Take Me To the Rivers 3 Rivers Restaurant in the Holiday Inn

Saturday Mar. 31st, 2012

This month I got the opportunity to enjoy lunch with some friends at the 3 Rivers Restaurant inside the Holiday Inn on the corner of Baxter Lane and North Seventh Avenue. The 3 Rivers is immediately to your left as you enter the lobby and they’re open for breakfast, lunch and dinner seven days a week.

The subtle western-themed decor really fits the hotel and the state of Montana very nicely and we were greeted enthusiastically and seated in no time. The menu choices are obviously carefully considered and balanced to provide a wide variety in main ingredients with special attention to regional flavors.

For lunch choose from appetizers like chicken wings, Bozeman Beer Battered Shrimp, toasted ravioli, spinach & artichoke dip and fried calamari. Salads feature Caesar, Montana Black & Bleu Steak Salad, Asian and West Mex. Pastas go from vegetarian to chicken, penne with sausage, shrimp Andouille ravioli and Gallatin Jambalaya Fettucini. Sandwiches and Light Entrees include the vegetarian wrap, Philly cheese steak, salmon on ciabatta, the Bozeman BLT, 3 Rivers Clubhouse and fish and chips. Burgers are choose your own meat with chicken, beef, or vegetarian patties presented in American, Classic, or California styles; there is also a Buffalo Burger to enjoy.

Dinners are served with seasonal vegetables, house salad and a choice of starch. You can choose pineapple coconut curry, Lemon Pepper halibut or trout, chicken Parmigiana or salmon picatta. Steaks are top sirloin, New York Strip or filet mignon.

My party ordered the Teriyaki Rice Bowl with chicken, the Bella Italia sandwich, a tuna melt with the day’s soup, and a Black & Bleu Steak Salad. All came on large white plates with wide rims and special attention was given to a very appealing presentation. Lunch was met with rave reviews. My husband said the Teriyaki Rice Bowl was generous in size with tender meat and hot crisp vegetables dressed in a delectable teriyaki sauce. The Bella Italia sandwich featured ham, capocolla, salami and pepperoni laced with red onion, provolone cheese, lettuce and tomato with a side of marinara sauce; my friend declared it “zesty, with just the right amount of meat.” My friend who enjoyed the house made tomato basil soup judged it very flavorful and the tuna melt was “really good.” My Black & Bleu Steak Salad was loaded with bleu cheese over which my medium-rare blackened sirloin steak was sliced and feathered and included Caesar dressing, bacon, tomatoes and sliced egg. The romaine was crisp and chopped to bite-sized bits for easy and delicious consumption.

Our server that day was Nathan who did a great job of being on the spot without hovering – a requirement for both my friends and I. When I asked my companions if they would come here again, I heard “Very good and very tasty!” and “I will absolutely, definitely come back and bring my husband too.”

Dinners are a more formal affair while still keeping with Bozeman’s more laid back lifestyle. The Lemon Pepper halibut or trout is well done with a smooth pepper butter cream sauce that dresses the fish without smothering it. The fish itself is tender, flaky and moist; cooked to just perfectly done. The Salmon Picatta is cooked to order and accompanied by a lemon caper butter sauce that complements the fish very well. Steaks are consistently done to your exact order, served fast and hot. The vegetables are indeed seasonal, fresh and tender-crisp.

I’ve also enjoyed many breakfasts and dinners at the 3 Rivers. For breakfast they offer eggs any style, biscuits, sausage, pancakes, French toast and the regular breakfast fare all cooked to order and delectably presented, reasonably priced and satisfying too.

Over the years I’ve found the menu is revamped regularly indicating that the restaurant is a very important part of the hotel, paid close attention to by the servers, chefs, catering and the general manager himself. This little gem of a restaurant should be high on your list of local places to have an above-average-for-a-hotel meal. Breakfast and lunch prices go from around $8 to $15; dinners from around $10 to $25. Appetizers start at around $6. The wait staff is always friendly and attentive, and best of all for hotel guests kids eat free with an accompanying adult – great news for visiting friends and relatives.

Five spokes for the 3 Rivers.

Stacey Alzheimer is still enjoying having a legitimate excuse to eat at area restaurants and   write about them. She will help you get ready for your spring activities at Theraputika Massage with massage and stretches for your specific activities.