Archive for the ‘lodging in Glacier’ Category

Montana Dragon Boat Festival Racers Welcome at The Horse Next September

Tuesday, September 18th, 2012

Although the second annual Montana Dragon Boat Festival is a year away, it isn’t too early to book your lodging and Laughing Horse Lodge is the perfect place to be for your race team and dragon boats. Located just 25 minutes from the race site at Flathead Lake Lodge, the Horse offers up economical yet award-winning hospitality and dining, with the added benefit of beautiful Swan Lake – a perfect practice lake for your team. Reserve your rooms individually or reserve the entire property for your team.

Our special Dragon Team Package includes: 5 nights lodging for up to 26 ( a combination of double occupancy, bunk room and cabin); early-out gourmet breakfast each morning; Welcome BBQ Dinner for your team on the first night; boat and trailer parking; boat launch and secure docking on Swan Lake for pre-event practice; and Farewell Dinner for your team on the last night.  Package price as low as $70 per person dependent upon total occupancy. For details, contact Kathleen at laughinghorselodge@gmail.com.

Where’s Waldo? Or in this case, Where’s Chef Kate?

Wednesday, March 16th, 2011

Winter is quickly loosening its grasp on Swan Lake, although the shadowed snow drifts will probably remain until well into May. But with the temperatures nearing 50, thoughts turn to spring and the inevitable crush of a fun-filled, visitor-packed summer.

While the Horse still slumbers under several feet of snow, and Chef Kate still lingers somewhere near the equator, plans are underway for an exceptional year of good food, music and even better Montana hospitality at Laughing Horse Lodge.

So where exactly is our intrepid hostess? We caught up with Kathleen at a remote 5 star eco-resort on the west coast of Panama where for the past few months she has been guest chef, teacher, student and explorer…a typical winter for this 12 year Montana resident.“I originally came to Panama to build up my Spanish so that I could bring in a South American guest chef for the summer and have a way of communicating in the kitchen,” says Kathleen. But not satisfied to have just one ball in the air, the study trip turned into a temporary gig at one of Panama’s newest luxury resorts, Boutique Hotel Cala Mia located on an isolated Pacific island in the Archipelago Chiriqui.

“This has been an experience in self-sufficiency and creativity,” laughs Moon as she recounts the first trip to Isla Boca Brava…a two hour journey by bus, cab and boat from the nearest town. “ I arrived all jazzed only to discover that there wasn’t a single piece of chocolate on the island and it would be two more weeks before anyone was going shopping back on the mainland.”

Surrounded by troops of howler monkeys, noisy parrots, and a 3’ iguana living in the thatched ceiling of her bungalow, Kathleen went to work (without chocolate) with the property’s Italian owner Vittoria Ghini, establishing a Spanish-language SafeServe-style  training program for the kitchen, setting up an on-line reservation system, and giving the island chef a break each week. “It’s been a real struggle in the kitchen being ‘forced’ to work with fresh fish and lobster brought to the dock each afternoon,” Moon quips, a smile in her voice.  “I’ve also learned a bit about making artisan cheese…and in Panama of all places.”

Ghini, and her Dutch husband Max, opened the resort 4 years ago and  support the dining room at Cala Mia with an extensive organic farm and dairy operation located a few kilometers east on the island. Fresh arugula, herbs,  aubergine, peppers, tomatoes and a dry-land rice are produced, as well as organic butter, cream and an outstanding Gouda.

Building and maintaining a luxury eco-resort and an accompanying organic farm with a small but state of the art dairy processing facility would be a challenge even in the US or Europe, but to do so on a remote second-world  island with a single car ferry (built by Max) and the feat becomes extraordinary.

“These people are impressive,” states our traveler, “my highest complement to Vittoria and Max would be that with their independence and entrepreneurial abilities remind me of many of the Montanans I’ve befriended over the years.”

Kathleen returns home just in time to participate in the annual Taste of Bigfork on May 1st.  She’ll be bringing with her new ideas and a renewed dedication to providing even more organic offerings on her already outstanding menu.

The dining room at Laughing Horse Lodge reopens May 20th with dinner served Wednesday – Sunday, from 5pm. Reservations are highly suggested.

Howlers in the trees.

