Feast Whitefish returns with seven days and nights of food and drink events, May 11-18, all celebrating the libations and culinary wonders of Northwest Montana.
Per usual, the Feast kicks off with the Distiller’s Fest, 4:30-7 p.m. Saturday, May 11, at Grouse Mountain Lodge. The fourth annual event features “signature” cocktails and spirits from 10 Montana micro-distilleries, and outstanding appetizers from eight of Whitefish’s top restaurants and caterers ($32; must be 21 or older). The lineup for this year’s Distiller’s Fest is a “Who’s Who” of the finest distillers beneath the Big Sky, including Spotted Bear Spirits (Whitefish), Montgomery Distillery (Missoula), Gulch Distillers (Helena), Whistling Andy (Bigfork), Headframe Spirits (Butte), Willie’s Distillery (Ennis), Glacier Distilling (Coram), Lolo Creek Distillery (Lolo), and Bozeman Sprits Distillery and Dry Hills Distillery (Bozeman).
Feast Whitefish Restaurant Week, May 13-17, is a five-day culinary affair with local restaurants offering special “value” menus to entice diners to visit their favorite restaurants and experience new ones (menus posted May 1). This year’s participants include Casey’s Whitefish, Abruzzo Italian Kitchen, Tupelo Grill, Whitefish Lake Restaurant, Last Chair Kitchen and Bar, Indah Sushi, Firebrand, and Logan’s Grill.
The Feast Grand Gala Dinner, 6 p.m. Tuesday, May 14 at Latitude 48 Bistro, is a one-of-a-kind dining experience with six top local chefs collaborating to present a six-course dinner; each course is paired with award-winning wines from the West Coast and beyond ($125).
In addition to host Chef Melissa Mangold from Latitude 48, this year’s “team” includes Tim Good from the Last Chair Kitchen and Bar, Jeremy Grossman of Tupelo Grill/Abruzzo Italian Kitchen, Michael Cartwright of Cartwright Catering, and special guest Shane McAnelly, executive chef at a pair of outstanding Healdsburg, CA, restaurants: The Brass Rabbit and Chalkboard.
The focus shifts to burgers, BBQ and beer for round three of the Battle of the Burgers (and more). This year’s fest is riverside, at Pine Lodge on Spokane Ave., from 2-5 p.m. Saturday, May 18. Local restaurants and bars try to “wow” the crowd and the judges with their take on the “ultimate” burger, and compete for both the Judges and the Peoples’ Choice awards ($30; must be at least 21).
Piggyback BBQ, the Boat Club, Craggy Range, Mudman, Front Porch Grill House and a handful of others vie for top honors, with Great Northern Brewing supplying thirst quenchers.
Tickets for all Feast Whitefish events are limited, and on-sale now; for more information, call the Whitefish Chamber at 406-862-3501 or visit feastwhitefish.com.