10 Questions with Chef John of Izaak’s
Izaak’s Restaurant of Craig Montana is open for business this spring. Cars packed the parking lot Thursday night as the smell of Izaak’s smoker out back brought in the anglers like the Mothers Day Caddis does to Missouri River trout.
Summer hours currently Wednesday thru Sunday 3-9pm.
I sat down with Chef John for a quick conversation before dinner service with a delicious house made Margarita from the bar in hand…
John, great to see you again. I’ve seen you on the river fishing all winter long, mostly bent, along with your dogs. Welcome back. I knew it would be a good year again when I smelled the ribs smoking last week!
10 Questions with Chef John of Izaak’s
- Favorite Five Flies? Zirdle Bug, Zebra Midge, Firebead Ray, Sowbug, Micro May…Little Green Machine. Any dries? Buzzballs, Griffith’s Gnat, Midge Cluster, Parachute Adams.
- Favorite Dish? (on the menu) Our wings are pretty special The marinating, smoking, and frying…that along with the spicing, makes them quite unique. The brisket too is fabulous.
- Favorite Reach of the Mo? Wolf Creek to Craig. I love tieback channels.
- Why did you move here to Craig? The quality of lifestyle, the fishing I became addicted to in Park City in the late 80’s, and totally ruined my life. And Craig was on the list. I used to drive to the Mo from PC in the middle of the winter, and fish below the dam for a couple days, and get back in the car, drive home and go to work. Ski for a couple weeks, work, and head out fishing. And sometimes, I came to the Mo. And then, like you and many of my friends Squeeky, I now live here. And fish here. Lots.
- What is next for you Chef? Semi retire and work at a restaurant. I have managed restauants, large institutional op’s, and owned them. I’d like to work in one now, and not own it!
- Would you change anything if you had to do it all over again? Shoulda married the boss’s daughter. I had ‘er, and let her go, or ran from the alter. So, it may have been a great decision.
- I know that your favorite band is the Grateful Dead. Best Dead Memory. Madison Square Garden, 2nd row, 7th show…I mail ordered tickets, we did not even know we had tix so close I could see the emotion in Jerry’s face, body language.
- Fav Dead Tune (right now) Throwing Stones. Based on the Covid and current status of the world.
- Do you think Dead and Company is helping perpetuate the music? Fuck yah. Kicking ass. John Mayer is incredible.
- Looks like your core front of house crew is back again this summer. Yeah, so fortunate to have this dysfunctional family back again this year. The river makes it all worthwhile. The river, the ecosystem, sharing your river with your friends, geese, dogs, other anglers, floaters. It drives me everyday. I find energy from the river. How about the back of the house? YEs, my core is still here with a couple additions as well. We strive to the best we can man. We truly care and are tying. We work really hard.
- What changes have you made in regards to the Covid Crisis? We have implemented all kinds of social/physical distancing by removing tables, extensive training of employees, waitstaff with facemarks, we are offering curbside pick up, we have installed sanitizing stations throughout the restaurant, sneeze-guards at the bar. We are following Lewis and Clark County protocols to insure our customer safety.
Some of Squeeky’s favorite Izaak’s items include the Baby Back Smoked Ribs, Smoked Buffalo Wings, Meatloaf w/ BBQ Glaze, Walleye Fish and Chips, Wedge Salad, Home Made Ice Cream or whatever is on the daily fresh sheet.
I’ll have a couple memorable meals again this summer ordering from the daily specials sheet. Take a look at it when you arrive and order away!
Thanks to Izaak’s of Craig. We look forward to summer on the porch, live music, and more BBQ!
dFresh Oyster mushroom. Fungus is amongus