Squirhouse, a nice way to dine

 

One of the newer additions to the Bozeman food scene, Squirehouse shares the building with the new downtown hotel. Restaurants attached to hotels often have the reputation of being hit or miss. Sometimes it’s good, but often the food is mediocre and pricey because customers paying for the convenient location.

 

The first thing broke students should take note of are the prices, which are comparable to other fine dining establishments. Squirehouse’s prices are still more than the average college student can afford to spend on dinner. Squirehouse will be the place to go for a special occasion or if parents are visiting and they’re buying. The drinks are on the mid to high end of the cost spectrum, but they do offer an extensive liquor and cocktail collection that includes almost an entire page of scotch whiskeys to sample. It’s the perfect place for a booze snob, but unless you have a trust fund, it’s probably not the place to get your drink on.

 

The starter menu features some eclectic dishes such as duck confit with beluga lentils and arugula salad. Beluga lentils are a fancy way to say large, black lentils that look a lot like caviar but taste like regular lentils. The tempura green beans with harissa aioli were delicious, and the brussels brava were divine. Although I think the brussels are always tasty, many people have an aversion to the tiny cabbages. Before you brush off brussel sprouts as an icky vegetable, try these crispy sprouts roasted and topped with lemon aioli and brava sauce.  These little sprouts are tender in the middle and crisped to perfection, and are a good enough reason to come back any time.  

 

The chopped salad sounded promising from the description on the menu, but was merely adequate and did not wow. Maybe the expectation was too much from the description, I expected it to be actually chopped rather than the rings of red onions and the too-large-for-my-big-mouth slabs of dried tomatoes that forced me to do all of the chopping. The dressing was good, but the salad toppings were uninspired and scant. The spiced chickpeas sounded like they would be a good idea, but they were reminiscent corn nuts, a snack with the density of gravel. While it was decent, it did not impress enough to order again.

 

If you’re in the mood for something decadent, the mac and cheese comes highly recommended. The burgers are a more reasonably priced option and you have the choice of elk or beef, and seafood selections include trout, scallops and salmon and the meat entrees feature chicken, bacon, steak and prime rib options. There are no vegetarian entree options, but there are gluten free menu items. While Squirehouse does put their own flair on standard fare, the menu is limited. However, if you’re looking for a nice place to eat that features local fare in a primo location, Squirehouse fits the bill.

 

25 East Mendenhall Street Bozeman, MT, 59715

Open daily 5 p.m. to 12 a.m.

Menu and reservations at squirehousebozeman.com.

 

Squire House is a restaurant in Bozeman, Mont. serving sandwiches, steaks, soups, salads and cocktails. Photo by Brendan Kristiansen / Montana State Exponent.