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Beyond Local: Taste the Spirit of Montana at Lilac in Billings

Don’t be fooled by TripAdvisor’s list of Billings, Montana’s top ten restaurants, which includes Texas Roadhouse like a gastronomic vestigial structure that has long lost its function in this burgeoning local food scene. There is fantastic food to be found here. Nestled in the Yellowstone River Valley beneath breathtaking sandstone cliffs, Billings is the largest city in the state — and where I grew up. After my last trip home, I had the chance to discuss Montana food with Jeremy Engebretson, the proprietor and chef of Lilac, which has earned local adoration and national accolades for its fare. My most recent piece in Zester Daily captures part of our conversation, and this post, the rest. All of the gorgeous photos are courtesy of Louis Habeck, a Montana artist and the official photographer for Lilac. Discovering Montana Cuisine For some, “Montana cuisine” conjures the meats the west is known for, like bison, venison, elk, and beef. Before finding their way to the dinner table, such creatures roamed beneath the state’s expansive blue sky, but they are not the only local …