The Last Best Place
After a six and a half hour drive from Jackson, through Idaho and into western Montana, we were happy to arrive at The Resort at Paws Up in Greenough. Passing through the magnificent gates with the words, “Paws Up” etched on one side and “The Last Best Place” on the other, I couldn’t wait to experience what I had watched on videos for months before we got here.
Sometimes there are no words for a place like Paws Up, but if I had put it into words it would be…inspiring, stunning, grand… special. There are few places that will touch you the way that a resort like this will. With 37,000 acres to build on, the property is sprawling, yet still has an intimate feel. Each home or campsite consists of 6 cabins or tents and is completely secluded from the other sites, so you feel like you really are out in the wilderness with only a handful of other people.
Upon check in, in one of the most beautiful reception areas I’ve seen, we were handed our itinerary, keys to our home and….our own personal car for use on property. Yes – they give you a car and also a private butler and chef if you happen to be staying in one of the luxury campsites. Our home for the weekend was a Meadow Home, which is a 1300 sq ft log cabin with 2 bedrooms, 2 baths, full kitchen and living area, laundry room and a back deck with, of course, your own hot tub. After gaping at the accommodations, we headed down to Tank and Trough, the bar and eatery on property for a late lunch. Did I mention that all of your meals are included as well? I had one of the best margaritas I’ve had in ages made with tequila, ginger and fresh lime juice.
The next day we headed out to the Farmer’s Market in Missoula, which is held every Saturday. We toured the market with Chef Dale Levitski (a former Top Chef) who picked out a wide assortment of fruits and veggies that he would be cooking for an event we were attending that night called The Last Best Supper. This farmer’s market was by far the largest I’ve ever seen and the produce was unbelievable. Vibrant colors of the rainbow and enormous! We couldn’t wait for dinner! At the market we were able to sample some delicious strawberries and huckleberries. There was just about every kind of product available: homemade jams, pie on a stick, fresh squeezed lemonades, kombucha, cheeses, and great organic body care products. I would live in Missoula just to go to this market every week!
We wrapped up the day at The Last Best Supper event held at the longest dinner table I’ve ever seen outside overlooking the rolling green pastures of the ranch. Chef Dale totally outdid himself with a 4-course meal paired with amazing Schug wines. We started with Truffle Gnocci Parisienne with cauliflower, broccoli, golden zucchini and huckleberry. The Gnocci was light and creamy with a delicious truffle flavoring enhanced by the fresh, crisp veggies. Next came a Mountain Chowder with crab, shrimp, bacon, white beans, corn, sun gold tomatoes and kale. Again, the flavors were spectacular and it was the perfect combination of seafood and veggies. The main dish was NY au Poivre with chanterelle and melted leek stovetop stuffing and morel mustard butter. The steak was as tender as a filet and the melding of the stuffing with the mustard better was mouthwatering. Lastly, we were served the Torn Apart Pie with Tana’s plums, strawberries, poppy seed pie crust, cream cheese frosting and ginger anglaise. It sounds incredibly sweet, but the plum had just enough tartness to completely balance this dessert. Scrumptious! Top all of this off with an incredibly attentive and friendly staff and you’ve got the makings for the meal of a lifetime.
Sad to say, after a brief two nights we had to leave Paws Up, but this is a place we will surely return…it won’t be our last visit to the last best place! Visit http://www.pawsup.com for more information.