One of the ways we know that summer has arrived in Central Oregon is that Mt. Bachelor has opened for summer operations. It’s great to ride up during the day for hiking and disc golf – and maybe to sit on the deck and enjoy one of Bend’s local micro-brews in the sun – however, I was really excited to check out the sunset dinners last Saturday evening.
Fellow “Bend Expert” Lisa and I rode the chairlift up to the Pine Marten Lodge around 5:00pm and had a fantastic view of the Three Sisters and Broken Top. It’s amazing how close they look! Upon arriving at the lodge, we were blown away by how the lodge has been transformed for summer dining options. There is a bar and lounge area set up for cocktails and appetizers (which are half off during happy hour 4:30 to 5:30 on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday nights when the restaurant is open). The main dining area is positioned to take advantage of the incredible views. Lisa and I sampled a glass of Northwest wine from the bar before heading to our table.
It was difficult to decide on dinner since everything sounded delicious! We split the Oregon chevre with rosemary, caramelized onions and figs appetizer and the arugula salad with citrus, watermelon and feta cheese. I could have stopped eating right then, but we just had to try the pacific halibut with garlic and orange served over a grape tomato and tarragon salad and the New Zealand baby lamb over mashed potatoes and asparagus.
I don’t know if I can do the dessert justice by explanation – it was a handmade smore – a rich chocolate brownie with a graham cracker crust topped with perfectly broiled marshmallows. It was served with a side of vanilla ice cream, of course!
Since it was still dusk when we left, hiking down the mountain would have been an option, but it was nice to sink into the chairlift and watch the rosy glow on the mountains on the way down. Sunset on Mt. Bachelor is definitely a Bend summer must-do!