Bozeman hot spot is popular Italian eatery
photos and text by Janie Osborne
Everyone is welcome at Bozeman new Italian hotspot, The Emerson Grill, says owner Robin Chopus. Serving lunch and dinner and located in The Emerson Cultural Center, the restaurant opened on April 11 and features everything from the Classic Caesar Salad to Tutti Mare over Fresh Fettuccine.
"We try to be the place that is upscale and affordable. The place where everyone is invited," says Robin.
Chopus' younger sister, Meghan Chopus, is the chef. The sister-sister team worked together to cr 5eate the restaurant's northern Italian menu. [We describe the menu as] "Northern Italian," says Robin, "because Northern Italian cuisine features lighter sauces, fresh vegetables and more simple preparations. The Emerson Grill's food is very simple food."
Both Robin and Meghan hail from a variety of interesting culinary experiences. The sisters' enthusiasm for food can be traced back to their childhood in Connecticut where the Chopus family's lifestyle centered around gardening and preparing homemade meals.
Before moving to Bozeman in November of 2004, Robin worked as a private chef and gala party planner in Alta and Snowbird, an executive chef at King Salmon Lodge in Alaska, and as the owner of Sweet Loretta's, a retreat vacation property (Meghan is still the owner of Sweet Loretta's).
Chef Meghan attended culinary school at Seattle Central Culinary Academy and worked as a private chef and caterer throughout the Seattle area. "Her claim to fame" as Robin puts it, is the Seattle Freemont Art Market where Meghan introduced a very popular vending booth that served fresh homemade cuisine.
At The Emerson Grill, the signature dish is the Flatbread Pizzette [see photo]. When perusing the menu, customers are happy to find that there are an assortment of pizzettes to choose from: the Roasted Tomato, Mozzarella and Basil; the Prosciutto, Carmel Onion and Chevre; the Mushroom, Pecorino and Herb Pesto and more. ... Made with a thin, crisp homemade crust, homemade sauce and fresh vegetables, the pizzette looks like what the teenage clientele call a "skateboard pizza."
Another popular menu item the Tiramisu, is one of the few menu items that Robin creates. The secret to the dish, she reveals, is using "a lot of booze!"
The Pizzettes and the Tiramisu are only a few of the fabulous menu items that are attracting customers to The Emerson Grill.
On most nights of the week, the restaurant, which is located one block off of Main Street in a residential neighborhood, is bustling with both local and out-of-town customers.
"Right now," says Robin, "We are so much busier than I thought we would be. We've had 20 cruiser bikes out front. [Because of our location] Our patrons can easily walk or cruise on down to the restaurant!"
The Emerson Grill
for reservations: 406.586.5247
open for lunch, Monday-Saturday
for dinner: seven days a week