Tavern 287 Evolves the Downtown Ennis Food Scene
Tavern 287 owned and operated by Bruce Eiting and his wife Kelly, opened its doors almost three years ago. Together, they have been cooking and baking their way into the belly’s of many happy locals and tourists. With dishes like antelope bourguignon and bison meatloaf it is no question why Tavern 287 has become an area favorite. Bruce learned to cook at the Riverside club in Bozeman. His number one influence was a Persian chef by the name Gerard vanMurrick. Bruce credits Gerard with teaching him everything there is to know about french cuisine and how to run a restaurant. Bruce took this knowledge to the tourist hub of Big Sky where he worked a variety of jobs in the industry for the better part of a decade.
The Tavern is Located at 129 E Main St in downtown Ennis. Locals may know the location as where the Bear Trap Grille used to be. An already Ennis local, Bruce was managing restaurants in Big Sky when he first decided he wanted to open a restaurant closer to home. When the Bear Trap closed its doors, it was an opportunity he could not pass up. Bruce and his wife Kelly took over the location and have since made it one of our favorite eats around. Bruce has used his community first attitude by supporting many local youth organizations including the Ennis Youth Baseball and Softball Program. Which now receives a dollar anytime you order one of Tavern 287’s rotating delicious $6.00 lunch specials. He has also served as the Ennis Chamber of Commerce president truly emerging himself as a leader in our small community.
French with a flair of Ennis
It is no question that Bruce is a well established chef with some very impressive accolades. However, in a small town with multiple restaurants competing around the same price point. How can a brand new eatery differ itself from the competition? Bruce took this question and ran with it. He created a menu that highlights the best in his culinary expertise while spotlighting small town Montana culture with wild game influences such as Elk, Pheasant, Antelope, and Bison. Bruce’s favorite dish on the menu is the Elk Osso Bucco. This savory dish features a cut of elk that’s been slow braised for 24 hours making it melt in your mouth. Served on a bed of creamy mushroom risotto, the bone in Elk Osso Bucco is just one of Bruce’s featured dishes that will keep you coming back for more.
The Best Baked Goods in Town
Bruce’s wife Kelly attended the French Culinary Institute of California. While it was here that she learned most of her valuable cooking skills. She credits Youtube for most of her inspiration. Kelly bakes up some of the best treats and desserts we’ve ever tasted. Making the Tavern a dangerous place to be located next to. While she has rotating selection of delicious cakes, pastries, and specialty items, the treat that has given her the most amount of attention is her Macarons. Described by some french connoisseurs as the best they’ve ever had. The bite sized treat is a staple after every meal. Although, her after dinner treats are one of a kind, don’t forget to stop in on Sunday morning before heading out to fish to fill up on a couple of gourmet donuts while supplies last.