e d i u g t n a r u a t s e r
011 2 S ’ Y L K E BOISE WE
by Guy Hand
by Tara MorGan
Surprising culinary finds in Twin Falls
Meat- and gluten-free dining in Boise
also in This issue
From breakfast to dessert: a visual tour
The best-kept food secrets to put on your to-do list
Ishtar Market and Restaurant 24/ Cafe Russian Bear 32/ Flight of Fancy Bakeshop 36/ Green Chile 44/ Shige’s Red Carpet Fine Dining 48/ Lago Azul 50/ Sully’s Pub and Grill 20/
in The KiTchen 12/ David Knickrehm 18/ Nick Duncan 30/ Aaron Horsewood 38/ Richard Langston 46/ Taite Pearson 52/ Kaya DeFehr
staff publisher: Sally Freeman Sally@boiseweekly.com office manager: Shea Sutton Shea@boiseweekly.com Advertising Advertising Director: Lisa Ware Lisa@boiseweekly.com Account executives: Sabra brue Sabra@boiseweekly.com Jessi Strong Jessi@boiseweekly.com doug Taylor email@example.com nick Thompson firstname.lastname@example.org Justin Vipperman Justin@boiseweekly.com Jill Weigel Jill@boiseweekly.com
editoriAl editor: rachael daigle email@example.com managing editor: deanna darr firstname.lastname@example.org listings: Heather Lile email@example.com proofreaders: annabel armstrong, Sheree Whiteley contributing writers: amy atkins, rachael daigle, deanna darr, Guy Hand, Tara Morgan, George Prentice CreAtive Art Director: Leila ramella-rader Leila@boiseweekly.com Graphic Designers: Jen Grable Jen@boiseweekly.com adam rosenlund firstname.lastname@example.org contributing photographers: Guy Hand, Laurie Pearman, david Seelig
CirCulAtion Shea Sutton Shea@boiseweekly.com man About Town: Stan Jackson Stan@boiseweekly.com Boise Weekly prints 30,000 copies every Wednesday and is available free of charge at more than 750 locations, limited to one copy per reader. additional copies of the current issue of Boise Weekly may be purchased for $1, payable in advance. no person may, without permission of the publisher, take more than one copy of each issue. Boise Weekly is owned and operated by bar bar Inc., an Idaho corporation.
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CoVEr arT by LaurIE PEarMan 6 | RESTAURANT GUIDE 2011 | boiseweekly
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Boise Weekly’s Restaurant Guide/Editor’s
Gu y HaN d
Over the last several years I’ve heard a few people make claims that Boise is among the cities with the highest concentration of restaurants per capita. Nobody seems to know how, where or when that rumor cropped up, and a cursory web search definitely indicates otherwise. Regardless, I can tell you that as we were shoehorning restaurants into the listings portion of this edition of our Restaurant Guide, I learned that we do have plenty of eateries from which to choose. In this, our second annual guide to dining out in Boise and beyond, we start with a look behind the scenes. Scattered throughout the magazine are interviews with a handful of chefs— a few who have been around a while and a few who are up-and-coming. These are the culinarily skilled at work in area restaurants, slogging away in the kitchen day in and day out, creating some of Idaho’s most-talked-about food. From there, we ditch the most-talked-about food and venture into the realm of best-kept secrets with mini restaurant profiles. These are the places where you can turn up a surprisingly authentic dark purple beet borscht or slice into a hot Guinness malt waffle. They tend not to be the high-profile places with hour-long wait lists on a weekend night. Rather, they are the places you may have heard about but not yet gotten around to visiting. A few, I’d bet are places completely unknown to a few readers. In stretching our legs a bit—both metaphorically and literally after a drive east—is “Road Trip.” Guy Hand trotted out to Twin Falls, where he discovered a mini restaurant renaissance of sorts, with three new eateries boosting the Eastern Idaho city’s culinary credit score. Circling back around to the capital city, Tara Morgan, in “Breaking Free,” ferrets out the few dishes in town offering meat-, dairy- and gluten-free diners more than just a side salad. So maybe we’re not setting any records in terms of restaurant numbers but hopefully what you’ll see here inspires you to skip your usual haunt and give something new a try. —Rachael Daigle
Marinated vegetables at Salt Tears Coffeehouse and Noshery. 8 | RESTAURANT GUIDE 2011 | boiseweekly
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13th Street Pub and Grill 36th Street Bistro A Taste of Thai
Garcia’s Tex-Mex Grill
Le Baron’s Honker Cafe 48
Gino’s Italian Ristorante 40
Le Cafe de Paris
Pat’s Thai Kitchen
Le Coq Rouge
Patty’s Burger Time
Lefty’s Bar and Grill
Goodwood Barbecue Company 36, 40
Legends Sports Pub and Grill
Peregrine Steaks and Spirits
32, 50 20
Cheerleaders Sports Bar and Grill
The Chef’s Hut
Chiang Mai Thai Restaurant
Amigo’s Mexican Restaurant
Athena’s Greek Grille
Bad Boy Burgers
20, 32, 45
Chicago Connection 20, 32, 36, 40, 44 Chocolat Bar
CK Hawaiian BBQ
CK’s Real Food
26, 32, 36
Piper Pub & Grill
Lock, Stock & Barrel
Quinn’s Restaurant and Lounge
The Ranch Club
Harry’s Bar and Grill
Curb Bar and Grill
Ben’s Crow Inn
House of Kim
Big Belly Deli
Denali Pizza Company
Big Bun Drive-In
Hyde Park Pub
Big City Coffee
Ichiban Japanese Steakhouse
Idaho Pizza Company
Bittercreek Ale House
Blue Cow Frozen Yogurt
Donnie Mac’s Trailer Park Cuisine
The Blue Door Cafe
The Blue Moose Cafe
The Egg Factory 22, 25, 32, 48
Blue Sky Bagels Boise Fry Company Bombay Grill
22, 26 20
Brick 29 Bistro
Brick Oven Bistro
The Brickhouse Bar and Grill
The Bridge Cafe
Buffalo Wild Wings
Bull’s Head Pub
Burger ’N Brew
Busters Bar and Grill
Cafe Russian Bear
Caruso’s Sandwich Company
Casa del Sol
24, 36, 44
Imelda’s Mexican Food 20
Eighteen One at Eagle Hills Golf Course
El Gallo Giro
El Gallo Giro-Kuna
Eli’s Italian Deli
Epi’s Basque Restaurant 40
Longhorn Lounge Los Betos
Louie’s Pizza and Italian Restaurant
Lucky 13 Pizza
Tango’s Subs and Empanadas
Lulu’s Fine Pizza/ Superb Sushi
Red Eye Saloon
Taqueria el Pastor
Red Feather Lounge
Tavern at Bown Crossing 36
Tepanyaki Japanese Steak House 24
Three Ten Main
Rick’s Press Room
Tony’s Pizzeria Teatro
Mahoney’s Bar and Grill 50 Mai Thai
Mancino’s Subs and Pizza
Merritt’s Country Cafe
MickeyRay’s Roadhouse Barbecue 45
Jalapeno’s Bar and Grill 32
Miss Tami’s Cottage Expressions and Tea Room
Modern Hotel and Bar
Jaker’s Bar and Grill
Jenny’s Lunch Line
River Rock Grill
Tres Bonne Cuisine
The Trolley House
Rudy’s Pub and Grill
Twisted Timber Pub and Gill
Sa-Wad-Dee Thai Restaurant
Viking Drive In
Sakana Japanese Sushi and Steak 44
Moon’s Kitchen Cafe
North End Chinese
Johnny G’s Sub Shack
Northern Lights Cafe
O’Michael’s Pub & Grill
Oak Street Foods
Seasons Bistro Wine Bar and Catering
Ohana Hawai’ian BBQ
Kahootz Steak and Alehouse
Kay and Traci’s 127 Club
Ono Hawaiian Cafe
Pad Thai House
River Rock Alehouse
Krung Thai Restaurant and Sushi Bar
Tree City Juice and Smoothie Cafe
Jerry’s State Court Cafe 34
The Orchard House Restaurant
Local Dish Market & Cafe
Taj Mahal Restaurant
Delsa’s Ice Cream Parlour
Tablerock Brewpub and Grill
Highlands Hollow Brewhouse
Berryhill & Co. Restaurant
Pinnacle Sports Grill
Happy Fish Sushi & Martini Bar
Sun Valley Brewing Company
Lily Jane’s Cupcakes
Ha’ Penny Irish Pub and Grill
Sun Ray Cafe
The Stuffed Olive
Cowlicious Bakery and Deli
Cucina di Paolo
Stan’s Char-Broiled Hot Dogs
22, 26, 44
The Gyro Shack
Crescent No Lawyers Bar/Grill
The Cove of Twin Falls
The Lift Bar and Grill
Smoky Mountain Pizza and Pasta 25, 36, 44, 45 Sockeye Grill and Brewery
Great Harvest Bread Co. 32
Guido’s Original New York Style Pizzeria
Salt Tears Coffeehouse and Noshery
Westside Drive-In 25 Whitewater Pizza & Pasta 44 Wicky Wicky Sushi
Willi B’s Sandwich Saloon
Willowcreek Grill and Lounge
Sego Restaurant and Bar 50
Shangri-La Tea Room
Shige and Shige Express 24
Shige’s Red Carpet Fine Dining
Yokozuna Teriyaki 24, 44
48 24, 45 24 34
24, 45 24, 36
Firehouse Pub and Grill
La Belle Vie
Zeppole Baking Co.
