I was greeted at the airport by Visit Montana and starving, fortunately the first thing on our itinerary was lunch at Cafe Decamp. Even better news was that it was close and just down the hill from the airport but as we drove into what looked like an abandoned restaurant in an industrial area I was suspicious.
I was quickly reassured this was well recommended by locals and in fact I would especially like it.
It turns out, Cafe Decamp is owned by a couple adamant about the local, organic food market. Opened in July 2009 it had been a location well-known by the locals since the 50s as a destination restaurant. In fact some people are surprised when they arrive after a few years of being away that it’s not a Mexican restaurant – although they keep huevos rancheros on the menu as an homage.
Emily was once a cosmetologist and machinist, she handles the bookkeeping. Jason always worked in food and has been passionate about the local food movement and seasonal menus.
Working with 30+ Montana farms and ranches they are serious about supporting the local economy:
– Everything is made from scratch including the ketchup, except for the bread which is brought in locally.
– All of the produce except for the fruit is local and they have developed relationships with farmers so they can request crops.
– If they can’t find an ingredient locally they supplement with the best, closest organic they can find.
– Fish options are obviously not local except the local trout they have worked to source
– They use a lot of preserved produce for winter menus. But the biggest challenge is finding local greens all year round
As good as the food is, the tiny restaurant feels less than ideal but that will all be changed as they are moved to a restored building from 1918 in the historic district to accommodate more people in a central area.
My roasted beet salad was amazing and I really hope it’s an indication of food to come in Montana.
Disclosure: I was a guest of Visit Montana, they did not require that I write a favourable review or hope that I had more room in my belly for a second course.