The McCarthy Lodge Bistro: The Best Dinner I Had in Alaska

Having returned from an eighteen day trip to Alaska, I have been thinking about where to start with the blogging process. As I was looking through the images, I thought it would be great to start with a foodie blog post. Hands down, the best food I ate in Alaska was in a remote town of McCarthy at the McCarthy Lodge Bistro. The town of McCarthy is located deep inside Wrangell–St. Elias National Park and Preserve. The town has a population 28 in winter; the population is higher in the summer during the peak tourism season.

The McCarthy Lodge Bistro in McCarthy, Alaska offers a wonderful breakfast in the morning, but it's the seasonal dinner menu for which this restaurant is known (and should be praised for). When you arrive, you are greeted by friendly staff who bring around this blackboard with them displaying the items on the menu that particular evening. Our waitress explained each item on the menu with great care and our group had some tough decisions to make on what to order—everything sounded delicious!

The blackboard at McCarthy Lodge Bistro showing the dinner options.

I brought my camera with me and captured a few of the photos from the McCarthy Lodge Bistro. Every appetizer/main course was eloquently presented and showcased great Alaskan ingredients. 

Salad en croute. 

Miso sablefish. 

Amazake bison ribeye.

Blueberry cheesecake and ice cream.

On top of the incredible selections for both appetizers and main courses, the McCarthy Lodge Bistro boasts an impressive wine list and a great selection of signature cocktails. Our group of eight were all raving about this dinner and could not stop talking about how great the overall experience was. The impeccable service, the delicious meals and imaginative drinks, and the wonderful ambience were all memorable.

If I could make a recommendation, I would say that you should go out of your way to McCarthy, Alaska just so you can dine at the McCarthy Lodge Bistro. If you aren't staying in McCarthy but are backpacking or exploring Wrangell–St. Elias National Park and Preserve, the Bistro is a must-stop. For me, dinner at the McCarthy Lodge Bistro was by far the best meal I had during my entire trip in Alaska. The Bistro should be on the Michelin list of places to dine in the Last Frontier.

McCarthy Lodge Bistro
101 Kennicott Ave, McCarthy, Alaska
Wrangell-St Elias National Park and Preserve, AK 99588-8998

Cathy Barrow ("Mrs. Wheelbarrow") at Preserving Place

Something that I am trying to get more involved in this year is exploring the food/restaurant scene in the Atlanta area. 

Yesterday, I had the pleasure of attending Cathy Barrow's presentation at Preserving Place, where Cathy taught the audience how to preserve a selection of foods. Cathy Barrow, also known as Mrs. Wheelbarrow, is the author of Mrs. Wheelbarrow's Practical Pantry: Recipes and Techniques for Year-Round PreservingThe book was available for purchase at the event, and a large number of folks in attendance stayed until the end to get their book signed by Mrs. Wheelbarrow.

The three main highlights of the event were learning how to make/preserve jam, bacon, and home-made butter. Something I learned that I hadn't known previously: you can make homemade butter by using heavy cream and spinning it in a mixer until it solidifies. 

Mrs. Wheelbarrow was very helpful in answering the many questions coming from the audience. One of the best questions asked was during a preparation of preserving pork belly: "Did you bring that with you on the plane?" To which Mrs. Barrow delightfully responded: "No, I don't fly with pork belly. I have to draw the line somewhere." Everyone burst out laughing, and it was a wonderful moment.

Below are some photos which I captured at the event. Mrs. Wheelbarrow is wearing a white apron with blue flowers, and the owner of Preserving Place, Martha McMillin, is dressed in a solid blue apron. 

If you're interested in learning more or perhaps taking a class about preserving food in the future, Preserving Place has a great lineup of future events on this page. I highly recommend it.

Happy Spring, everyone!