For hunters, few things are more delicious than the taste of wild game harvested from a hunt, enjoying the rich taste of succulent meats culled fresh from the land. However, not everyone hunts, and even those who do may not be able to bring home game for the table, lest we forget those skilled hunters who find their culinary skills lacking.
Luckily, chefs in restaurants across America find inspiration in the variety of wild game available, crafting delectable dishes from everything from wild boar and venison to buffalo, elk, and even kangaroo!
Below is a list of eight must-see eateries in the U.S. serving some of the nation’s most highly regarded wild game dishes:
The Cellar at Firestone, which opened in October 2014, offers the finest local Georgia ingredients and exotic meats, including grass-fed beef, kangaroo, U.S. prairie lamb and sea-to-table seafood. A robust beer and wine menu accompanies their tantalizing offerings, which include steaks, burgers, filets and salads.
Wild Game Menu Pick: The Wild Boar burger with house fries
Idaho’s G.W. Hunters Steakhouse is known for its hospitable atmosphere and no-nonsense approach to offering wild game dishes, such as buffalo, elk, gator, duck and even yak. Offering an alternative experience to big chain restaurants, Hunters promises delicious, quality meals, great service and affordable pricing – “not your average steakhouse,” according to owner George Peichev.
Timbers Inn Restaurant and Tavern, just north of Grand Rapids in Rockford, Michigan, takes it moniker to heart, designed with a cabin lodge aesthetic. From American classics like chicken strips to “Up North” favorites like smoked whitefish, there is something for everyone at Timbers Inn.
Situated on beautiful Lake Tahoe on a private beach, the Lone Eagle Grille masterfully creates seasonal high Sierra-inspired menus, pairing game meats and seafood alongside excellent wine and cocktail selections. The summer dinner menu features duck breast, Alaska halibut, and elk strip loin, among other delicious offerings.
Wild Game Menu Pick: Durham Ranch Bison Tenderloin
Perhaps the most exotic of the venues on the list, the Big Apple’s Braai styles itself a South African BBQ Bar and Grill, serving unique dishes and rare meats. Among the offerings are mutton, ostrich and venison skewers, fish cakes, lamb or ostrich burgers, and Mozambican prawns.
Wild Game Menu Pick: African Road Runner (pan-seared, herb-crusted ostrich filet)
Saskatoon was born from the passion owner Edmund Woo and his wife Renee had from their travels through the Pacific Northwest. Woo brings the freshest seafood and wild game from across the country to the Palmetto State, offering an incredible variety of aromas, flavors, textures and tastes, all inside a beautifully appointed Northwest lodge.
Wild Game Menu Pick: Live Hickory-Fired Buffalo Flank Steak
The name says it all – Houston’s Sammy’s offers the largest selection of wild game and exotic meats in the area, in a litany of ways – burgers, sausages, sandwiches, tacos, empanadas, kebabs and beyond. Game meats available include water buffalo, bison, venison, antelope, elk, camel, kangaroo, boar, pheasant, iguana, python, gator, llama and more.
The Fort explores the rich culture of the American West, combining a love of the history with a passion for good food, resulting in “new frontiers of gastronomy.” Featuring fine buffalo, beef, game and seafood, The Fort offers cuisine based on the traditions of Colorado’s past – based on ingredients that were available in Colorado in the 1830s! -- within a historic replica of Bent’s Old Fort.
Wild Game Menu Pick: The Fort’s Game Plate (featuring elk, buffalo and quail)