Firehouse Sports Pub
La Vie En Rose
Flatbread Community Oven 22, 36, 40 Flying Pie Pizzaria
Fresh Off the Hook
Castle Ranch Steakhouse
Cazba Restaurant and Opa Lounge
Front Door Northwest Pizza and Tap House
Fusion Asian Grill
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AverAge price per person: $ —Less than $8 $ $ —$8 to $14 $ $ $ —$14 to $20 $ $ $ $ —Over $20
—Wine & beer —Full bar —Delivery —Breakfast
—Patio —Take-out SU —Open on Sunday —Open late OM —Online menu RES —Reservations —Boise Weekly Card needed/recommended
Updates from diligent readers and listed restaurateurs are heartily encouraged. E-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org or fax to 208-342-4733.
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Knickrehm Age: 41
LAu R IE P EAR M AN
Restaurant: Bella Aquila Number of years in the restaurant business: 26
Past experience: Rachel K’s Bistro, Blue Ribbon Artisans, Asiago’s, Ca Creuse Pastries and Catering, Tapas Mediterranean Bistro, Crane Creek Country Club, the Gamekeeper, Cazba, Waldo Korkenbees Public Dining Club, Kyoto Japanese Steak House, Glacier Bay Lodge and more.
thing. Food allergies are increasingly prevalent. Fine dining restaurants now have to have several casual dishes in order to compete.
what did you have for breakfast this morning? Nutella on toast and a banana.
How do you innovate without excluding diners? We try out innovations as specials and measure the guests’ response against the servers’ angst.
Throughout your career in idaho, how has the restaurant scene changed and how have you adapted to those changes over time? The Food Network has partially educated people, and a little knowledge is a dangerous
what do you look to as inspiration for new recipes? American Culinary Federation meetings and correspondence.
what dish would you like to include on your menu, but worry that it might be too forward-thinking for this market?
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Frog legs, braised tripe, really authentic Italian food. what won’t you eat? Kalamata olives. (They smell like stale sweat.) what’s the one ingredient you can’t live without in your kitchen? Butter. what one great meal do you fix only for yourself? TomatoFish—it’s an inside thing leftover from a long trip back from Europe. what’s the strangest ingredient you’ve ever put in a dish? Fresca diet soda.
who is the most famous person you’ve cooked for? Roland Schaeffer, a world-renowned chef. where do you like to eat in town? The Vietnamese Restaurant burned down, so we’re looking for a new home away from home. what’s the most outrageous thing that’s happened in a kitchen where you’ve worked? Well, there’s the marmalade story, but I don’t think you could print that. How about blowing up the carved fruit display station after Mother’s Day brunch? We had to hit one of the carvings with a Honda to smash it.
if you were stranded on a deserted island and could only eat three things the rest of your life, what would they be? Toast, tuna fish and tomato soup. Describe the restaurant you would create if cost and demographic were not an issue. Someplace fun with great food but over-the-top stoic servers. The act of not being accommodating would bring people back for a second helping of abuse. No one would be able to take themselves too seriously. •
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Surprising culinary finds in Twin Falls For those hungry souls who think the stark stretch of sage and lava rock east of Boise is a food desert offering nothing more tasty than gas station hot dogs and road kill, thereâ€™s hope on the horizon. At least in Twin Falls. story and photography by guy hand
Salmon Creek pork steak marsala at Cucina Gemelli in Twin Falls.
Skewered prawns at Elevation 486 in Twin Falls.
For years, Rudy’s: A cook’s Paradise has been a kitchen store hinting that Twin Falls held a deeper passion for all things gastronomic than suggested by the endless parade of Blue Lakes Boulevard fast-food joints. In that otherwise parched landscape, Rudy’s has been, since 2002, a refreshing oasis for Magic Valley food lovers in search of quality microplanes, mandoline slicers, mortar and pestle sets, and other serious cooking essentials. Hidden in the under-loved but soulful old-town section of Twin Falls, Rudy’s puts anything in Boise’s currently anemic kitchen supply scene to shame with 3,000 square feet of floor space devoted to cooking and dining supplies. More interesting still, a Rudy’s employee tipped me off to what sounded like a mini restaurant renaissance in Twin Falls. When she mentioned three noteworthy new restaurants in town, I had no choice but to book my room for another night. By new, she meant brand-spanking in the case of cucina Gemelli. On my mid-January visit, the small Italian place on Blue Lakes Boulevard 16 | RESTAURANT GUIDE 2011 | boiseweekly
had barely been in business a week, but the service was solid, the room candlelit and cozy and my dinner—Salmon Creek pork steak marsala with roasted local apples and butternut squash ($21.95)—was perhaps the most memorable I’ve had in the Magic Valley. Chef and co-owner Lynn Sheehan had worked for 20 years in storied San Francisco restaurants like Stars, Citron and Postrio before moving to Sun Valley in 2005. There she ran the kitchen at Felix’s and later opened Papa Hemi’s Hideaway in Ketchum. Sheehan said she’s excited about her recent move to Twin Falls, calling it a crossroads town full of untapped culinary potential. “One of the reasons we really appreciate it,” she said, “is the proximity to Hagerman Valley where so many organic growers are.” Having come from the land of Alice Waters, Sheehan is naturally predisposed to locavorism. “We’re featuring organic local duck eggs from Morning Owl Farm out of Boise,” she said. The restaurant also contracts with a local farmer for organic vegetables, grains, beef, lamb and pork.
