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FEED ME!: Nice rack! Blue Lion’s killer lamb
JACKSON HOLE, WYO - I’ve never ordered the rack of lamb at the Blue Lion. I know, sacrilege, right? Well, not really.
The Blue Lion, in a time-warped house stuck in the 1980s tucked into leafy trees across from Miller Park, is known for its roast rack of lamb ($42.50). The one entrée most everyone in the world, or at least the valley, agrees on is that Blue Lion has one of best racks of lamb ever.
You can go to tripadvisor.com or Zagat and read raves about the rack, which is New Zealand lamb rubbed with Dijon mustard, seasoned with bread crumbs, baked and then served with both a peppercorn-rosemary cream sauce and a jalapeño mint sauce. Or you can spend the time letting me tell you about the rest of the menu.
Had I been left to my own devices, I’d have opted for an appetizer of Santa Fe duck cakes ($10.75), made of duck, red peppers and onions mixed with Southwestern herbs and spices, rolled in bread crumbs, sautéed until golden brown and served with some chipotle mayo. But I was there with a friend. I was more into his first choice of an appetizer, Thai seafood fritters ($14), than he was into the duck cakes.
Thai seafood fritters it was. The spicy soy sauce they were served with lived up to its name. However, had I not read in the menu that these deep fried, Thai-style dumplings were filled with seafood including lobster, crab and shrimp, I would never have guessed it. It’s been my experience that it has to be a very light exterior and gentle deep-frying for a dumpling’s interior to be recognizable. And these were neither light nor gently fried.
That said, the dumplings were still good, but in a greasy, spicy, soy sauce way rather than a delicate seafood way.
Though I had made up my mind not to order the rack of lamb before I walked through the front door, deciding on an entrée was difficult. The stuffed wild Alaska salmon ($32) and a risotto Florentine (from $18.50) called to me rather loudly.
I could have had grilled shrimp added to the risotto ($24), which already came with sautéed spinach, mushrooms, leeks and bacon. I don’t know that I’ve ever before passed up an opportunity to combine shrimp and bacon.
But there’s a first time for everything. While the risotto, topped with a creamy white wine sauce and finished with fresh basil and asiago cheese, sounded delicious, the stuffed wild Alaskan salmon got the nod.
Stuffed with a mixture of goat cheese, artichoke hearts, sun-dried tomatoes and basil (it’s not just the decor here that is stuck in the ’80s), the salmon arrived slightly overcooked and with a side of rice pilaf. Rice pilaf is still a thing? Still I ate every last bite of the fish, but not the pilaf. I also ate two of the ribs from my friend’s rack of lamb.
The Blue Lion’s rack of lamb really is killer.
Blue Lion, 160 N. Millward St.; open 7 days a week; reservations recommended; 733-3912; bluelionrestaurant.com.