Tucked inside a beautiful art deco building, the Red Bird restaurant is a not-to-be-missed Missoula treat.
With great local food and a lovely wine bar, this hometown haunt offers travelers a great break from clanging dishes and fast food ennui.
After walking through the Florence Building's vast lobby, start your night with a yummy bottle of wine, or do what I do, order the Champagne Fondue and a little glass of bubbly. The bar's cozy ambiance will let you snuggle with your date or mingle with neighbors. You are as likely to chat with a hometown lawyer as you are to meet an actor or a lumberjack. And if you happen in on a Monday night, live music (mostly jazz) is provided.
When you move into the main restaurant, you will discover a menu loaded with local offerings. Depending on what season you travel through town, consider the Montana Lamb or the regionally sourced Ribeye Steak. As I don't eat meat, I can only trust my fellow diners, but everyone raves about the choices for carnivores. As a vegetarian, I love the spicy Mexican Vegetable Tasting option and I can't say enough about Red Bird's beet salad.
The dessert options are terrific, but Red Bird's chefs put cherries grown in the nearby Flathead Valley on top of their cheesecake. There's nothing better than those tangy treats piled high atop a creamy, rich finale.