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To someone visiting Whitefish, Montana for the first time, Cafe Kandahar is a true hidden gem. For the locals, it’s a place they may have been several times or are hoping to try out one day. For me, it was a delightful surprise and an astounding introduction to the Whitefish culinary scene. Don’t believe me? Read on.
I get the vibe that unless you’re staying at Kandahar Lodge or got a recommendation, you may breeze through Whitefish and never know Cafe Kandahar existed.
The word “cafe” could also be deterring. But don’t let that fool you.
This restaurant is located in Kandahar Lodge, which is worth a visit itself, and is the epitome of fine dining. Their tagline is “thoughtfully constructed cuisine” and that is more than apparent with every bite.
My Drink of Choice
After arriving for dinner and being seated, we started the night by ordering drinks. Because I’d missed out on trying a huckleberry margarita earlier in the day, that was my drink of choice. It’s very hard to visit Montana (at least this area) and not be tempted to try everything huckleberry.
When it came time to order I opted for the wine pairing and if it’s in your budget, please do so.
The sommelier blew my mind with her knowledge and wine selections. I know it’s her job but no one expects to be served wine accompanied by a story about the founder of a vineyard. I was thoroughly impressed!
What I Ordered
Be aware that the menu is ever changing. When possible, ingredients are locally sourced and always seasonal. I decided on the four course meal and it consisted of the following:
I started with the scallops. I’m sometimes scared to order items such a scallops from fine dining restaurants as I fear I’ll be served a singular scallop. But these were listed on the menu as plural, so I was happy to see three!
It’s the little things.
They were heavenly and cooked to perfection. I can only describe them as buttery and flavorful. They were melt-in-your-mouth good.
A few people from my table ordered the Forest Mushrooms which is a recipe passed down to Chef Andy Blanton, the Executive Chef and genius behind Cafe Kandahar. They were certainly delicious and I would order them next time, but I’m also glad I tried the scallops.
For my next course I opted for a vegetable soup topped with lamb bacon. It was smooth, creamy, and utterly divine. I’m sure this was my first time having lamb and all I can say is that it tasted unlike any meat I’ve ever had. I’m not sure it’s something I’d jump for on a menu but I would eat it again.
My main course was the cod and it was the most tender piece of fish I have ever had in life.
I was in the mood for something light and filling and this was both. 12/10 would recommend.
Although I am not a desert person, I figured “when in Rome ” and opted for this huckleberry custard concoction.
I ended up letting someone else enjoy it as I’m super “vanilla” when it comes to deserts. Had a slice of sheet cake been on the menu I would’ve ordered and devoured it, but that doesn’t mean this wasn’t delicious!
Between the drinks, the food, and the ambience, Cafe Kandahar was one of my top 3 dining experiences I’ve ever had. I highly recommend visiting this restaurant during your visit to Whitefish, Montana as it’s more than a treat. It’s an unforgettable, unmissable experience.