Cucina Gemelli’s menu is Italian, but rather than serving what she describes as “1950s era, red-sauce Italian,” Sheehan hopes to open customers up to the regionality of real Italian cuisine. “So,” she said, “we’ve got braised local Lava Lake lamb shank over creamy polenta, and that’s totally northern Italian Piedmont ... we do our own handmade focaccia, and that’s from Liguria ... and we’ve got a Gemelli alla Dante pasta with tomato sauce, chili peppers and ground local sausage ... which is southern Italian.” While Cucina Gemelli is quietly intimate, albeit almost lost in the strip-malled cacophony of Blue Lakes Boulevard, the recently opened elevation 486 is big, brash and perched boldly on the vertiginous rim of the Snake River Canyon. Sharing a new building with the Magic Valley Arts Complex, Elevation 486—which is literally 486 feet above the canyon floor—boasts a bank of arched, nearly floor-to-ceiling windows that open onto one of Idaho’s most spectacular restaurant views. While the canyon is all sheer basalt and desert w ww. b o i s e we e kly. c o m
Blackened local catfish and red, white and blue fries at Local Dish.
sage, the interior’s red brick walls, dark wood floors and flickering stone fireplace give the restaurant an alpine feel. The menu reads upscale Middle American steakhouse and is heavy with straight-ahead dishes like meatloaf, porterhouse, pork chops, ribs and lamb racks. Yet there’s also a smattering of less mainstream fare, like Senegalese chicken, shrimp and sausage jambalaya and a toasted coconut rice bowl. When I had dinner, the then 3-week-old Elevation 486 felt a little too bedazzled by its own good looks, while the food and service could have used more attention. My ribeye ($23) was just OK. But the place itself is clearly worth a visit, if simply for a good drink at the lively bar with its plentiful Idaho and Northwest wines and that breathtaking view. The website also promises a late spring opening of “Southern Idaho’s largest outdoor patio.” Back downtown, the local Dish market & cafe, which during my visit had only been open six months, is the elder of this new Twin Falls restaurant scene. A light and airy cafe, the Local Dish already feels like a neighborhood hangout www. bo iseweekly.co m
on a relatively quiet section of Falls Avenue. And as its name implies, the Local Dish is all about local food. Owner James Reed, not surprisingly, is a longtime local food proponent, having helped found Idaho’s Bounty, the online grass-roots produce distribution network. “Today we had a ham and Gruyere cheese melt,” said Reed as he showed me around after lunch. “That’s local ham, local cheese, local bread. We also had chili, and the chili is a local grass-finished beef with local organic beans and local organic onions.” If that earnest locavorism sounds like it could eclipse expertise in the kitchen, the local, cajun-style catfish ($10.95) I ate for lunch quelled that notion. With an herb-flecked crust and delicately moist flesh—the fish was caught that
RuDy’s: A cook’s PARADise 147 Main ave. W., twin Falls, cooksparadise.com
morning at a Hagerman fish farm—the dish was delicious. The casual menu varies depending on what’s available, and dinner is only served on Friday, but the Local Dish also offers a small array of market items like Cloverleaf milk, local cheeses, breads, beans, pasta, wines. Reed also plans to hold cooking classes soon. Still, his motivation goes beyond the restaurant itself. “We wanted to see a brick and mortar market and cafe that could make a living while supporting local farmers, ranchers and dairymen. Nobody was doing it.” If my trip is any indication, several people in Twin falls are now doing it. The culinary scene on this previously parched stretch of the Snake River Plain has clearly improved.
cucinA Gemelli 653 blue Lakes blvd. n., twin Falls, 208-735-1228
elevAtion 486 195 river Vista place, twin Falls, 208-737-0486, elevation486.com
locAl Dish mARket & cAfe 778 Falls ave., twin Falls, 208-7343100, localdish marketcafe.com
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Duncan Age: 30
LAu r Ie PeA r M AN
Restaurant: La Belle Vie Number of years in the restaurant business: Six
Past experience: Graduate of Boise State’s culinary arts program. Breakfast cook at Chandlers Steakhouse breakfast cafe in Hotel 43. Intern at Brick 29. Line cook at Mortimer’s and Cafe de Paris. Sous chef at Bella Aquila. what did you have for breakfast this morning? Toasted pugliese bread with fresh almond butter and strawberr y preser ves. Throughout your career in idaho, how has the restaurant scene changed and how have you adapted to those changes? Over the last few years, many restaurants have had to close their doors. This is a shame because it has forced many chefs and restaurants to stop being quite so adventurous and basically play it safe. I also think that quality in
both ingredients and also technique has fallen by the wayside in many restaurants simply because they are tr ying to sur vive. I believe, however, that you’ll find over the next couple years that the chefs and restaurants that really focus on quality will come out on top in the end. This is what we strive for at La Belle Vie. what do you look to as inspiration for new recipes? I’m a huge fan of the locavore artisanal movement that is taking place in farming and cooking. I love taking old traditional cooking techniques and recipes and putting new spins on them. How do you innovate without excluding diners? It’s all about the taste. You can have the most beautiful dish in the world with bright vibrant colors, exotic ingre-
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dients and ser ved in a great atmosphere, but if it tastes bad, it doesn’t matter. I think that if you focus on flavor and the final “taste” of the dish, you can be as innovative as you like if the people eating your dish like it.
what one great meal do you fix only for yourself? My own Mediterranean risotto, chock full of sun-dried tomatoes, artichokes, olives, capers and spicy Italian sausage. That is my own personal comfort food.
what dish would you like to include on your menu, but worry that it might be too forward-thinking for this market? Offal—of all kinds. Like sweetbreads or tripe.
what’s the strangest ingredient you’ve ever put in a dish? Bear. I made a chorizo style bear sausage once.
what’s the one ingredient you can’t live without in your kitchen? Salt. I’m curing something at least once a week, whether it’s duck confit or homemade sauerkraut. Also, simple things like blanching vegetables or cooking pasta just don’t taste right unless there is salt involved.
where do you like to eat in town? I’ve been ver y impressed with Flatbread Community Oven.
only have three types of food, I would pick scotch, oatmeal stout and a good brunello di montalcino. Describe the restaurant you would create if cost and demographic were not an issue. I would like a nice two-stor y restaurant out in the middle of the countr y surrounded by fields and vineyards where I would ser ve local produce and meats along with local wines and beers. I would also love to have an amazing wine cellar that carried thousands of labels of not only wines but spirits as well. •
if you were stranded on a deserted island and could only eat three things the rest of your life, what would they be? Well since I wouldn’t want to live ver y long on an island that was deserted and could w ww. b o i s e we e kly. c o m
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restaurant listings/downtown downtown + fringe Addie’s—The language of breakfast is spoken here. All the traditional stuff: pancakes, chicken-fried steak, choose-yourown adventure omelet, bacon and bottomless coffee. 510 W. Main sU St., 208-338-1198. $ AliA’s Coffeehouse—Freshmade bagels daily for breakfast and lunch, the best-looking dessert case in town and for those who must, a selection of salads. 908 W. Main St., 208-338-1299. $ sU Andy’s deli—Hot and cold lunch on the go. 840 W. Idaho St., 208336-5186. $
Angell’s—Known for its steaks and seafood. In warmer weather, the patio is a lush respite tucked into a fold of a sloping grassy hill and trellises overgrown with greenery. 909 Main St., 208-342-4900, angellsbarandgrill. Res sU om com. $$-$$$ AsiAgo’s—Innovative Italian pastas, salads and soups served amid rustic Italian countryside decor. 1002 W. Main St., 208-323-1469, asiagos.com. $$-$$$ Res sU om BAguette deli—Vietnamese deli with 18 different 12-inch sub sandwich choices. Also, spring rolls, smoothies and French pastries. 276 N. Eighth St., 208-389-2888, om baguettedeli.net. $
