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Big Sky, a winter wonderland.

Tis’ the season for snow-capped mountains, skiing, snowshoeing, sleighride dinners and much more. Big Sky becomes a magical winter wonderland with ample adventures to choose from in the colder months. Here are a few of Buck’s T-4’s recommendations.  We’ve used the ski-trail rating system to communicate the different difficulty levels of winter recreational activities in the Big Sky area. Green circle activities are designated the easiest, made accessible to beginners and recreationists of all levels. The next level up are the blue square adventures that are slightly more challenging, meant for an intermediate skill level or above. Lastly, black diamond pursuits are for the advanced and most adventurous. Green Circle – Beginner Snowshoeing– Get back to the basics with a trek on foot through the snow. Whether traveling alone or on a guided expedition, you’ll discover the wonders of winter – wildlife and majestic scenery and surroundings. Snowshoe rentals and trail information are available at outdoor retailers around Big Sky.  Jakes Horses– Travel on horseback during the wintertime in Big Sky with a trail ride at Jakes Horses, located a short distance from Buck’s T-4. Running year-round, Jake’s recommends winter riders to dress warm to better enjoy the majestic mountain…

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Fine Dining | A Perfect Entree

Every so often I dine at a restaurant and have what I consider to be the perfect entree. What are my qualifications? Firstly, let’s look at flavor. There needs to be depth, so that sweetness or saltiness doesn’t just fall flat on my palette. I’m looking for complexity but just the right amount so that all the tastes meld together, keeping it rounded. In my own cooking, I fail most often at achieving this when trying to make a vegetarian soup from scratch that lacks cream or milk. Secondly, everything on that plate needs to have a place and be equally perfect. So often a nice piece of fish or meat is served with an okay vegetable or a par side dish. Veg and sides have been tossed by the wayside, and Mr. Meat or Fish steals the whole show. Now don’t get me wrong, I don’t need some fancy asparagus or crazy broccoli side, but let’s face it how often does the veg left to it’s own accord arrive overcooked or less than fresh? Recently, I was in Fresno, California visiting family and we dined at Max’s. This little Bistro has become a favorite amongst my family. It’s well…

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Summer Activities | Big Sky Day Trips Part One: Missouri Headwaters State Park

My aunt is on a mission to experience more of our home state—Montana. Having just lived here short of two years myself, I thought that I might join her pursuit. So we got to plotting, convinced my uncle to come along and decided to start in our own neck of the woods by taking a day trip from Big Sky. The itinerary: Missouri Headwaters State Park, Lewis and Clark Caverns, and Virginia City. We made a big loop, leaving Big Sky headed north through Bozeman and then coming home through West Yellowstone. Thankfully, the Sunday we chose for our adventure started out overcast but quickly turned into one of the few and far between sunny days we’ve had this spring. After the hour and 15 minute drive to Headwaters State Park the clouds had dissipated and we were basking in the sun (if you’re reading this Sun, please come back).  So just what is Headwaters State Park? I actually didn’t find out until we got there. Like so much else in southwest Montana, Headwaters is partially caught up in Lewis and Clark’s expedition. In 1805, they camped on what are now the park grounds. As you explore Headwaters dotted throughout…

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Buck’s T-4 Restaurant Reopens for the Summer: Taste the New Menu

I can’t believe that it’s already June, the off-season over and Buck’s T-4 is reopening its restaurant doors tonight. The weather is still wet and spring like but our reward for enduring all the moisture is our own chlorophyll infused oasis. It’s so green, you’re afraid it might rub off on you. We’ve spent the past week at Buck’s in high gear preparing for what is sure to be an exciting summer season.  From planting flowerbeds to spring cleaning we’re ready to go. The highlight of this week for myself and the rest of the serving staff was definitely the menu tasting. Chef Todd Christensen and Food and Beverage Director Chuck Schommer were busy this spring coming up with a truly exceptional summer menu appealing to a wide variety of tastes and palettes. The new menu holds true to Buck’s T-4’s history of catering to both the wild game and steak enthusiast, as well as those desiring something a bit lighter or just plain good comfort food. Of course, we still have our famous New Zealand Red Deer served with port wine butter sauce (liquid heaven) but we’ve created a summer inspired pheasant dish, added coffee crusted Montana elk, and…

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Events | Summer Menu is Here, Doors Open Tonight

