The Resort at Paws Up Day Four – Contributing Writer Jen Bianco

The early fall weather was so perfect yesterday I decided to have a lazy day and hang out around Cliffside Camp.

A team of workers came and started switching out the summer glamping tents for insulated versions so that the tents are comfortable for guests when the weather gets cooler. I had no idea they switched out the tents for fall glampers! It was interesting to watch… and makes me want to visit again when the leaves are changing colors.

There are a bunch of fun games right in the Cliffside Camp Dining Pavilion. My husband and I played bean bag toss. He won, which I suspect has to do with perfecting his aim on the Sporting Clays course yesterday. I didn’t mind. It was fun to hang out among the pine trees with the sounds of the Blackfoot River as background music. We even saw a few eagles fly by.

We stayed at Cliffside for dinner and camp chef Kaylie took good care of us. We had grilled shrimp with tomatillo sauce and Ribeye grilled here at the camp for dinner. I I didn’t even have room for the stone fruit tart she had for dessert. I ended the day enjoying a really stunning sunset here in Big Sky Country.

I’m sad to be leaving tomorrow, but I’m hoping to come back in the fall or during the holidays. I’d love to bring my dog and see Pete and RePete, the draft horses, wearing their santa hats.

4V1C4456 4V1C44274V1C45594V1C4634

The Resort at Paws Up Day Three – Contributing Writer Jen Bianco

Last night was so much fun. 40 guests gathered on a warm Montana summer night for Resident Guest Chef Dale Levitski’s Last Best Supper.

All of the produce served was bought at the Farmers Markets in Missoula and came from within a 50 mile radius of Paws Up. Seeing (and tasting) the ingredients I saw Dale buy was such a treat.

The five course meal came with a few wine pairings.

After an amuse salad which included petals from the lillies Dale bought the day before, our first course was a savory Big Sky Pie (leek, cheddar and cauliflower crème fraîche and Montana mystery pair) served with Jean-Luc Joillot Cremanant de  Bourgogne.  The intriguing “mystery pair” was a variety that the farmer was unsure of which of his trees grew it. Dale has since figured it out, but decided to keep the mystery pair mystique alive.

For the second course we were served a Surf N Surf- scallop lump crab and late summer tomato served with kale, potato, fennel in a tomato herb broth. This course was paired with a lovely 2009 Durigutti Reserva Malbec. Yum!

The 7 Things Twice & a Radish was my favorite dish of the night. It was rabbit and homemade pasta (filled with rabbit )served with sweet peas, bacon, ricotta, strawberries and mint.  A 2011 Chateau Saint Michelle & Dr. Loosen Eroica Riesling was paired with this course.

The Dry Aged Picnic of ribeye, served with a sweet corn cake and HuckleQ sauce with rainbow chard and pickle went seriously next level when married with the 2005 Joseph Phelps Insignia Bordeaux-style blend, which was the standout wine for me.

After a pre-dessert of two bites of chocolate and coffee mouse, Summer Steals a Base was served for dessert. The combination of fresh peach, blueberry, basil and pistachio cream was served with a Peach rosé spritzer, which was a nice Montana ode to the Aperol Spritz. Homemade petit fours and mignardises- including an scrumptious peanut butter cookie, finished off the meal.

Much fun was had by all. Now I need to hit the cardio equipment in Spa Town to work it off.


The Resort at Paws Up Day Two – Contributing Writer Jen Bianco

After waking up next to the Blackfoot river at the stunning Cliffside Camp, I headed off to the Paws Up Wilderness Outpost to go on the Cattle Drive. As I was arriving I could see a hot air balloon landing in the distance. It was so pretty.

The Cattle Drive is so much fun. It’s a much more dynamic way to ride a horse and interact with the Montana landscape and a lot more fun than a trail ride. My horse, Colorado, was a total pro and did most of the hard work for me.

Once we wrangled the cows into the pen, we worked as teams to sort the males from the females which was a lot of fun. A pair of riders from Norway beat my team’s sorting time by 5 seconds but we all had fun. Our cowgirls who have had a lot of experience on horseback and in rodeos showed us some of of their skills which were impressive.

After the cattle drive, I headed to Trough for lunch where I had a nice light meal since I’m saving room for Chef Dale Levitski’s Secret Dining Society dinner tonight. Chef Dale even let me peek into the kitchen where he and his team were prepping the food for tonight. I can’t wait to taste some of the produce we got yesterday at the Farmers Market in Missoula.

DSCF1404 DSCF1506 DSCF1488 DSCF1552 DSCF0987-2