+ fringe BAr gernikA—Basque favorites in a cozy little bar. Croquettas, chorizo, paella and a simple cheese plate that is one of the most popular in town. Don’t-miss dishes: spicy lamb grinder and beef tongue. 202 S. Capitol Blvd., 208-344-2175, bargernika.com. om $-$$ BArdenAy—Cavernous downtown restaurant and bar that gets noisy at night for your liquid refreshment pleasure or dinner chow. This business-casual joint boasts the country’s first restaurant distillery and features a menu of Northwest cuisine from the red bean and chorizo soup to fresh Hagerman trout. 610 Grove St., 208-4260538, bardenay.com. $$ sU om
BAsque MArket—Sandwiches on fresh baguette and homemade soups. Tapas are served Tuesdays, Saturdays and every First Thursday as well. 608 W. Grove St., 208-433-1208, thebasquemarket. om com. $-$$ Berryhill & Co. restAurAnt—The lunch menu is a fair balance of cosmopolitan comfort food and lighter fare. Dinner pulls out all the stops with local Kobe cuts, a variety of chicken and pasta dishes, as well as rack of lamb and plenty of seafood. Early evening it’s a see-and-be-seen happy hour crowd, and by dinner time it’s all about a bottle of wine and a nice meal. 121 N. Ninth St., 208-3873553, berryhillandco.com. Res sU om $$$-$$$$
LAu RIE PEARMAN
Big City Coffee—The menu is surprisingly large and creative for both breakfast and lunch, and the deli case has an assortment of bakery sweets and savory items. It’s like getting a meal in grandma’s kitchen. 1416 Grove St., 208-345-3145, bigcitycoffeeld. sU om com. $ BitterCreek Ale house—This Northwestern pub is a favorite among those looking to relax with friends, and the summer street-side patio offers prime people-watching opportunities. Happy hour is low-power, which means a nice, cozy candlelit time. 246 N. Eighth St., 208-345-1813, bittercreekalehouse.com. $$ sU om Blue sky BAgels—Bagel sandwiches and soup with Dawson Taylor coffee. 407 W. Main St., 208-388-4242, blueskybagels. sU om com. $
Ishtar Market and Restaurant is almost imperceptible from the hustle of the traffic on Overland Road. Unless you’re on the hunt for a Middle Eastern market offering ishtaR maRket homemade baklava and bread next to cans of hummus and and RestaURant crushed eggplant, you may not even notice the restaurant. 4516 W. Overland Road 208-275-8437 True enough, in the conjoined market and restaurant spaces in an aging Overland Road strip mall, the market comes before the restaurant both in terms of space and importance. For now. What the menu lacks in length—the handful of choices include falafel, schwarma and kabobs—it makes up for in execution. Plates of each come with fluffy piles of goldenrod rice, fresh lettuce, grilled tomatoes and a selection of starters containing a dab of cucumber salad, a smear of hummus and a taste of crushed eggplant. The simplicity of the menu is mirrored by the decor, but the approach results in consistently good meals. One offering, however, has bolstered Ishtar’s reputation as both a market and a restaurant: its bread. Large loaves of flatbread baked in-house and sprinkled sparsely with sesame seeds have been a hit not only as a vehicle for mopping up starter dishes, but also as a daily take-out on the market side. —Rachael Daigle 20 | RESTAURANT GUIDE 2011 | boiseweekly
BoMBAy grill—Northern Indian food in the historic Idanha Hotel. Get a samosa, curry, daal quick fix over lunch, or settle in for a properly homemade meal at dinner. The buffet is a real steal. 928 W. Main St., 208-345-7888, bombaygrillonline.com. $-$$ om BriCk oven Bistro—Comfort food all the way—meatloaf, mashers, hearty sands, hot soup and food like mom made. 801 N. Main St., 208-342-3456, sU brickovenbistro.com. $ om the Bridge CAfe—Build-your-own sands, hot lunch and breakfast, or a quick snack. 123 N. Sixth St., 208-345-5526. $ CAfe ole—Tucked away in the basement of the Eighth Street Marketplace, Cafe Ole’s maze-like interior offers both privacy and a social atmosphere. Boise’s original Mexican restaurant has been serving for the last 28 years. 404 S. Eighth St., 208-344-3222, sU om cafeole.com. $-$$ the CApri—Boise’s infamous diner breakfast spot. Great breakfast dishes at great prices. Ask for the Capri special. 2520 W. Fairview sU Ave., 208-342-1442. $
CAruso’s sAndwiCh CoMpAny—Idaho-based sandwich shop offering fresh ingredients piled high on bread baked in-house. 130 N. Eighth St., 208-331-0911, carusoom sandco.com. $ CAsA del sol—American/ Mexican featuring $2 authentic street-style tacos. 409 S. Eighth St., 208-287-3660, casadelsol.biz. om $-$$ CAzBA restAurAnt And opA lounge—Cazba transports you to the Eastern Mediterranean with cloud-painted walls, elegant decor and food from Greece, Egypt, Lebanon, Turkey and Iran. Expect grape leaves, rice dishes and well-seasoned meats. 211 N. Eighth St., 208-381-0222. $$-$$$ sU om ChAndlers steAkhouse— Chandlers is for the fine diner in you, with filet mignon, porterhouse and Kobe cuts, as well as an appetizer menu that offers oysters, lobster cakes, escargot and mussels. It’s as popular a stop for cocktails as it is for a fine dinner. The lights are low and the live jazz is always on. 981 W. Grove St., 208-383-4300, chandlersboise. Res sU om com. $$$$ ChiCAgo ConneCtion—Deep dish pizza from a local chain. This location is known for its killer salad bar. 310 N. Fourth St., 208-3423434, chicagoconnection.com. sU om $-$$ ChoColAt BAr—The Chocolat Bar makes its fabulous chocolate daily. 805 W. Bannock St., 208338-7771, thechocolatbar.com. $ Cottonwood grille—An upscale yet unpretentious quality restaurant. Specializing in local produce and scratch-made food, Cottonwood has one of the best patios in town right on the Greenbelt. Inside and out, it looks like it was airlifted out of Aspen and dropped on the Greenbelt. 913 W. River St., 208-333-9800, cottonwoodgrille.com. $$$-$$$$ Res sU om dArlA’s deli—Breakfast and lunch. Check out the ciabatta sandwiches, chef salad with bacon, and avocado halves stuffed with tuna salad. Best find? Half a grilled cheese and tomato sandwich for under $3. 250 S. Fifth St., 208381-0034, cwmooreplaza.com/ om darlasdeli. $ donnie MAC’s trAiler pArk Cuisine—Burgers, chicken sandwiches, o-rings, fries, some very tasty fry sauce, frozen custard, mac ’n’ cheese and breakfast in a kitschy trailer park atmosphere. 1515 W. Grove St., 208-384-9008, donniemacgrub. om com. $-$$ eMilio’s—Fine dining three meals a day in the Grove Hotel. 245 S. Capitol Blvd., 208-333-8002, emiliosboise.com. $$$-$$$$ Res sU om
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Vegan Burger / Boise Fry Company Hand-pressed patty with lettuce, tomato and red onion gastrique.
Falcon Tavern—Known for its hand-pressed burgers and ample beer selection. Cozy up in the interior space or kick back on the patio. 705 W. Bannock St., 208-947-3111, falcontavern. om com. $-$$ FlaTbread communiTy oven—Wood-fired pizza, pasta and sandwiches. The wine and beer selections are excellent, kids make their own pizzas and the patio is a definite summertime draw. The “pick two” lunch is one of the best deals in town. 615 W. Main St., 208-2874757, flatbreadpizza.com. sU om $$ Fork—The rich wood-paneled interior lends itself to a casual atmosphere, with a focus on locally grown, seasonal food. 199 N. Eighth St., 208-287-1700, om boisefork.com. $$
Flaming Turtle Fondue / The Mona Lisa Fruit and freshly baked cakes and cookies to dip into a bubbling pot of melted chocolate laced with gooey caramel.
FronT door norThwesT Pizza and TaP house— You won’t find a Bud Light at this cozy downtown bar, and the food will satisfy serious pizza people. Sandwiches, soups and salads round out the offerings. 105 S. Sixth St., 208-287-9201, thefrontdoorboise.com. $-$$ sU om Goldy’s—The most popular breakfast stop in town does lunch, too. Must-haves: veggie bennies, stuffed French toast and salmon hash. 108 S. Capitol Blvd., 208-345-4100, goldysbreakfastbistro.com. $-$$ sU om
Tapas / The Basque Market A variety of Basque finger foods, served Saturdays, Tuesdays and First Thursdays.
