Restaurant review: Boodle’s

January 9, 2008

It is impossible, I recently discovered, to drive at 25mph while singing along to Tangled Up  In Blue on the radio. On CD it’s a different story. The thing is, Tangled Up In Blue may or may not be a better song than Like A Rolling Stone, but it gets an awful lot less airplay and the excitement of a DJ choosing the less common track immediately adds at least five miles per hour to your driving.

What this has to do with Boodle’s, probably Bozeman’s finest dining establishment, isn’t immediately clear. However, seeing this post as an elaborate, extended haiku, I will now talk about the meal I had this evening and try to tie it all up at the end. Since I’m leaving Bozeman next week, TCB suggested we dress up extra-smart and go out for an extra-posh meal. It’s not the poshest restaurant I’ve ever eaten in – it’s a notch below the 13 Coins in Seattle, a little more crowded, a little more inclusive, perhaps – but it’s still a good restaurant. It’s different to everywhere else in Bozeman – for me, what sets it apart is that everyone on the wait staff is proud of, and excited about, their food.

They have every right to be. The first time we went there, the waiter raved about the blue cheese vinaigrette and we presumed he was just a little odd. But it turned out that he was spot on, and the drizzled-just-right dressing on the salad set up the meal just perfectly. Tonight, TCB ordered the scallops and the waitress sighed with delight just thinking about them. I went for the cashew-fried tofu, reasoning that it was the only vegetarian option.

They put some thought into the presentation – three lodgepoles of tofu, arranged into a star, each limb leaning on a pyramid of noodles, coleslaw and seaweed with a smidgen of  some sort of sauce at the feet. It looks great, smells great, tastes great and feels great in the mouth. I wonder if I’d like it to sizzle too, or if that would just be sensory overload? It’s so tasty, it’s almost a shame to eat it.

Perhaps because you can’t make Tangled Up In Blue last longer than 5:42, you drive faster – at least then it lasts further. When it’s on the radio, it’s a gift – you can get a can of soda from the machine whenever you like, but when your girlfriend brings it over it’s ten times more satisfying. And somehow, it sounds like a Boodle’s meal would sound if it was music instead of food.

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