Al Fresco Dining in the Horse’s Spectacular Garden!

Tuesday, June 15th, 2010
The Garden is open for your sipping pleasure!
And what a garden it is this year…so leave your daily stress at the door
and enjoy a delicious glass of wine and an al fresco meal while you bask in
the golden silence of a lovely Swan Lake evening.
To celebrate the arrival (finally!) of summer, this weekend we’re presenting a refreshing Mediterranean Antipasti Plate for two
with two glasses of Gain Bay Cabernet  (a Stag’s Leap appellation) for $25. You’ll enjoy freshly char grilled and marinated
vegetables bursting with the flavors of Sardinia, an assortment of Greek olives, hard Italian meats, and yeasty French artisan
bread with rosemary olive oil perfect for dipping. 
Reservations: 406-886-2080
PS. Thanks to our many swallows and brown bats, the garden is mostly mosquito-free!

Down Island Cuisine Menu for Chef’s Tasting June 22nd

Wednesday, May 12th, 2010

Tuesday’s Tantalizing Travel Tastings At The Horse Join Chef Kate and crew as we explore various culinary regions of the world.  You’ll enjoy a tempting six course tasting menu complete with unique beer and wine pairings in the intimate and fun atmosphere of Horse’s dining room or garden. 

 Each evening commences at 6:30pm with a casual presentation by a local travel professional, and an offering of tasty morsels and conversation regarding the region being explored.  Bring your travel adventure stories!

 Dinner begins at 7pm. One seating only, limited to 24. Secured reservations required. $69 per person, $109 per couple.

 Down Island Cuisine Menu – June 22nd

 Carrot Coconut Bisque with Candied Ginger Tuile 

Curried Chicken Roti with Cilantro Crème Fraiche

 Golden Beets, Fennel & Bahamian Conch Salad with Lemongrass Aioli

 Jerked Mahi Mahi with Grilled Mango and Chile Relish  Served with Miso Sweet Potato Puree

 Saban Spiced Goat Stew with Cruzan Rum Fruit Bread

 Burro Banana Tart with Tropical Fruit Salsa

July 13th, 6:30pm – Cuisine of Turkey

July 27th, 6:30pm Cuisine of Argentina

August 10th, 6:30pm Cuisine of Morocco                                                                                       

 August 24th, 6:30pm Cuisine of India

406-886-2080          www.laughinghorselodge.com

A Heartfelt ‘Thank You’ to Old and New Friends from the Horse on Finishing Our 10th Year

Thursday, October 15th, 2009

As the snow begins to sugar the mountain tops here in Swan Lake, I begin the task of closing the Horse for the long winter. First the gardens, so lush and beautiful this year, are cut back and a few tears fall as the last of those glorious hollyhocks are stuffed into the mulch bag – their seed pods carefully saved for gorilla gardening around the neighborhood. Those monstrous hanging baskets of sunrise pink petunias are delivered back to the nursery and the drip systems are drained. The herb garden – so prolific this summer – gives up the last sprigs of lovage, savory and tarragon to flavor the fall stew bubbling on the back burner.

The highway is quiet, the lake even more so. No jet skis, boats or swimmers – just flocks of migrants heading south stopping in for a quick bite and respite. This is my favorite time of year – full of gold light and the smell of winter on the air. The few visitors coming through the door are a hardy breed seeking stillness and ready for any weather Nature may send their way.

It has been an amazing season thanks to the many returning guests who over the years have become good friends. And so many new faces that portend an even rosier future for the Horse.  It has been 10 years since the doors opened and what a wonderful ride it has been…fascinating visitors and guests, exciting stories of traveling adventures, quiet moments on sunset contemplations and the absolutely wonderful gratification of knowing that my staff and I have contributed in some small way to making special memories for you and your families.Kathleen on porch

Although the lodge will be  closed November 1 thru April 30, we won’t be idle…upgrades and improvements will take place over the winter to make your 2010 stay even more comfortable.  On behalf of Nikki, Cooper, Sampson and Juliet – thank you – for the hikes, the cookies and the new vocabulary (Sampson has incorporated a distinct New Jersey accent and now knows the main theme to Encounters of the Third Kind!)

