Sir Scott’s Oasis Steakhouse and Lounge

Tuesday Jul. 31st, 2012

We made the short motorcycle ride over to Manhattan Montana last Friday night to once again enjoy the offerings at Sir Scott’s Oasis. If you’re coming from Bozeman, take the exit for Manhattan, turn left at the 4-way stop, and it will be on your left in a gray building with well-tended window boxes. Parking is to be found either on the street in front of the restaurant, in the street on its east side, or across Main Street in a graveled area.

The front door leads you into the lobby; the bar is on the right, with dining area to both the left and right, dining for larger parties is straight ahead. We were seated promptly in the dining room on the left by an extremely friendly and efficient host who put a squeeze bottle of ranch on our table, handed us menus, and told us our waitress was on the way. I had to move my chair away from the wall as the floor had settled a bit and I was on a slant, but I did it with a smile knowing the age of the building. The waitresses were dressed comfortably in jeans, tennis shoes and blouses, and were darting around like hummingbirds. We noticed young couples, older couples, families with young children all in the busy dining room, glad we had the foresight to have made reservations for our 5:30 dinner.

As we looked around at the brown wood walls we noted they were stained T-111, the perfect rustic backdrop for the Charlie Russell prints adorning the walls. The ceilings are sawn wood with exposed beams and the country-curtained windows face Main Street. The tables are covered with vinyl cloth and the placemats are paper with local ads on the borders surrounding the Sir Scott’s Oasis center ad, all contributing to an unpretentious setting for some of the best steak you may ever experience.

The menu, an 11×17” laminated large print lists entrees, sides, and beverages. You can choose from any number of steak entrees including sirloin, ribeye, t-bone and filets, smoked pork chops, roasted chicken, king crab, scallops, shrimp, prawns, or snow crab, alone or in combination. All meals include a relish tray with crackers and breadsticks in a bowl, soup, salad, choice of potato, and ice cream sundae or rainbow sherbet for dessert. You can hear the waitstaff asking “soup, salad or both?” as they take orders. My advice is take one or the other – getting both will fill you up way too much. Our waitress did indeed come quickly to take our dinner order and we both opted for the fresh chopped salad. Don’t worry about the dressing because the salads come with a three-bowl serving tray containing house made bleu cheese, thousand island and French dressings. Remember, the ranch dressing is already on the table!

My husband ordered the scallops with French fries, and it arrived very quickly after our salads. He got a large helping of medium sized fresh scallops that were lightly floured and flash fried. They were hot sweet and tender, and the fries (which I snitched a few) were also hot, crisp and mealy. I chose the 16 ounce sirloin steak with four prawns and jojo potatoes and it came on a hot metal platter with clarified butter. Let me tell you about the jojos – they’re half inch thick slices of tenderly cooked potato that are also lightly floured, deep fried and served hot. The steak, which I had done medium rare, was perfect with a slight crust on the outside, pink throughout and tender to boot. I had asked for steak sauce before it came and found it unnecessary – it was that good. Take note, A-1. Our meals were also accompanied by buttered Texas toast, orange slices and lemon wedges. Portions are so generous I took half the steak home for a couple of more meals. I just love the doggie bags because they are so basic, just a grocery store veggie bag and a paper bag. Invert the plastic bag over your hand, pick up your leftover item, and revert the bag back off your hand and into the sack it goes. Viola! A no mess doggie bag.

I enjoyed watching my husband eat his ice cream sundae, really a good scoop of Wilcoxin’s vanilla ice cream with a squirt of Hershey’s in a footed metal dessert bowl. Frankly, I was too full for even that much ice cream or sherbet.

In all I found the service quick, friendly and efficient without feeling like I was rushed; the food was terrific steak house fare, the prices seem a little high at first until you are inundated with food, the atmosphere is rustic Montana. If you plan dining here on Thursday through Sunday, make reservations.

Location: 204 W Main St., Manhattan, MT 59741
Phone: (406) 284-6929
Hours: Seven days a week for dinner
Food Prices: Entrees $15.00 to $40.00, full bar.
Ratings: Food 5 stars, Service 4.5 stars, Atmosphere 4 stars (the building is a little tired), Prices 4.5 stars
Average rating: 4.5 Stars

A. Washko has been on Bozeman since 1991. She is enjoying having a legitimate excuse to dine out and write about it.