Oatmeal Cookie Pancake / The Egg Factory A stack that tastes just like fresh baked oatmeal cookies, made with oats, raisins, pecans and cinnamon. 22 | RESTAURANT GUIDE 2011 | boiseweekly
GraPe escaPe—Fine wine, delicious lunch and dinner, delectable desserts and light bites make this little bistro a great place to meet with friends. 800 W. Idaho St., 208-368-0200. sU $-$$ Guido’s oriGinal new york sTyle Pizza— There’s nothing like a slice (or three) of Guido’s New York-style pizza for lunch. The giant pies are inexpensive and addictive. 235 N. Fifth St., 208-3459011, guidosdowntown.com. sU om $ ha’ Penny irish Pub and Grill—Bringing a little taste of the Emerald Isle to the City of Trees, with a cozy, old-world-pub atmosphere, the requisite number of taps lining the long, wood bar and a menu filled with both Irish and American favorites. 855 Broad St., Ste. 250, 208-343-5568, hapennybridgepub.com. $$ sU om
haPPy Fish sushi & marTini bar—The martini menu at Happy Fish is bigger than its sushi menu. Go with a Jackie O martini and a Bull’s Eye roll. 855 Broad St., 208-343-4810, happyfishsushi.com. $$$ Res sU om
mai Thai—Hip and colorful, Mai Thai is known for its cocktails, upscale Thai food and great happy hour deals with not one but two happy hours. 750 W. Idaho St., 208-344-8424, maithaigroup.com. $-$$ Res sU om
The huddle—A sports pub with a focus on beer and TV. 205 N. 10th St., 208-3385455. $-$$ sU
modern hoTel and bar—A destination for folks who put a lot of stock not just in what they drink, but where. The menu follows the chic-and-simple rule with finger foods, beautiful salads, paninis and the menu must have: absinthe ice cream. 1314 W. Grove St., 208-424-8244, themodernhotel.com. sU om $$-$$$
Java—In addition to all things coffee, Java also serves scones, muffins and tasty breakfast and lunch offerings. 223 N. Sixth St., 208-345-0777. $ sU Jenny’s lunch line— The menu, which changes constantly, always features fresh soups, salads and sandwiches made daily. Vegetarian and healthy options are the mainstay with a single yummy dessert treat for the times when your sweet tooth needs a little loving, too. 106 N. Sixth St., 208-433-0092, jennyslunchom line.com. $-$$ la vie en rose—A European-style bakery where the digs are as beautiful as the grinds. Enjoy fresh baked croissants, brioches, croque-monsieurs and dinner. 928 W. Main St., 208-331-4045, lavieenrosebakery.com. $$-$$$ Res sU om le caFe de Paris— Croque-monsieurs, croissants jambon fromage, Nutella banana crepes, flaky tarte aux fraises and then dinner, too. 204 N. Capitol Blvd., 208-336-0889, lecafedeparis.com. $$-$$$ sU om leku ona—Traditional Basque culture, family and heaven when you visit Leku Ona. Set right on the corner of Boise’s Basque Block. Ask for a picon punch and enjoy. 117 S. Sixth St., 208-345-6665, iparagon. com/lekuona. $$-$$$ Res om liFe’s kiTchen—Lunch is Wednesday, Thursday and Friday from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Students learn skills for life and the restaurant biz at Life’s Kitchen. A new menu is published every Tuesday. 1025 S. Capitol Blvd., 208331-0199, lifeskitchen.org. Res om $ lock, sTock & barrel— A Boise staple featuring some of the most well-reputed steaks and prime rib in town. 1100 W. Jefferson St., 208-3364266, lsbboise.com. $$-$$$ Res sU om
moon’s kiTchen caFe—Founded in 1955, Moon’s has the best milkshakes in town. The diner also does breakfast and lunch for those times when ice cream does not a meal make. 712 W. Idaho St., 208-385-0472, moonskitchen.com. $-$$ sU om orienTal exPress—Run of the mill Chinese menu, but run by people happy to accommodate vegetarians. General’s Tofu is a local fave. 110 N. 11th St., om 208-345-8868. $ The PanTry—Basic diner food for breakfast, brunch and lunch. 1545 Shoreline Drive, 208-344-5486. $ sU Pho nouveau—Vietnamese comfort food. Must-haves: cha gio with a mound of cellophane noodles, lily blossom salad of young lotus root, shrimp and pork, shaken beef salad and big bowls of pho. 780 W. Idaho St., 208-367-1111, phonouveau.com. $-$$ sU om Pie hole—Nineteen-inch pies by the slice or by the pie plus calzones. Known for the potato and bacon pizza. 205 N. Eighth St., 208-344-7783, pieholeusa. sU om com. $ PiPer Pub & Grill— Perched high on Eighth Street with a wraparound patio, “the Piper” serves up creative, upscale pub fare. 150 N. Eighth St., 208-343-2444, thepiperpub. sU om com. $-$$ Pollo rey—Burritos, tacos and rotisserie-cooked chicken. The green sauce and the fish burrito make food music together. 222 N. Eighth St., 208-345-0323, polloreyboise.com. $ sU om
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restaurant listings/downtown Red FeatheR Lounge—A wine haven paired with local produce and righteous cocktails. The menu is ever changing, depending on the season. No industrial food here. 246 N. Eighth St., 208-429-6340, justeatlocal.com/redfeather. sU om $$-$$$
Shige Red CaRpet Fine dining—Shige takes it up a notch with foie gras and filet mignon. The sushi menu is available as is a Japanese steakhouse experience. 100 N. Eighth St., Ste. 215, 208-338-8423, shigejapanesecuiRes om sine.com. $$-$$$
ReeF—Island food is well-matched with a glass from the large selection of beer or wine—or tiki-themed cocktail. 105 S. Sixth St., 208-287-9200, reefboise.com. sU om $$-$$$
Shige and Shige expReSS— Traditional rolls and sashimi. Also features a full kitchen with tempura and teriyaki dishes. The volcano is da bomb. 100 N. Eighth St., Ste. 215, 208-338-8423, shigejapaneom secuisine.com. $-$$
+ fringe, north boise SoLid—The Northwest-focused menu has a smattering of the usual suspects including nachos and mac ’n’ cheese, as well as a build-a-burger option (which includes a veggie patty) and, of course, salmon. At midnight on Friday and Saturday, the lunch/ dinner menu is put away, and the late-night menu—featuring fried chicken and waffles on the same plate—comes out to play. 405 S. Eighth St., 208-345-6620. $-$$ sU
SupeRb SuShi—With a great courtyard and eclectic sushi rolls, Superb Sushi is hoping to give you something different. 208 N. Eighth St., 208-385-0123, superbsushidowntown.com. $-$$ om tabLeRoCk bRewpub and gRiLL—Downtown’s only microbrewery pours a selection of handcrafted drafts in hefty 20-ounce British imperial pint glasses. Great sandwiches, salads and entrees complemented beautifully by one of its signature brews. 705 Fulton St., 208-3420944, tablerockbrewpub.com. $-$$ sU om
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taj MahaL ReStauRant—Great food, daily lunch buffet and a seriously impressive beer selection. For the faint of heart when it comes to Indian food, there’s also a menu with Greek choices. 150 N. Eighth St., Ste. 222, 208-473-7200, tajmahalofom boise.com. $$-$$$. tepanyaki japaneSe Steak houSe—Japanese-style steakhouse where food is cooked at your table. 2197 N. Garden St., 208-343-3515. $-$$ sU tony’S pizzeRia teatRo—Piazzas and sweeping terraces are not a regular part of the Boise landscape, but if you search hard enough and squint your eyes a little, you can find tiny nooks like Tony’s that may remind you of a European vacation. Sit outside, order a slice of pie and a good glass of vino. 103 Capitol Blvd., 208-343-1052. $-$$
While Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin may be affectionately dubbed the “Russian Bear”—for cuddly feats cafe like tranquilizing escaped tigers, bare-chested horseback RUssian beaR riding and splashing about in freezing lakes—Eagle’s Cafe 600 S. Rivershore Lane, Ste. 160, Eagle Russian Bear is even more kick-ass. 208-939-1911 Husband and wife team Oleg and Svetlana Mironov caferussianbear.com whip up authentic Russian cuisine in a cozy, burgundyhued space that is about as close to the Motherland as you can get without leaving the Gem State. Menu items include the self-proclaimed “best cabbage rolls west of the Kremlin” and a secret beef stroganoff recipe from the 1800s they’ve crowned “a taste of Tsarist Russia.” Other dishes like authentic dark-purple beet borscht, potato pancakes, savory crepes—with white sauce, mushroom, garlic and chicken—and sweet crepes—with strawberries, ricotta cheese and chocolate syrup—fill out the rest of the hearty menu. And if you want to wash back all those pierogies and pelmeni with a Siberia-cold brew, Oleg will happily point out the best Baltika for your meal. The Russian beers are made by the popular St. Petersburg brewery and numbered 0-10, with Baltika No. 0 containing no alcohol, Baltika No. 4 clocking in at 5.6 percent and Baltika No. 9 tipping the scales at 8-10 percent alcohol. We’d like to see Putin put down his blow dart, throw on an apron and crank out anything half as good as the Mironovs do at Cafe Russian Bear. —Tara Morgan 24 | RESTAURANT GUIDE 2011 | boiseweekly
