Pescado Blanco Adds Cantina

By Beacon Staff

David Lewis has been waiting a long time. But now he has a giant smile on his face.

In December, the chef-owner of Pescado Blanco in Whitefish finally got his cabaret license from the state. “It was three long years waiting for the license,” he said. But no sooner had he received the blessing of the state to sell beer and wine, than he took a hammer to the restaurant’s back wall.

Lewis is adding on a cantina, which he expects to open this month. The 14-by-20-foot space has a warm, intimate feel. Complete with arched, adobe-look, pass-through windows that connect it with the rest of the dining room, it adds seating for eight along the wood counter with a custom booth for six tucked in the corner.

The new cabaret license has allowed Lewis to expand the restaurant’s offerings. The menu lists 40 wines divided into two collections. The first has 20 great wines for $35 or less. The second – 20 Outstanding Wines We Love – carries bottles ranging from $44-76. Several of the wines come from organic grapes.

Lewis also added beers on tap. From Flathead Lake Brewing Company, he pours Mile 26 English Brown Ale and Roy’s Imperial India Pale Ale. And of course, he also carries classic cervezas – Corona, Pacifico, Negro Modelo, and Dos Equis – and seasonal microbrews such as Widmer Snow Plow.

The cantina will serve up the full menu, including the popular bison enchilada. Lewis brings in fresh seafood twice weekly for entrees like halibut tacos with orange salsa. “We’ve got two new guys with new talent in the kitchen,” said Lewis. “They have a following, and they just run with the specials.”

But what about a margarita – the staple of Mexican restaurants? Lewis grins. He’ll soon be serving a signature 14 percent distilled agave wine margarita blended with fresh lime juice.