Italian cooking is truly an artform. To master that art form, you need persistence, determination, and a willingness to obtain the skills it takes to cook one of the most wonderful food genres on God’s Green Earth.
Michaelangelo’s Ristorante Italiano (www.michaelangelosbigsky.com) in Big Sky, Montana of all places, truly hits it out of the park in terms of the mastery of Italian cooking. Yesterday evening my family and I traveled to Michaelangelo’s (a brand spankin’ new restaurant in the the Big Sky Meadow Village), to see what the swirling buzz is all about. Being from Connecticut, a state that I would consider to be a hotspot for excellent Italian Cuisine, I was thoroughly impressed with the flavors that Michaelangelo’s was able to achieve; and in the middle of Montana I must add!
- As we entered the gorgeous, newly re-done space in which Michaelangelo’s resides, I was absolutely stunned at the beautiful interior. The restaurant was a bit maze-like, but after seeing the monstrous, two story glass wine cellar, I knew I had something that I could use to help navigate.
While most Montana joints boast a rustic, old-western vibe, Michaelangelo’s looks like it belongs in New York or Los Angeles.
After being escorted to our table by an extremely accomodating, helpful waiter (who had recently been relocated from the Michaelangelo’s in Cleveland, Ohio), we scanned through the menu and settled upon our choices for our Italian feast.
We ordered a Bufalo Mozzarella, Prosciutto, and Roasted Peppers Platter, and Quattro Formaggi Ravioli (Four Cheese Ravioli) to start. For our main courses we ordered two Veal Saltimboccas, Bison Ravioli, and a Squid Ink Pasta with Lobster and Shrimp.
The Bufalo Mozzarella starter was marvelous. For those of you who don’t know, Bufalo Mozzarella is like regular mozzarella’s much tastier counterpart. The cheese is velvety and creamy on the inside, but firm and pearly white on the outside.
The cheese was perfectly complemented by the salty, tender bundles of proscuitto, and the mild sharpness of the roasted red peppers — a killer combo.
You can’t really go wrong with four cheeses, can you? The Quattro Formaggi Ravioli was perfect.
The ravioli was beautifully cooked, and when broken into, the ravioli revealed tumbling droves of crumbly cheeses soaked in spicy, robust tomato sauce. I think my statement holds up here.
Saltimbocca directly translated from Italian, means “jump in your mouth.” This definition suits this dish well, as that is exactly what I wanted the veal to do.
The Veal Saltimbocca was succulent, juicy and pounded out to the ideal thickness. The outside was crispy, but the veal was delicately floating in a pool of tangy, lemony, caper sauce, allowing the dish to have a sort of melt-in-your-mouth consistency. The Saltimbocca was served with dense, rich risotto cake with crunchy, oily fried outer layer.
The Bison Ravioli were so delicious, that I had to make various deals to coerce my brother to give me one.
The scrumptious ravioli was filled with firm, juicy seasoned bison which carried a much needed kick, adding a wonderful complexity to the dish. The ravioli was certainly a good choice to round out a delicious gluten-centric meal.
Initially when I heard that there was actually a pasta made from squid ink, I was somewhat disgusted, but after having a taste of the salty, tender, black pasta, I thought the exact opposite.
The saltiness of the pasta melded perfectly with the mild, succulent lobster, and fresh shrimp, and while the combination sounds a bit sketchy, I would most definitely eat it again.
Although the restaurant was fairly expensive, the service was on point (it was slightly over-staffed), the atmosphere was relaxing and elegant, and the food was marvelous. I would definitely go back. I would give it ZZZZX- 4 ¼ Z’s- Magnificent.