Montana: Lolo Creek Steakhouse
"Rare yet well done" is how Lolo Creek owner Mike Grunow sums up his log-cabin Western Montana steakhouse, which is why he believes dining there is worth the wait (so does Hannah Hart — Lolo Creek was featured on I Hart Food). And you'll likely have to. Dinners are accommodated on a first-come, first-seated basis, and it's not unusual to wait up to an hour for a table. Since 1987, Lolo Creek has served a dozen different choice, hand-cut, wet-aged steaks, all cooked on a wood-fired grill in an open pit that anchors the dining room (carefully tended to by grill masters). Dinner starts with a vegetable tray for the table, and all entrees come with a choice of salad, potato and Texas toast. If you're opting for steak, you can't do better than the signature rib eye, offered in 12- or 20-ounce portions, but the seafood selection is also stellar (ask about the catch of the day).
If you find yourself on the longer end of a wait, snag a seat in the lounge or on the deck for sweeping views of Big Sky Country — the restaurant is nestled below Lolo Peak in the Bitterroot range of the Rocky Mountains. Or take the golf cart shuttle to the adjacent Lolo Creek Distillery and Tasting Room to sample their vodkas, gins and whiskeys, including seasonal releases such as honey huckleberry vodka and hucked whiskey.