East Idaho Eats: Patrons across the globe enjoy fresh menu at Trouthunter Bar & Grill - East Idaho News
East Idaho Eats

East Idaho Eats: Patrons across the globe enjoy fresh menu at Trouthunter Bar & Grill

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ISLAND PARK – Trouthunter Bar & Grill at 3327 U.S. Highway 20 in Island Park is a destination for customers all over the world.

Beginning in late May or early June, Jon Stiehl, one of the managing partners, tells EastIdahoNews.com the restaurant, lodge and fly shop, which sits on the bank of the Henrys Fork, is a big draw for anglers hoping to lure an early catch before the fishing season opens up elsewhere.

But what keeps customers coming back year-round is the rotating seasonal menu, which offers breakfast, lunch and dinner seven days a week. Right now, the restaurant is serving Alaskan Halibut shipped fresh daily, the bison burger with homemade fries or baked potatoes and quail. EastIdahoNews.com sampled these items, which you can watch in the video above.

There are also desserts and a bar that serves beer, wine and cocktails.

“The thing that separates us from other bars in the area is our bartenders. They do a great job at designing our cocktail menu. A number of them are original cocktails and we also have the traditional favorites — Old Fashioned, Manhattan, Mojitos,” Stiehl says.

halibut and rice
The Alaskan Halibut with asparagus and white rice is one of the most popular items at Trouthunter. General Manager Shannon Belles says the fish is caught the day before it’s shipped and cooked for customers. | Rett Nelson, EastIdahoNews.com

Trouthunter is in its 23rd year of operation and Stiehl has been with the company since 2002. The business moved across the highway to its current location in 2003.

At that time, Trouthunter was strictly a lodge and fly shop and Stiehl recalls the decision to add a restaurant was financially motivated.

“This piece of property being on the river was a spendy piece so we needed to do a little more than just run a fly shop. At that time, there were a few places here providing lodging and meals, but there weren’t many that were providing both. We were referring people around so we figured we’d bring it all in-house,” says Stiehl.

Hoping to capitalize on the abundance of fishermen, cattle drivers and forest rangers in the area, he and his team worked to create an environment that was appealing, and after all these years, he feels it’s a success.

“We’ve got a pretty large price point. We always have burgers on the menu. We don’t want people not to come in because they think we’re too fancy,” Stiehl says. “We’ve stayed true to our roots of having a nicer menu, very little pre-prep. Almost everything is made on-site. It’s turned out well.”

Between 10% and 20% of the customers are regulars who visit daily and Stiehl says his favorite aspect of the business is those connections with people.

RELATED | West Yellowstone, Island Park feeling ripple effects weeks after record flooding

Though some businesses in West Yellowstone and Island Park have felt the ripple effects of the flood in Yellowstone National Park, Stiehl says Trouthunter has been relatively unaffected. He wants to see those who are experiencing a downturn in business get back on their feet.

As the restaurant approaches its 20th year at this location, he’s grateful for customers’ support and he’s looking forward to many more years of business.

Trouthunter Bar & Grill is open 7 a.m. to 11 a.m., noon to 3 p.m. and 4 p.m. to 9 p.m.

This story is brought to you by Colling Professional Services.