Serving what some customers argue are the best barbecue ribs this side of the Mississippi, Willow Creek Cafe & Saloon have carved out a culinary niche since they opened in 1997. Located in a 1910 building, the space has been a cafe, barber shop, pool hall and meat shop, but it started off as the Corner Saloon with simple food for miners and ranchers. Today the restaurant draws on the small local population of ranchers, farmers, anglers and artists. The restaurant's country atmosphere, replete with floral wallpaper, antique wood tables and chairs, and pressed-tin ceilings is endearing. A chalkboard details the small, but impressive wine list and house made desserts prepared by Mitchell's wife Megan Higgins. The cafe packs its 10 small tables for lunch and dinner every day. Of course it's the only restaurant in town, but it draws customers from Manhattan, Belgrade, Bozeman and also Butte. The menu features great American classics from burgers to steaks. On any given night the specials might include chicken saltimbocca, a New York steak with a brandy mushroom sauce or oysters on the half-shell. The key to the good food, is that everything in the Willow Creek kitchen in handmade, from sauces to soups to hand-cut meats. Open daily during the summer, please call for winter and spring hours.
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