Saturday, November 6, 2010

Bustin' Up Buffalo at the Rib and Chop

Montana Rib and Chop House
Livingston, Montana

In Suit 69's humble opinion, steak is the reigning champ of all foods.

Really, how can you improve on a big, thick, preferably rare slab of dead cow?

Well, you can, believe it or not.

And Montana's Rib and Chop House in Livingston, Montana knows the trick.

Make it buffalo ribeye, and no longer are you dealing with the champ of all foods -- you're dealing with the king of all steak.

Buffalo ribeyes don't show up on menus in every state.

But this is Montana where occasionally, in some places, you can still see bison roaming around looking delicious.

So when I saw the buffalo ribeye on the menu at Montana's Rib and Chop House, I didn't hesitate.

I ordered the 16 ounce monster saying, "Make mine rare, please."

On a tip, I ordered a side of their wild mushroom stuffing too.

To drink?

Come on, this is Montana.  I ordered a Moose Drool.

Moose Drool is another item you can't just anywhere, and this beer truly almost deserves it's own entry.

It's dark, but it's not the heaviest or hoppiest beer in the world.  It's very smooth with nice smoky, chocolatey hints.

In fact, the color can trick you into thinking it you'll be brushing your tongue for a week after drinking it.

But flavor-wise, if you like medium-bodied beers, you'll love Moose Drool.

In fact, it's the perfect beer to accompany a nice steak.

There weren't many folks in Rib and Chop when I showed up Friday afternoon.

In fact, tourist season -- which is Livingston's main industry -- is long gone.  I'm sure the place is much busier during the summer months.

But having the kitchen and waitstaff virtually all to myself wasn't going to get me down.

When my buffalo ribeye arrived, it was still sizzling on the plate and looked much thicker than I was expecting.

And the flavor was really nice.

I'm not once to drown steak in a pile of different table sauces.

I like the flavor of the meat, so to help it pop, I sprinkled it with salt before downing a few bites with my Moose Drool.

Turns out, I probably should have asked for medium-rare instead of just rare.

Because ribeyes are so fatty, it takes reaching and maintaining a high temperature for a few minutes before the fats and tendons will break down.

Usually, that's not a problem with beef, but my guess is a buffalo ribeye needs to be cooked just a few minutes longer to reach it's optimum tenderness.

The wild mushroom stuffing is another story however.

You want to talk about perfection in a bowl?

Well, this is it.

On your first bite, you taste the mild flavor of mushrooms, but then you taste the butter and the Parmesan cheese too.

It could stand alone fine as a meal in itself.

And it also goes really well with a Moose Drool, so I had to order another beer.

All in all, I left Montana's Rib and Chop completely stuffed and happy.

And the only thing that kept me from buying a shirt was that buffalo ribeyes aren't exactly cheap.

Rating:  Seriously thought about buying the shirt.

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