A Visit to Second Street Bistro Livingston, Montana

Explore Livingston's Culinary Delight: Second Street Bistro, Murray Hotel Adjacent, Chef Brian Mendez, Anthony Bourdain Visit, Seasonal Menu, French Flair, Wax-Dripped Candles, Lead Chef Transition, Reopening Spring 2024!

One of Livingston, Montana’s most notable restaurants is the Second Street Bistro, adjacent to the famous Murray Hotel. Chef Brian Mendez owned and operated the bistro since 2004, after studying and traveling through Europe. The world took note of the famous Second Street Bistro when Anthony Bourdain visited the restaurant for dinner, with renowned guest and local author Jim Harrison, in early 2016. The menu and the food at Second Street are undoubtedly among the best that I’ve ever had.

            The menu at Second Street Bistro would change seasonally, with the availability of locally sourced ingredients, with Chef Mendez’ signature French flair. Sitting at the small bar, with room enough only for four chairs, I would browse the different menus, and when I was unable to decide I would close my eyes and point. And I was never disappointed. The Second Street Bistro had something for everyone, regardless of the season.

One of the many things that set the Second Street Bistro apart is not just its exceptional cuisine but also its warm, yet upscale atmosphere. One of my favorite aesthetic points were the wax dripped candles throughout the restaurant, in some places filling the surrounding area like a frozen waterfall forever cemented in time. And the staff at Second Street Bistro are not just servers; they are storytellers, eager to share the tale behind each dish and make your dining experience truly memorable.

            Unfortunately, Chef Brian Mendez has very recently decided to sell his version of the Second Street Bistro. The light at the end of this tunnel might be that Brian’s lead Chef will be taking over and will surely imprint a part of himself on the Bistro’s new journey. I have no doubt that when the Second Street Bistro reopens late this spring, it will be better for it. And whether you’re a local or are traveling through Livingston, the Second Street Bistro is a culinary landmark that should not be missed!

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