Maybe you've seen it on restaurant menus but have been hesitant to order it. After all, the prospect of eating wild game brings to mind mild-mannered creatures like Bambi and Thumper or fears of excessively strong flavors and tastes. Besides, we're no longer pioneers – grocery stores and butcher shops ably provide us with tidy filets and skinless, boneless chicken breasts.
But true foodies are enamored of game, with its natural leanness and added healthfulness (no antibiotics or artificial feeds). They also know that – as with sweetbreads or liver – the method of preparation dramatically affects reception of any dish. In general, since game has less fat, it demands attentive cooking – quickly with high heat or slowly wiith added moisture – and it requires special vigilance so that overcooking is avoided.
With those conditions met, the resultant dishes are much more appealing than you might expect. While Western restaurants are arguably most familiar with game, you can find variations of it in good restaurants throughout the US. Take a look at our recommendations for some of the most successful examples we've found, and don't forget to keep game in mind the next time you dine out. Straying beyond your protein comfort zone could open more delicious possibilities than you might imagine.
- Hudson's-on-the-Bend – Austin, TX
- Buckhorn Exchange – Denver, CO
- Saddle Peak Lodge – Calabasas, CA
- State Game Lodge – Custer, SD
- Rainbow Lodge – Houston, TX
- Gun Barrel Steak and Game House - Jackson Hole, WY
- Wild Sage – Jackson, WY
- Heathman Restaurant & Bar – Portland, OR
- Craftwood Inn – Colorado Springs, CO
- Henry's End - Brooklyn, NY (Game is featured prominently during the annual Wild Game Festival, October through March.)