritz will dish up the first of his cherry dishes: Duck Confit with Rainier Cherry Marmalade, Grilled Radicchio and Balsamic Glaze. Additional dishes are in the works to be featured throughout the rest of July.

Chef Fritz, originally from Chicago, has over 20 years of culinary experience. Prior to his position at Rainbow Ranch Lodge, Chef Fritz worked as a Chef at Yellowstone Club’s Rainbow Lodge. His dishes capture flavors from around the world while implementing locally grown produce.

Dinner hours are 5:30 – 9:30 p.m., Tuesday through Sunday. Reservations are recommend and can be made at rainbowranchbigsky.com/restaurant.php, or by calling (800) 937-4132.