For all our new and old friends – have a safe and exceptional winter. We’ll be looking forward to welcoming you back to the Horse next year.  Kathleen

Montana’s Rob Quist and Nashville’s Tim Ryan Return to Laughing Horse Lodge

Tuesday, July 7th, 2009

Returning for what is sure to be a sell-out performance, Rob Quist and Tim Ryan will be telling their musical stories of the West in the garden at Laughing Horse Lodge on September 5th. Two years ago, these two troubadors held the audience at the Horse spellbound – each man is an accomplished artist but together they are magic.  So make your reservations today…$5 cover or purchase dinner at the Horse…by calling 406-886-2080 or dropping an email to laughinghorselodge@gmail.com.  The performance will begin at 7pm in the cozy garden of the Horse which is located at milemarker 71.5 on Hwy 83 in Swan Lake, Montana.  Dinner and overnight lodging is available.

Swan Lake’s Laughing Horse Lodge a Welcome Respite for Traveling Vegetarians

Thursday, July 2nd, 2009

 In Montana, beef is royalty, but occasionally even a carnivore craves greens and fish and the kitchen at Laughing Horse Lodge is pleased to oblige. The menu presented by chef/owner Kathleen features many dishes based on organic and natural ingredients that can be stepped up with responsibly harvested fish including sushi-grade Ahi and line-caught Alaskan Salmon.

 For a warm summer evening try her signature Polynesian – organic baby farm greens tossed with dried organic cranberries, diced apples and ginger glazed pecans topped with a seared Ahi steak and fresh gorgonzola crumbles drizzled with a zingy wasabi ginger dressing…and that green stuff on the edge of the plate? It’s not guacamole, but freshly made wasabi…sizzling!

 Kathleen’s large entrée salads – The Rancher, The Yucatan Stack and the Polynesian – are meals in themselves, but if you are looking for something with a bit more heft, put in an order for the Organic Basil Pesto Linguini brimming with gently sautéed vegetables, or the Mango Ahi served on a bed of organic wehani red rice steaming with the flavors of Thailand.

 And so that our carnivore partners don’t feel left out, there’s a 14oz natural Buffalo Ribeye served up with a tantalizing Wild Berry Glaze, natural Angus Sirloin aged to fork-tender perfection, Angus Prime Rib and of course, the famous ½# steak burger served on a homemade foccaccia bun.

 

Wild Salmon, Savory Black Bean, Natural Chicken or Steak...The Burger is King!

Wild Salmon, Savory Black Bean, Natural Chicken or Steak...The Burger is King!

The dining room is open Wednesday through Sunday at 5pm with a public brunch Saturday and Sunday 8am – 2pm.

Reservations definitely suggested…406-886-2080.

Laughing Horse Lodge A Haven for Foodies in the Flathead Valley

Thursday, July 2nd, 2009

Now in her tenth year as owner, chief cook and bottle washer, Kathleen continues to bring in the rave reviews for Laughing Horse Lodge from locals and visitors who have discovered this Swan Lake dining ‘secret’.

This season, Kathleen heats up her menu with nightly specials from the ‘over the top’ Asian flavor sensation of Saffron Soba Noodle Cake to the Norman Rockwell down home comfort of savory meatloaf floating in a sea of Crimini Mushroom Prime Rib gravy.

The Horse offers a laid-back, old Montana dining experience where the value is on the plate – mostly organic, always fresh and totally delicious ingredients prepared with care, presented with joy and affordably priced.

So if you are a foodie looking for the best the Flathead has to offer, take a short drive to Swan Lake and see what Kathleen is cooking up for the evening… “hmmm…all natural Tuscan-style Black Angus Prime Rib, or a large steaming bowl of clams swimming in a broth reminiscent of late summer nights in Capri?”

The dining room is open 5pm Wednesday – Sunday for dinner with a public brunch offered Saturday and Sunday 8am – 2pm. The kitchen is closed Monday and Tuesday night so that Kathleen may bring her creative skills to the private homes of the Bigfork/Swan Lake area for parties from 12 to 100.

 Reservations definitely suggested…406-886-2080.

Natural Porterhouse Pork Chop on a Green Chili Frittata

Natural Porterhouse Pork Chop on a Green Chili Frittata