Eat & Tell
Western Mountain Cuisine at Hidden Meadow Ranch is a Best Kept Secret No More
Rustic and luxurious Hidden Meadow Ranch, located just outside of Greer, is a year round, five-star-quality ranch offering high-end cabin rentals and property for sale along with a handful of outdoor activities, most of which are closed to the public. Fortunately, dining at the Lodge is one exception.
Hidden Meadow Ranch’s Lodge is a destination dining experience. Because it’s located in Northern Arizona’s high country, it’s not a place you pop in last minute. It’s a great incentive to take a scenic weekend road trip, perfect for celebrating a special occasion or as a reward for a day spent hiking or skiing. Approximately 15 percent of people dining at the Lodge come for the food only and are not cabin guests or living on property. A best kept secret no longer, this gourmet mountain cuisine is worth the drive.
The striking, 5,500-square-foot building made of hand-peeled logs is where all meals are served in casual elegance. During colder months, an enormous fireplace provides a cozy backdrop for the indoor dining area. When the ground thaws, meals are also served on a wrap-around porch overlooking a field of wildflowers.
A seasonal menu offers dishes with sophisticated, yet rugged flair. From main courses like stuffed pork loin with spinach wild mushroom phyllo to complimentary rosemary bread served with molasses-thick balsamic vinegar—Executive Sous Chef Joe Stoiber creates dishes with a delightful twist of the unexpected.
Achiote-Marinated Elk Tenderloin—one of the best meals I’ve had. Ever. So good in fact, I wanted to order it for every meal thereafter: breakfast, lunchand dinner (and that’s coming from a borderline vegetarian). One bite and you’ll be a believer, too. The Lodge’s specialty and served year round, the New Zealand elk is teamed with braised red cabbage. The meat is remarkably more tender than the accompanying mushroom whiskey demi. Heaven.
Pan Seared Lump Crab Cakes—You wouldn’t think seafood served in the middle of a forest in Northern Arizona would be a party for the taste buds. Sometimes it’s nice to be wrong. Roasted corn relish and sweet Chile aioli accompany the appetizer that is just as tasty as it is pretty.
Green Chili Macaroni and Cheese—This supped up version of the staple comfort food has benign spiciness. The cheese gives it a thick, mild demeanor that kids and adults will enjoy.
Crème Brule—After breaking the caramelized surface of this favorite, the delicious body underneath has a pleasant cotton candy-like aftertaste.