11-25-2015_cascade-journal_-firpit-dining-4_800_533_s

Hot Meals

There’s one thing that most Central Oregonians have in common—a love of the outdoors. We love the outdoors so much that we don’t even want to come inside when it’s time to eat. For those of us who desire to dine outside, fire pits keep the chilly winter air at bay while adding an enjoyably rugged dimension to dining. Here’s a sampling of restaurants and breweries in Central Oregon that do fire pit dining al fresco.

Wild Ride Brewing

Redmond | 541-516-8544

Wild Ride Brewing is a production brewery and tap-room located in downtown Redmond. Forgoing the traditional brew/pub combo, Wild Ride solely serves libations while a rotating selection of food trucks outside the tap-room serve up some grub. Wild Ride’s ample outdoor patio features a custom-built gas fire pit at its center that keeps guests warm all year long. With 16 beers on tap, wine and a rotating selection of cider and food trucks, Wild Ride Brewing provides a unique outdoor dining experience.

Rio

Sisters | 541-549-6118

Serving up recipes that have been in the family for generations, Rio presents modern and traditional Mexican cuisine that is carefully crafted and boldly flavored. Located in Sisters, Rio is the perfect stop after a day at the lake, a day of mountain biking or any outdoor adventure that brings you through town. Enjoy a perfect margarita, stuffed avocados and delicious osso bucco (braised veal shanks) next to the fire pit on their spacious back patio. The ponderosa pines that surround the establishment, coupled with the glow of the fire, create the perfect ambience for your dining experience.

Raganelli’s Pizza

Tumalo | 541-647-2343

Patrick MacCrone, Chief Pizza Czar and Raganelli’s owner, is on a mission to serve you the best pizza you’ve ever tasted. Inspired by the flavors of his ancestral home in Bari, Italy, MacCrone’s menu is filled with old-world love. His pizza dough, sauce and bread are made from scratch daily using the freshest, locally sourced ingredients possible.

Raganelli’s also features a wide variety of domestic and foreign beers, ten craft beers on tap, cider, kombucha and a selection of wines. The intimate back patio, replete with outdoor heaters and a fire pit, is a cozy spot to enjoy a scrumptious slice of pie coupled with your favorite sudsy beverage.

O’Kanes

Bend | 541-382-5174

Located in the former garage of a 1936 Catholic schoolhouse, O’Kanes at McMenamins Old St. Francis School is a hidden gem in Bend. This whiskey and cigar bar features over 40 different kinds of whiskey (house and name-brand) along with a wide variety of craft beers and cider on tap. Buffered from the city by wooden fences, O’Kanes’ large patio creates a private world of whiskey, brews, cigars and yummy pub fare. This winter, kick back by one of their four fire pits, smoke a cigar and enjoy the relaxed atmosphere and the Grateful Dead-only soundtrack at this unique little pub. It’s pet-friendly, so your dog can come, too.

Cabin 22

Bend | 541-306-3322

After a day of adventuring in the mountains, stop at this lively new sports bar on Bend’s west side for drinks and a meal. Cabin 22 offers 22 craft beers on tap, expertly prepared signature cocktails and an impressive menu that includes everything from crawfish and lamb to sliders and sandwiches (they even smoke their own meats in-house). Their expansive front patio boasts two large fire pits with ample seating and umbrella-topped tables. It’s the perfect spot to sip on a Bonfire Bloody Mary while enjoying a casual evening with friends.

Crux Fermentation Project

Bend | 541-385-3333

Under the leadership of veteran brewmaster Larry Sidor, this high-tech brewing facility utilizes non-traditional brewing methods to produce a plethora of creative, high-quality beers. The menu is as diverse as the brews with items such as drunken figs wrapped in bacon and alligator tenderloin meatballs. If you possess a less adventurous palate, try the grilled cheesy panini followed by a stout brownie for dessert. The outdoor seating area provides sweeping views of the Cascades while a reclaimed steel-propane-tank-turned-fire-pit provides ambience and warmth. The patio is pet-friendly and a grassy knoll nearby presents the perfect play area for the kids.

The Lot

Bend | 541-610-4969

This outdoor food cart collective and open-air bar has quickly become a local’s favorite. The Lot offers its patrons a rotating selection of five food carts, 16 taps to choose from for a variety of beer, cider and kombucha, a covered patio with built-in tables and heated benches and a fire pit. The five food carts surround the common dining area and the permanent building houses the 16 taps of liquid refreshments. The heated benches will keep your tooshie toasty while you enjoy tasty street food on colder days, while the fire pit provides added warmth and a cozy atmosphere. The Lot also features live music, open-mic nights and trivia nights.

Greg’s Grill

Bend | 541-382-2200

Greg’s Grill is a woodsy-chic American restaurant that specializes in wood-fired meats and contemporary Northwest cuisine. Stop by for their all-day happy hour and soak in the priceless views of the Cascade Mountains. The outdoor patio and fire pits face the Les Schwab Amphitheater, making Greg’s Grill the perfect place to unwind and indulge in a vast array of music year-round.

Brasada Ranch

Powell Butte | 541-526-3600

The Range Restaurant and Bar at Brasada Ranch features an inspired farm-to-table menu with organic ingredients that are sourced seasonally from local and regional farmers. The menu changes weekly, providing palate-pleasing cuisine that truly exemplifies the flavors of the region. Enjoy your delectable dinner while taking in the panoramic views of the Three Sisters, Broken Top and Mt. Jefferson from their outdoor dining space. After dinner, the oversized stone fire pits are perfect for roasting s’mores. The restaurant provides the house-made ingredients and you prepare them just the way you like them.

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