Archive for the ‘Montana bed and breakfast’ Category

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

Laughing Horse Lodge Ranked #1 – Best Food in the Valley!

Tuesday, August 11th, 2009

The Horse is quietly celebrating its 10th year of providing the most intriguing and delicious menu in the valley, but the best kept secret in the Flathead may be a secret no more. Guests have been posting their reviews  of the Horse on the nation’s number one independent travel review site – www.tripadvisor.com – in ever increasing numbers, catapulting the Horse to the number one position in the region. Ranked highly in areas of quality, value and service, the Horse continues to deliver consistently great food, affordably priced in an atmosphere of warm Montana hospitality.

Chef/Owner, Kathleen Moon and her superb staff make certain that every visitor has a personal and singular experience, a sentiment stated over and over again in the reviews posted at tripadvisor and bedandbreakfast.com. ‘We’re not for everybody,” admits Moon, “the lodge offers up clean and comfortable, yet very basic accomodations with few amenities beyond the natural beauty of the Swan Lake area…so if you need the pool, the in-room TV, cell service and a perfectly stirred martini…we’ll help you find a nice hotel in Kalispell. But if you want quiet solitude, the company of a sweet dog, a great bottle of wine and a good book, with fabulous food (of course!) then this is the spot.”

To discover the charms of this Laughing Horse, visit www.laughinghorselodge.com and book an overnight stay, or just come out for the some delicious dining and music.

Larry Pattis and His Guitar Back at Laughing Horse Lodge!

Saturday, August 1st, 2009

The garden concerts at  the Horse just keep getting  better. The Wilbur Rehmann Jazz Quartet packed them in last weekend with jazz so cool it made the hot evening feel downright tropical. Next up in the garden is guitarist Larry Pattis promising a slightly calmer evening of excellent fingerstyle acoustic music of his own composition. A seasoned performer, Larry was last at the Horse in 2005 just prior to his debut performance on the Millenium Stage at the Kennedy Center.  Listeners of NPR will recognize his signature style.  The concert begins at 7pm on August 30th, dinner reservations may be made beginning at 5pm. Dinner or a $5 cover. For reservations, call 406-886-2080.

It’s Lobster Ravioli Week at Laughing Horse Lodge!

Wednesday, July 29th, 2009

A hot summer evening in Bigfork cries out for a light and delectable dinner down the lake. Stop in this week for our cool organic lodge salad followed by Grilled Lobster Ravioli topped with Langostinos and herbed butter. Add a crisp New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc and heaven is almost achieved. Oh heck, let’s go for the pearly gates!…and end the evening with a piece of warm-from-the-oven huckleberry peach pie topped with Tillamook Vanilla Bean ice cream.

Reservations are a definite must for this dish, so call today. 406-886-2080.

Not into the delectable crustacean? More of a meat and potatoes type? No worries. Kate’s menu features aged prime cuts of beef that will melt in your mouth. So avoid the theater crush in Bigfork and travel a few minutes down Hwy 83 to the village of Swan Lake and enjoy a dining experience ranked #1 on tripadvisor.com!

Huckleberry Peach Pie and the Swan Lake Huckleberry Festival

Friday, July 10th, 2009

It is that time of year again! Huckleberrys and peaches – a match made in culinary heaven. Barbecuing with friends this summer?  Insure your welcome by showing up with a fresh  Huckleberry Peach Pie-your hostess will love you and you’ll be on the top of the list for more invitations!

Place your orders by Wednesday at 12 noon by calling 406-886-2080 and your pies will be ready for pickup at 4pm on Friday. Pies serve up to 8 people for $25. In addition to pies, Kathleen can create a sinfully sweet Bavarian Cream Huckleberry Torte for $19.

Come out to the Swan Lake Huckleberry Festival on August 8th at the Swan Lake Day Park and explore the many art vendors. Come early and stop into the Horse for a delicious breakfast of huckleberry peach pancakes or huckleberry & goat cheese stuffed French Toast. The Horse is open for breakfast and lunch on Saturday and Sunday, 8am to 2pm.   Looking for more tasty huckleberry treats? Check out Eva Gates Homemade Preserves and Vicki’s Montana Mountain Classics in nearby Bigfork!

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

Black Truffle Sacchetti with Slivered Asparagus Featured at Laughing Horse Lodge this Week!

Wednesday, June 17th, 2009

“Whiskers on kittens and warm woolen mittens…” yes, those are two of my favorite things, but in the spring my thoughts and my kitchen turn to two other favorites…black truffles and fresh asparagus. This week (June 17th – 21st) Laughing Horse Lodge is pleased to present a deceptively simple yet flavorful dish featuring both.

 

Slivers of black truffle are folded into a lovely blend of three Italian cheeses and spooned into petite pasta sachets which are tossed with julienned asparagus and a simple garlic-infused brown butter sauce. Of course the dish wouldn’t be complete without a splash of fresh herbs from the Horse’s garden.

 

Pair this dish with a cool Lodge salad of organic greens and a bright Hacienda Molleda Garnacha from Zaragoza and you have a perfect meal for a warm Swan Lake evening.

 

For dinner reservations, call 406-886-2080

Laughing Horse Lodge Finding New Ways to Protect the Environment

Thursday, May 28th, 2009

Over the past several years Laughing Horse Lodge has attempted to become more environmentally aware in its business practices. Each year, more organic produce, grains and dairy, as well as natural meats and line caught wild fish are placed on the menu. Cleaning products have gotten gentler: guests are choosing to keep their linens longer; and now, the one area that is always a challenge for inn owners – guest amenities – has gotten a renewal and upgrade.

Thanks to the efforts of GREENWICH BAY Soap Company, a family owned and operated business that has been manufacturing fine toiletries since 1962, the Horse has been able to remove plastic shampoo bottles from the rooms and reduce bar soap waste.

Greenwich Bay’s Shampoo & Body Bar uses only the finest natural ingredients and is sulfate and paraben free. Using essential oils and very little filler water, the recycled paper wrapped bars require less energy to produce and fulfill two services in one for overnight guests.  A small notice in the rooms lets guests know the benefits of the bar and how they are helping to reduce waste and potential chemicals in the water table.

We’ve still got some areas for improvement, says owner Kathleen, but we’ll keep searching for new ways to reduce, minimize and conserve while still giving our guests an exceptional Montana experience.