Ox Pasture, located in Red Lodge, Montana, offers residents a new dining option with fresh, farm-to-table fare and a menu that rotates every two weeks.
Open from May through October, the season of fresh produce, the restaurant entices visitors with the traditional fare that many Montanans have grown accustomed to, such as steak and burgers, in addition to Montana pork, duck, lamb, fresh seafood, and vegetarian offerings, but with their own unique interpretation. Whether it’s uncommon cuts of meat, such as crunchy trout skin cooked with risotto or pesto made with green carrot tops, Ox Pasture prides itself on serving creative dishes. The restaurant came to live with an idea from David Leuschen and his wife Alexis Kondylis Leuschen.
In addition to offering creative meals prepared with the freshest ingredients from local farms and ranches, the husband-and-wife team sparks intrigue with an exotic menu that changes bi-weekly. The innovative cuisine, which is inspired by international journeys abroad coupled with intuitive food creativity, explores everything from French classics like duck confit leg to Southern inspired-comfort foods like fried green tomatoes with sweet, apricot salsa and even Italian favorites like homemade tagliatelle pasta. Each preparation is always a new creation. In fact, two times a month, Lockhart and sous chef Danny Mowatt come together over the season’s flourishing ingredients to invent new offerings, so there is always something to come back for.
The Ox Pasture boasts a quaint, cozy atmosphere, reminiscent of a French bistro, in a historic stone building set aglow by a white backdrop. The decor, which includes zinc tabletops nestled among tan and blue wicker chairs intermingled with gray-hued wooden chairs, lends an Old Mercantile appeal that reinforces the bistro style setting. In the entrance, guests are greeted by a mini bar with white shelves that extend to the ceiling, which plays home to a variety of beverages and herb filled Terra cotta pots. Wood flank floors, that expand from the entrance to the open kitchen, complete the look for a charming loft-like feel.
The Ox Pasture, which hosted a private commencement, opened in May 2016 and has since fast grown into a culinary prize notable for its tasty dishes. Owners chef Chris Lockhart and his wife Gena Burghoff spent time in Philadelphia, Los Angeles, New York, and managed a farm-to-table food truck named the Local Yokel for several months. The couple also worked at Steven Star, Balthazar, and Odeon restaurants and recently managed Montana Jack’s in Dean. Together, the couple has more than 10 years of restaurant experience, which lends to the establishment’s well-seasoned atmosphere.