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No Reservations: Montana

I enjoyed the episode, Tony seemed to really enjoy the food and the people he spent time with.

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  1. As someone who grew up in that area of Montana, I absolutely loved this episode! It made me homesick for Montana. I loved what was said about people coming into Montana, buying "zillion" dollar places and then fencing them off...grass grows, cattle can't get to the grass, etc. The food looked wonderful and I loved seeing Tony starstruck by Jim Harrison.

    I also lived very near the Big Horn Mountains of Wyoming. I was home on vacation and my bro and I were going fly fishing..to our favortie trout stream. This guy (from CA...built a huge gaudy mansion on the hill) stopped our car and said we couldn't go down to that stream any longer...apparently he owned that part of the dirt road. It was mid-summer. My bro asked him if he'd spent a winter there yet...the guy says no. Bro suggested he be friendlier to the locals...cause they'll be needed in the winter. The guy probably spent his winters in San Diego!

    Anyway...loved the episode so much!!

    3 Replies
    1. re: melly

      Yeah no kidding. We moved up to Wyoming from San Diego and our neighbors are an amazing asset. Unlike in the big city, people remember who you are and whether you are new in town. I have never had so many people walk up to us and welcome us to town. Being nice to our neighbors came in very handy after the first major blizzard and we couldn't leave our house because there was 5 ft of snow in front of the garage. Guess who came to dig us out-friends and neighbors.

      I loved that he talked about the local ranchers and supporting them. I am getting our beef from a local rancher and it is awesome. It is grass fed and you know how it is raised. Also I have tapped into a local source for eggs.

      The sky is really that big here.

      1. re: septocaine_queen

        septocaine queen...fantastic!! what part of wyo do you live in? I am guessing near the tetons...jackson?

        1. re: melly

          We moved to NE wyoming near Devil's Tower and the Black Hills. It has been a change coming from being a native Californian. Being a "foodie" has been a little difficult in the land of meat and potatoes. The growing season is short and the produce here can taste like it was the last stop on the truck, but the people are wonderful and we are very happy we've moved. We now just plan trips where all we do is eat and load the car up with goodies to take home.

    2. The episode was really Livingston/Paradise Valley, so there's lots of Montana for Bourdain to return to.

      3 Replies
      1. re: ClaireWalter

        Someone from Montana complained to me that the episode should have been called: Livingston, not Montana because he ONLY did Livingston.

          1. re: walker

            I wasn't happy about that either. I'm a Montana Native and was really hoping he'd hit some Montana standbys like the Parrot in Helena. The food isn't gourmet, but it's the best chocolate around!

        1. I wish he had gone to other places, but having moved from Bozeman 3 years ago after 15 years there, the natural beauty of the area had me practically in tears with homesickness.

          1. That was truely a beautiful episode
            It actually reminded me in tone a bit of his most recent vietnam episode. It was sombre and almost reverent!

            I htink it was the episode least about food though which I didn't like. I love travel shows and i love cooking shows and i love no reservations/bourdain but I like it best when bourdain is about food.

            1 Reply
            1. re: CoffeeAddict416

              I thought there was a LOT of food on this show! He ate constantly. Dinner with the family, ate at two restaurants, ate in a camp, and then at Jim Harrison's house. huh?

            2. Ohh Dear! I thought this episode was his worst. LOVED the scenery and the time he spent with the cattle ranchers but other than that I'd have to chalk this up with the show he did on Azores as well-terrible!
              Someone is losing his touch!!

              1. I would have liked to see more food also. I was surprised that didn't eat in Chatham's restaurant, it's one of the best in Livingston. Actually, other than Chatham's and The Murray, there's not really much else in Livingston.
                It would have been cool if he went to Sir Scott's Oasis in Manhattan, MT. It's a classic MT steakhouse (soup, salad or both?) and are known for refusing to serve Jane Fonda when she came in with Ted Turner due to her antics in Vietnam.

                7 Replies
                1. re: saeyedoc

                  My sister bought a house in Gardiner MT, which I believe is close to Livingston. She might be considered one of those crashing the Montana party (she lives in Virginia) but her thing is a major obsession with Yellowstone.
                  The one time I visited the most memorable meal was in a town called Cook City and it consisted of chili and pie. That's not a put down, the chili and pie were both really good.

                  1. re: tofuburrito

                    Cooke City...up on Beartooth Pass. Now that is one scarey, windey road..even for the locals!! They do have some good food there.

                    1. re: melly

                      Cooke City is very scarey! That is not a road for the faint of heart.

                  2. re: saeyedoc

                    More than likely because Chatham sold the restaurant 2+ years ago.

                    1. re: Spot

                      Makes sense, shows how out of touch I am.

                    2. re: saeyedoc

                      I was living in Bozeman when that happened!!! Jane was despised by some of the people in Bozemen. Some stores actually had signs that read "Jane Fonda Not Welcome!" Ted Turned didn't do much to win Montanans over either.

                      1. re: saeyedoc

                        The Sir Scott's Oasis story is all rumor. They never kicked T&J out.

                      2. I enjoyed the episode, but found it more of a travel diary than epicurean show. Which was totally fine by me. I usually find Tony doing his best work in Asia, but found him way different in Montana compared to his other US shows.

                        1. I loved this episode. I very much relate to the small town and the ranching life. Wonderful food can be had anywhere. The scenery in Montana is to die for. It's such a shame so much of it is now closed off.

                          1. I loved this episode, it actually made me want to visit Montana big time. If not for the horrible winters, I'd consider retiring there eventually. I also wanted to immediately plan a vacation to work on a "real" ranch for a few days - I have an infant now, so that's not going to be feasible for awhile but it would be a great trip in the future, I think. Plus it's a way for me to help out those struggling ranchers, I felt really bad for them - kind of like our steelworkers here in the Midwest where I live - when you grow up only knowing one trade and that trade slowly dies off, what else can you do?

                            I expected to see a ton of posts complaining that he didn't go anywhere else in the state, glad to see there aren't many so far.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: rockandroller1

                              Montana is a huge state...just try driving it across it once!

                            2. Loved the show as well, even with the reduced focus on food. Let's all remember, Tony is a famous author who happened to be a chef, not a famous chef who wrote a book - by his own admission. With that being said, his Les Halles cookbook is wonderful, so I tend to think that he really probably was a fantastic chef.

                              1. Interesting, thanks.

                                One thing confuses me, though. That long meal he had--I guess it was at the Bistro, I don't remember--included mussels and scallops. Those can't be local, can they?