I wasn't sure what to expect when I heard that a restaurant called "Moose Sisters" had opened in the Cascade Village Shopping Center. But I did have expectations, and not particularly high ones. I imagined walking into a dingy, musky room filled with tacky, lodge-style décor: animal heads, thick wood beams that should have been cleaned months ago, and loud-patterned seats with tears that have been crudely duct-taped together. The menu, I assumed, would complement the hunting lodge ambiance in flavor and presentation.
I couldn't have been more off-base. Moose Sisters turned out to be a pleasant surprise from the moment I entered until the moment I left. It's possible I have never been so happy to be wrong.
The restaurant is located on the second floor, right above the clothing store Rue21. The elevator called my name, but because I was expecting a greasy meal with hefty portions, and because my destination was literally one floor up, I braved the stairs. Slightly winded (I know!) and overly hungry, I opened the double doors and was greeted with classic ambiance, a smiling hostess, and a modern, elegant design. The charming hostess asked for my seating preference, and I chose the patio. We made our way past an open kitchen, tables filled with happy diners, and a thriving herb garden. "It's for the chefs," my guide explained with a smile, as if she, too, was impressed.
I take my seat and take a moment to admire the view. The day was clear, and the mountains were making their presence known. Though the courtyard offered some decent people watching, I had food to eat. My server was bubbly and attentive while she took my drink order and explained the menu.
Once again, my expectations were way off. This menu was clearly created by a trained chef, offering a wide variety of appetizers, sandwiches, salads, dinner (5pm to close) and weekend brunch (9am to 3pm) options.
I started off with an appetizer, the Moose Made Spicy Onions Rings. These shoestring-style snacks were not the least bit spicy, but they were rather addictive. The only drawback is that I had to order the dipping sauce separately, because they are served naked, with nothing on the side. Note to the Moose: everyone loves a good dippin'!
For dinner, I went for the Halibut Fish and Chips. The meat was delicate—almost silky—with nary a hint of fishiness. The shoestring fries were a crispy counterpoint to the delicate halibut. A light coleslaw dressed with lemon dill aioli accompanied the main course, adding a toothsome texture with a bit of zest and tang.
Next time, I will definitely try the Crispy Duck Egg, if it's on the menu. When it's available, this delightful concoction consists of a crispy fried sunnyside up duck egg sprinkled with asiago cheese and served with roasted asparagus. Other menu items include an Elk Burger, a Coconut Green Curry Bowl, and Fall Off The Moose Pork Ribs that are only available during dinner hours.
It is refreshing to have a new dining option on this side of town—something a bit more upscale while still being very warm and welcoming. Shoppers and nearby residents will appreciate a change of pace from sushi and Mexican food, and those who hate shopping can belly up to the bar while their other half participates in retail therapy.
Thank you, Moose Sisters, for proving me so very, very wrong.
63455 N Hwy 97, Bend
Hours: Mon-Fri, 10am-9pm