twig’S CeLLaR—Subterranean, cozy and elegant with classic bistro fare. 816 W. Bannock St., lower level, 208-344-8944, twigscellar. om com. $$-$$$ twin dRagon—No fuss, no frills—just American-style Chinese food at prices that won’t cripple your wallet. 200 Fairview Ave., sU 208- 344-2141. $-$$ wiLLi b’S SandwiCh SaLoon— Specializing in bunkhouse cooking, which means dishes that can be made just as easily in a kitchen or a Dutch oven. Lunch specials are homemade daily by the friendly and accommodating staff and rotate between hefty hot and cold sandwiches, side salads and soups. 225 N. Fifth St., 208-3315666, willibs.com. $-$$ om yen Ching—Have a martini with your potstickers and chow mein if you please. There’s nothing fancy about Yen Ching, but it has an air of class nonetheless. Dim sum is also available. 305 N. Ninth St., 208-384-0384, yenchingboise. sU om com. $-$$ yoi toMo—All-you-can-eat sushi for $17.99 at lunch or $24.99 at dinner. ’Nuff said. 405 S. Capitol Blvd., 208-344-3375, yoitomo.us. sU om $-$$
zen bento—Zen Bento does well by its simple little menu. This mostly take-out, affordable, lunchonly joint serves up healthy, fresh, tasty salads and bento boxes. 103 N. 10th St., 208-388-8808, om zenbento.com. $-$$ zeppoLe—Nothing beats the low prices and fresh-baked goodness of Zeppole on a lunch break, unless it’s taking home a loaf of the near-legendary bread to enjoy later. 217 N. Eighth St., 208-345-2149, om zeppolebakery.com. $
north boise 13th StReet pub and gRiLL—Sports fans gather in the lounge over appetizers and beers, and the occasional group of cyclists claims table space after a long ride. Cuisine is typical pub food with an upscale boost: brie en croute, steak salad, lamb chops. The kitchen is open late. 1520 13th St., 208-639-8888. $-$$ sU 36th StReet biStRo—Set in the windowed west wing of the store, the cafe serves espresso and pastries for breakfast, sandwiches and salads for lunch and the dinner menu is ever-changing depending on what’s fresh and in season. The rotating menu features locally grown and raised foods. 3823 N. Garden Center Way, 208-4335108, 36streetgardencenter.com. sU om $-$$ CaFe ViCino—Chefs Richard Langston and Steve Rhodes serve up a casual lunch menu with choices like daily quiche, salads and portobello mushroom sandwiches. Dinner choices lean toward finer dining. 808 W. Fort St., 208-472-1463, cafevicino. Res om com. $$-$$$ CaSa MexiCo—With restaurants all over the Treasure Valley, Casa Mexico is family owned, with an extensive menu and an attentive staff. 1605 N. 13th St. Ste. B, 208-333-8330, casamexicoidaho. sU om com. $-$$ hawkinS paC-out—Classic burger drive-in in a classic location. Tots, twist cones and daily specials. 2315 N. Bogus Basin Road, sU 208-338-9627. $ highLandS hoLLow bRewhouSe—One of the North End’s best, known for its beer, burgers and vegetarian-friendly menu. 2455 Harrison Hollow, 208-343-6820, highlandshollow.com. $-$$ sU om hyde paRk pub—A pub in every sense of the word, HPP has a menu of food you eat with your hands, TVs in every corner, a varied selection of tap brews and that neighborhood restaurant feel, which so many of its neighbors envy. 1501 N. 13th St., 208-3369260, harryshydepark.com. $-$$ sU om
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state street/restaurant listings Jim’s Coffeeshop—Your grandparents’ favorite diner, preserved through the ages. Where else are you going to find egg salad sands? 812 W. Fort St., 208-343-0154. $-$$ sU LuLu’s fine pizza/ superb sushi—Big Apple-style gourmet pie for pizza lovers of everywhere kind. And if you change your mind once you get there, you can grab some freshly rolled Superb Sushi. 2594 Bogus Basin Road, 208-387-4992, ilovelulus.com. $-$$ sU om o’miChaeL’s pub & GriLL—A longtime North End gathering place, O’Mike’s is known for stiff drinks and a menu of pub food. Go with the slaw burger and garlic fries. 2433 N. Bogus Basin Road, 208-342-8948, omichaelspubboise.com. $-$$ sU parriLLa GriLL—Serving wraps and salads on another primo Hyde Park patio. 1512 N. 13th St., 208-323-4688. sU $ sun ray Cafe—Pizza, sandwiches and salads on one of the North End’s best lounging-with-a-beer-in-yourhand patios. 1602 N. 13th St., 208-343-2887, sunray-cafe.com. $-$$ sU om
state street amiGo’s mexiCan restaurant—Family run Mexican joint with a small, clean space. 2870 W. State St., 208-343-1001. $$ asian Wok—Chinese food with a dim sum menu that might entice you to “stop in for tea” frequently. They’ll even deliver it to your door. 3504 W. State St., 208-384-9200, asian-wok. om sU com. $-$$ burGer ’n breW—It’s a comfortable, family neighborhood restaurant that does beer and burgers equally well. 4295 W. State St., 208-345-7700. $-$$ sU DutCh Goose—Steamed clams, French dip and Reuben sandwiches, one of the best grilled chicken salads around and a selection of brilliant burgers. 3515 W. State St., 208342-8887, dutchgoose.com. sU om $$
eDDie’s Diner—’50s-style diner with burgers and fries. 3095 N. Lakeharbor Lane, sU 208-853-9800. $ the eGG faCtory—Homestyle cooking focused on the details. Features a new omelette every week and a new benedict every month. Don’t miss the oatmeal pancakes and loaded hashbrowns. 6882 W. State St., 208-8532037, eggfactorycafe.com. $$ sU om fanCi freez—Shakes, malts, spins, sundaes and the Boston shake are what have made Fanci Freez a Boise favorite for years. But because we can’t live on ice cream alone, Fanci Freez also serves a whole mess of burgers, some of the crispiest tots in town and even a grilled cheese for the non-meat-eaters. 1402 W. State St., 208-344-8661. $ sU fLyinG pie pizzeria— Boise’s favorite wacky pizza joint was featured on Man v. Food recently. We recommend the Zambini and the Pie’s own beer, Triple Pi. In August, don’t miss the habanero pizza—if you’re brave enough, that is. 4320 W. State St., 208-345-8585, flyingpie.com. $-$$ sU om Green ChiLe—Southwestern cuisine in Boise with green and red chiles, chimichangas and chile rellenos. Also features burgers and salads along side sopapaillas. 5616 W. State St., 208-853-0103. om $-$$ the Lift bar anD GriLL—Gnaw on a plate of State Street nachos or one of the dive’s many vegetarian-friendly dishes like hummus, fish tacos or the portobello and sun-dried tomato sandwich. Weekend breakfast is a hangover cure from the gods. 4091 W. State St., 208-342-3250, sU theliftboise.com. $$ om Los betos—Street-style Mexican food—like a burrito as big as a baby. Open 24-7. 6906 W. State St., 208-853sU 1494. $ maDhuban—A daily lunch buffet and a huge menu including all the favorites. You’re gonna love the curry. A great place for vegetarians. 6390 W. State St., 208-853-8215, madhubanindiancuisine.com. $$ sU om
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mazzah—Gyros, hummus, falafel and baklava on the quick. Try the fatoosh salad and baklava. 1772 W. State St., 208-333-2566, mazzahboise.com. $-$$ sU om merritt’s Country Cafe—aka: “home of the scone.” This 24-hour mainstay is the place to land after a night on the town. 6630 W. State St., 208-853-1801, merrittscafe.com. $-$$ sU om north enD Chinese—The best drive-through Chinese the North End offers. 1806 W. State St., 208-343-1080. sU $-$$ pho 79—This family run restaurant knows great soup comes from good stock. 7310 W. State St., 208-8538889. $-$$ pizzaLChik—PIZZa sALad and CHIcKen. Get it? Perfect robust salads, plus delicious original pizzas and whole chickens roasted in a 6,000-pound stone-hearth oven. Try the housemade elk sausage. 7330 W. State St., 208-853-7757, pizzalchik. sU om com. $-$$ saLt tears Coffeehouse anD noshery— Seriously impressive carbs here, folks. Housemade pastries, baguettes, pierogies and pizzettas next to salads, soups and locally roasted coffee. 4714 W. State St., 208-275-0017, greenchutesboise.com/salt-tears. $-$$ sU om smoke inn—An old-fashioned restaurant, serving up a wide variety of meat and fab fried food. 3912 W. State St., 208-344-7334. $-$$ smoky mountain pizza anD pasta—Pizza and pasta the Idaho way, with favorites like baked spaghetti, a hot Italian sub and a long, long list of specialty pizzas. 1805 W. State St., 208-387-2727, smokymountainpizza.com. sU om $$ VikinG DriVe in—Burgers, fries and shakes on the go. The best way to go on a calorie bender. 3790 W. State St., 208-342-7289. $ WestsiDe DriVe-in—From the mind of “Boise’s Best Chef,” Chef Lou, comes some of the most scrumptious diner delights for dinein, take-out or frozen to take home for later when cooking is the last thing you want to do. 1939 W. State St., 208-342-2957, cheflou.com. sU om $-$$
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restaurant listings broadway Ali BABA—Middle Eastern food from shish kebab to shawarma. 111 S. Broadway Ave., om 208-343-4536. $-$$
Chicken Confit/ Brick 29 Bacon braised chicken leg and thigh with fingerling potatoes, arugula and tomato, roasted chicken jus and grape gastrique.
