At the Rough Rider Hotel
301 3rd Ave.
Medora North Dakota 58645United States
Midwest Living Recommends
Fine dining meets Western chic in this new restaurant off the lobby of the historic Rough Riders Hotel.
Originally built in 1883, the Rough Riders Hotel unveiled a breathtaking renovation in 2010 that exudes class and comfort. (The lobby alone, with its high pressed-tin ceilings, comfy armchairs and floor-to-ceiling bookshelves, is worth a visit. Settle into one of the armchairs in front of the bookshelves and lose yourself in one of the hundreds of titles available for guests to read there, with subjects including Theodore Roosevelt, Western expansion, Native American culture and presidential history.) But the opening of Theodore's in summer 2010 put the finishing sophisticated touch on the project. Fine china, crystal, and white tablecloths adorn the dining room fitted with burgundy leather banquette booths, setting the tone for a special meal. But like everywhere else in western North Dakota, patrons can still walk in wearing jeans and feel right at home. The steak house menu already has become known for its lobster bisque starter, it's gorgeous microgreen salads, and its steak, chicken and seafood dishes. Salads are pretty pricey at $12.95, pastas start at $16.95, and a tenderloin with Gorgonzola cream sauce is $36.95. The entrees come garnished with beautiful fresh flowers and julienned veggies. We tried a creamy grilled chicken Alfredo pasta, and it was a pleasant surprise over similar dishes at chain restaurants. Our sliced herbed chicken was hot and smoky; the al dente pasta swam in cream and butter. The beef tenderloin arrived cloaked in a bed of crispy fried shoestring onions and was served with a peeled and baked sweet potato and julienned squash and zucchini. It was enough food for three meals, but we unashamedly ate it all and vowed to bike the Maah Daah Hey Trail in the morning. Fresh whipped cream and strawberries topped a creme brulee that tasted smooth and creamy but could have use a touch more caramelized topping. The piping hot fudge inside the flourless chocolate cake oozed across the plate like lava once we dug in. An array of well-trained international servers staffs the dining room and are keen to meet our every request. The restaurant is a welcome addition to the foundation's other dining offerings of pizza and the Pitchfork Fondue.