Sunday, August 7, 2011

Taste of Kalispell

Folks enjoying Taste of Kalispell Saturday night.
One of the great things about living in the Flathead Valley is that particularly in the summer, there is so much going on that you get to choose what you would like to do each weekend.  As if I didn't have enough fun yesterday at Bigfork Festival of the Arts, Taste of Kalispell took place last night at the Museum at Central School.

I love food.  Good food, beautiful food, artful food.  I found it all at Taste of Kalispell.  Add to that: Cocinando, a Latin orchestra provided music for dancin' (which Christopher, Burrito and I did), there was an art display to enjoy in the museum, and door prizes.

But of course the star of the show was the food and wine.

Here are my top 5 favorite tastes of the 20 or so restaurants and caterers providing samples of their fine offerings:

5. Homemade meatball at Bonelli's Bistro--bursting with flavor from fresh herbs and a lovely marinara sauce.  Genuine comfort food.
4. North Bay Grille provided this perfectly summer-appropriate Thai Chicken Salad.  The earthiness of the sesame oil and peanut butter, the crunch of the cabbage, carrots and peppers, the tender strips of chicken, the spicy finish.  It was perfect, particularly with a robust glass of Mission Mountain Winery's Cabernet.

3. Look at Me Cupcakes provided my favorite dessert offering: Pink-glitter sprinkled Lavender Cupcakes with Lemon Butter Cream frosting ("We tried Lavender Cupcakes with Lavender frosting but they just came out tasting like soap!" the baker told me).  Well, I'd say they found the perfect combination now!  If only they were bigger!
2. The surprise of the night: Mackenzie River Pizza Company offered some of the freshest, more flavorful food out of all the food presenters.  I say this is a surprise because Mackenzie River is a local chain, and as a chain, it tends to play to the middle of tastes, sometimes overly salting its food and trying to be too generally appealing.  Their food is good but not great, in my experience.  With previous impression in my head, I was pleasantly surprised to try their zesty Summer Gazpacho, full of chunky, garlicky goodness.  It was the perfect taste on a hot summer evening.  I drank two glasses of it!  Not pictured was their other delicious offering: Thai Chicken Skewers.
1. My absolute favorite offering of the night (and Christopher's too, while I'm at it): A Parmesan and Herb Waffle drizzled with a Cheese Sauce from local coffeehouse/music venue The Boiler Room.  This eggy, crisp, chewy waffle was a revelation!  The fine folks at the Boiler Room told me they age their waffle dough overnight to develop its delicious tanginess.  Depth of flavor meets sweet tooth.  The Boiler Room serves waffles on the weekend.  From my investigation of their online menu, I didn't find this particular waffle variety but hopefully they have added it since posting their menu.  I salute them!

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