Boise Fry CompAny—Fries are the main event, with a half-dozen varieties of potatoes on the menu. If you add a burger on the side, buffalo and vegan are the way to go. 111 Broadway Ave., Ste. 111, 208-495-3858, sU om boisefrycompany.com. $-$$ BroAdwAy deli—Unique sandwiches piled high with meat and cheese. The best beer-battered fries in town. 2789 Broadway Ave., 208-385-9943, broadwaydeliboise.com. om $ Buster’s—Televisions blaring sports every which way you look and waitresses clad in skimpy outfits. Pub fare all the way. 1326 Broadway Ave., 208-345-5688, bustersssU om portsbar.com. $-$$
Gaucho / Tango’s Empanadas Just like you’ll find it in Argentina, filled with ground beef, eggs, olives, onions, bell peppers and spices.
CoBBy’s—Serving up sub sands, soup, salad, brews and wine since 1978. 1030 Broadway Ave., 208-345-0990, cobbys.com. sU om $-$$ dong KhAnh—Vietnamese restaurant with plenty of familiar Chinese offerings so you can have your pho or your beef and broccoli. 111 Broadway Ave., 208-345-0980. $ iChiBAn JApAnese steAKhouse—A sushi and sashimi bar as well as tepanyaki grill. Try the Ichiban roll. 1233 Broadway Res Ave., 208-426-9188. $$-$$$ ono hAwAiiAn CAFe—This Hawaiian joint may serve it island style, but unlike other plate lunch destinations, you get a real plate here. Aloha Fridays, pupus, Spam musubi and a menu of island-influenced upscale flavors. 2170 S. Broadway Ave., 208-429sU om 6800, onocafe.net. $$ pAt’s thAi KitChen—Tom Ka Gai like you find in Chiang Mai, noodles and rice of all varieties and curry done Thai spicy or mild for the farang in you. 577 E. Park Blvd. Ste. om C110, 208-345-0026. $-$$
Crab Louie Salad / Chris the Saladman A chilled crab and shrimp blend, cheddar cheese, tomatoes, black olives, red cabbage, carrots and spring lettuce in a spinach tortilla bowl.
pie hole ii—See Downtown listing. 1016 S. Broadway Ave., 208-424-2225, pieholeusa. sU om com. $ shAKA shACK—Hawaiian teriyaki, and you can get it without even having to get out of your car. Hawaiian Sun is always in stock. 2100 S. Broadway Ave., 208-331-0404,shakashakboise.webs.com. om $ tApiA’s—Boise’s “to go bistro.” Take out, delivery and catering. 2132 S. Broadway Ave., 208-906-8755, tapiafamilycatering. om com. $$
university Big Juds—The wall of burger fame for those who dare to down the 1-pound Big Jud. Tots, pie, grilled cheese sandwiches and a whole case of ice cream. 1289 Protest Road, 208om 343-4439, bigjudsboise.com. $
French Meatloaf Sandwich / Berryhill & Co. Tender slices of meatloaf made of pork, veal, walnuts and raisins, topped with smoked Gouda and sauteed onions. Served on Gaston’s local poulichette baguette. 26 | RESTAURANT GUIDE 2011 | boiseweekly
pApA Joe’s—Arrive with plenty of time because the menu is a book with pizzas, hot and cold sands, pastas and salads. It’s one of Boise’s best and oldest. 1301 S. Capitol sU om Blvd., 208-344-7272. $-$$
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LAu R IE P EAR M AN
Age: 37 Restaurant: Eighteen One Number of years in the restaurant business: 23
Past experience: A fourth-generation chef, began under Ray DiLulo at the Grove Hotel, personal chef to Bill Cosby and Stevie Nicks, appeared on the Food Network’s Iron Chef of America as a sous chef to Beau MacMillan. Executive chef and founder of the Cowboy Restaurant and Brewery, the first restaurant in America to win the World Cup Hefeweizen award for food and beer pairings.
refined style that embraces those hearty roots, yet seeks to be progressive in menu and recipe construction. I have tried to keep the focus of my menus on the substance of those hearty ingredients and add my own fresh, nouveau interpretation.
what did you have for breakfast this morning? Chorizo and egg sandwich with new potatoes.
How do you innovate without excluding diners? I have had the most success with utilizing traditional components and preparations with a modern, more artistic take on the presentation. Simplicity is key when dealing with tradition. Too much noise on a plate makes the diner uninterested, and an uninterested diner doesn’t return very often.
Throughout your career in idaho, how has the restaurant scene changed and how have you adapted to those changes over time? Food in Idaho has moved from the traditional steak and potatoes to a more modern,
what do you look to as inspiration for new recipes? Family, friends and accidents (in the kitchen).
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what dish would you like to include on your menu, but worry that it might be too forward-thinking for this market? Kobe coulotte. It is the cap muscle off a Kobe sirloin, with no gristle or tendons. It is virtually void of natural fats, so cooking it is not for the faint of heart. When done correctly, this is about as clean and unfiltered as red meat comes. The flavor profile is intense and to the point. The subtleness of preparation and the cost of the product are the main reasons this dish probably wouldn’t survive in this market. what won’t you eat? Lima beans. Ever. what’s the one ingredient you can’t live without in your kitchen? Stocks.
what one great meal do you fix only for yourself? Sweet tamales. what’s the strangest ingredient you’ve ever put in a dish? Tobacco. who is the most famous person you’ve cooked for? Personal chef to Stevie Nicks. where do you like to eat in town? Brick 29 Bistro in Nampa and Epi’s in Meridian. what’s the most outrageous thing that’s happened in a kitchen where you’ve worked? A gas line leaked and we ended up with a 30-foot wall of fire on the line, leaving me and four other chefs bailing over the expo wall during prom night dinner service.