We’re back! Yep, it’s that time again, where we wow you with new summer creations and bring back old favorites that fit the warm weather and long sunny days ahead of us (they’re right around the corner, I’m sure). Back after huge success last year, is our Summer Salad– yellow and red watermelon, fresh arugula, red onion and cotija cheese neatly arrayed with a knockout citrus ginger vinaigrette. A new item that is sure to strike your fancy is Green Eggs and Ham. Yep, we’ve made a breakfast sandwich for dinner and it has to be the dish I am most excited to eat all summer long. With Dr. Seuss as inspiration this killer open face sandwich is made with a slice of thick sourdough bread, house smoked Cajun Tasso ham, melted Swiss, wild baby arugula, sliced tomato and topped off with a pesto friend egg. Please feel free to quote Geisel as you’re enjoying this dish because it’s so good you could eat it on a train, you could it in the rain. Buck’s restaurant is open daily starting tonight from 5pm-10pm. Bar open late and don’t even get me started on the new cocktails Lauren and Anna have…

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Recipes | Russian Cream with Raspberries

I have something new and exciting for you this week. Recipes! Periodically, we will sharing some of our favorite Buck’s T-4 recipes from both past and present. We hope to give you a deeper look into our kitchens, the minds that work the culinary magic and allow you to make at home what you have enjoyed at Buck’s. To start off, I picked one of my favorite T-4 traditions, Russian Cream with Raspberries. To my dismay, I tried this delightful dessert in my first week at Buck’s and since have never really given the other desserts the time of day. I’m not the only one who has suffered from this problem because when I asked Mike, Chuck and Dave when this dish first appeared on the menu, none could quite remember–it was so many years ago. Before Dave’s time, before Chuck’s too and Mike’s best guess, 1980. That was 31 years ago and the most incredible detail is that it has never left the menu. Sometime around 1980 a new pastry chef who’d come from Jackson brought the recipe with them and while many subsequent chefs have tried to contemporize the sweet, they’ve never succeeded. If you’ve tried this dessert…

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Snow Today, Summer Tomorrow

Let’s just ignore the fact that it snowed today because now it’s sunny, the sky is blue and the clouds are big and white, and I want to write about summer. We have had one hell of a winter this year, more snow than we’ve seen in years and the powder junkies came from far and wide to feed on the fruit La Nina bestowed on us in Big Sky, MT. Those of us who had the privilege of spending all winter long enjoying the fruit of La Nina are quite happy to see her go. We want summer and if you have ever had the opportunity to taste the Montana summer then you know exactly why. Our summers are golden. Endless days, fresh mountain air, pristine streams, panoramic vistas to be had in every direction. Ever see the campaign about getting lost in Montana, well summer is definitely an excellent time to do it. I’m addicted to the long days; it’s 8:30pm as I write this and not even close to dark. In another month night won’t come until after ten. One of my families favorite summertime activities is to sit outside by the river, build a fire and sip…

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Prime Rib Every Friday for the Rest of the Summer

By popular demand, Buck’s is featuring prime rib every Friday night. Slow-roasted, juicy and flavorful, we’ll have it until it runs out. Accompanied by hand-smashed potatoes, fresh vegetables and Joe Mama’s famous popovers with honey butter. Hungry yet?

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22 Chefs, 22 Pizzas, 22 Smiling Faces

Recently, we had 22 miniature guest chefs on premises at Buck’s T-4. We had the privilege of hosting a field trip for the second graders from Ophir school in Buck’s kitchen. It was one big pizza party where all the students had the opportunity to create personal pizzas. Doug Starz, Todd’s right hand man in Buck’s pub came up with the idea while reading to his son’s class at Ophir School. He asked if the kids would like to do something different during his reading time in the future and came up with a couple suggestions. The make your own pizza party at Buck’s was a unanimous hit. The children’s teacher, Miss Ellis, found creative ways to incorporate the fieldtrip into her lesson plan. In preparation for the fieldtrip the kids used pizza toppings to practice their multiplication tables. They also learned about steps in a process, just like when you build a pizza from the crust up. And probably the best lesson was the Pizza Pokey, a twist on the classic Hokey Pokey song. It goes something like, “You put some sauce on, you take some sauce off…” Jayne, the hotel manager, heard all the little voices singing from…

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