if you were stranded on a deserted island and could only eat three things the rest of your life, what would they be? Quesadillas, Basque chorizo and my grandmother’s pork tacos. Describe the restaurant you would create if cost and demographic were not an issue. My restaurant would be centered around the chef’s table idea. Being able to interact with the customer and share my personal experiences and motivations with regard to their dish is priceless. Even in this hypothetical place, my restaurant would not regard cost or demographic so much as it would serve as a place for those who love fellowship and food to come together. •
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restaurant listings/west Tree CiTy JuiCe and SmooThie Cafe—More than 30 smoothie combos and 10 ways of serving fresh-squeezed juice. The food follows the nutritional rules with paninis and wraps. 1265 S. Capitol sU Blvd., 208-342-0467. $
west boise Bangkok Thai—Quality lunch specials. 477 N. Milwaukee St., 208-375-0946, bangkokthaiboise. sU om com. $-$$ Cafe ole—See Downtown listing. 210 N. Milwaukee Road, 208- 322sU om 0222. $-$$
The Chef’S huT—Pancakes stacked 6 inches high and other breakfast delights. 164 Cole Road, 208-376-3125, chefshut.com. $-$$ sU om ChiCago ConneCTion—See Downtown description. 7070 W. Fairview Ave., 208-377-5551, chicagoconnection.com. $$ sU om delSa’S iCe Cream Parlour— Specialty ice cream flavors like licorice, lemon custard and Swiss orange chip. Delsa’s also offers a diner menu with burgers, hot sands, fingersteaks, fish and chips and more. 7923 W. Ustick Road, P sU 208-377-3700. $
The egg faCTory—See State Street listing. 8061 W. Fairview Ave., 208-322-0191, eggfactorycafe.com. $$ sU om euroPe deliCiouS—Bosnian bakery/deli/grocery with an adjacent restaurant/sports bar/ banquet hall. 9958 W. Fairview Ave., 208-367-9109. $ freSh off The hook—Gourmet seafood in a casual setting. Try the halibut bruschetta or coconut prawns. It’s the best place in town for fresh, inexpensive seafood. 507 N. Milwaukee St., 208-3229224, freshoffthehookseafood. com. $-$$ sU om
fuJiyama—Fresh sushi in a serene atmosphere incongruously nestled in a strip mall. Also an extensive selection of teriyaki and tempura dishes, soups and salads. 283 N. Milwaukee St., 208-6728227, fujiyamaboise.com. $$ sU om guido’S original new york STyle Pizzeria—See Downtown description. 12375 Chinden Blvd., Ste. G, 208-376-1008, guidossU om downtown.com. $
LAu R IE P EARMAN
CaSTle ranCh STeakhouSe— Steaks done well, not well done. Serving Double R Ranch beef and a menu of local flavors. Located in the Boise Hotel. 3300 S. Vista Ave., 208-343-4900. theboisehotel.com. $$
JalaPeno’S Bar and grill—Family friendly Mexican food restaurant with a huge tequila selection. 8799 Franklin Road, 208-375-2077, jalapenosidaho. sU om com. $-$$
ChaPala—Local chain of Mexican restaurants offering freshly prepared Jaliscan food. 1201 S. Vista Ave., 208-429-1155, chapalarestaurants.com. $-$$ sU om
lindy’S STeakhouSe—Bar on one side, restaurant on the other. The restaurant is known for its fingersteaks and the bar has a wild side to it. 12249 W. Chinden Blvd., sU 208-375-1310. $-$$
Chiang mai Thai reSTauranT—Traditional Thai food named after the infamous Thai cuisine capital, Chiang Mai. Among those who know, this is the city’s best Thai stop. 4898 W. Emerald sU St., 208-342-4051. $-$$
SoCkeye grill and Brewery—Sockeye is the serious beer connoisseur’s brewpub. Notables on the vegetarian-friendly menu include the coho club and the Western burger. 3019 N. Cole Road, 208-658-1533, sockeyesU om brew.com. $-$$
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CaSanova Pizzeria—“NeoNeapolitan” eats. Known for its clam pizza, eggplant Parmesan sands and the Medusa pie. Best thing? They encourage indecision with a half-n-half pizza option. 1204 S. Vista Ave., 208-331-3535, casanovapizzeria.com. $-$$ om
The gyro ShaCk—Get chicken, lamb or chicken and sauerkraut on your pita and a fat slice of baklava for dessert. 6619 Ustick Road, 208-378-1325, thegyroshack.net. om $
manila Bay—Filipino buffet line that does new and unexpected things with seafood. 8716 W. Fairview Ave., 208-375-5547. $-$$
Your taste buds will never forgive you if you drive quickly through the hamlet of Donnelly on your way to Flight oF Fancy McCall or Tamarack. “Hold your horses!” your buds will bakeshoP scream. “Isn’t that Flight of Fancy?” What’s that? You 282 Main St., Donnelly haven’t heard of Flight of Fancy? Horrors. This gem of 208-325-4432 baked delights has the busiest oven in the tiniest of settings. Located on Main Street, Flight of Fancy has fingerlickin-good sandwiches to go (or you can eat outside at a few small tables when the weather is nice). But save room—a lot of room—for the sweets: cakes, pies, cheesecakes, cookies and sweet breads. But ah, when the huckleberries are in season, there’s huckleberry danish, apple huckleberry pie, huckleberry coffee cake, huckleberry trifle and a baker’s dozen more goodies. If you’re driving through Valley County in the early morning, stop by for espresso and a scone. Better yet, how about some homemade baked oatmeal? Wait, wait. Even better? A pumpkin cream cheese muffin. Hold on. Even better than that? Lemon streussel muffins. Flight of Fancy has been filling the tummies of folks in Donnelly, McCall and Cascade since 1994. You can find the bakery’s muffins, cookies and cakes at restaurants throughout Idaho’s heartland, but why not visit the home base? —George Prentice
BoSnian exPreSS—EasternEuropean style gyros, quick and cheap. 4846 Emerald St., 208433-9955. $
a TaSTe of Thai—Thai dishes made with the freshest ingredients. Full beer and wine menu includes domestic and imported selections. 8053 Emerald St., 208-323-8424, atasteofthaiboise.com. $$-$$$ sU om andrade’S—From albondigas to zopes, Andrade’s serves up some of the best authentic Mexican fare in town. Generous portions, decent prices. 4903 Overland Road, 208-424-8890, andradesboise. sU om com. $-$$ Bad Boy BurgerS—This Bench burger joint offers all the requisite fare of a classic walk-up/drive-thru, plus some tasty surprises: It will take two of you to get through one of the burritos. 7000 W. Fairview Ave., 208-373-0020; 815 S. Vista sU Ave., 208-331-1580. $ BagueTTe deli—See Downtown listing. 5204 W. Franklin Road, om 208-336-2989. $ Big Bun drive-in—Burgers, fries and shakes in a retro, drive-in atmosphere. 5816 W. Overland Road, 208-375-5361. $-$$
CoBBy’S—See Broadway listing. 6899 W. Overland Road, 208-323-0606, cobbys.com. $-$$ sU om CreSCenT no lawyerS Bar/ grill—Known for cold beer, good fun and “lawyer fries.” The lunch menu skews pub style, but dinner takes an upscale turn with prime rib and salmon. 5500 W. Franklin Road, 208-322-9856, no-lawyers. sU om com. $-$$ CuCina di Paolo—Heat-andserve gourmet entrees from a married couple with a knack for killer lasagna. 1504 Vista Ave., 208-345-7150, cucinadipaolo.com. om $$ deli george—Behind the upsidedown sign on Fairview, look for more than 30 sandwich options full of homemade ingredients and plenty of imagination. 5602 Fairview Ave., 208-323-2582, deligeorge. om com. $ flying Pie Pizzaria—See State Street listing. 6508 Fairview Ave., 208-376-3454, flyingpie.com. $-$$ sU om The gyro ShaCk—See West Boise description. 6935 W. Overland Road, 208-375-7424, om thegyroshack.net. $ greaT harveST Bread Co— Fresh baked bread everyday. Sandwiches for lunch. 5608 W. Fairview Ave., 208-377-5587, greatharvestom boise.com. $ iShTar—Middle Eastern fare served up in a simple atmosphere with a focus on the food. Take our advice and order extra bread. 4516 W. Overland Road, 208-275-8437. sU $-$$
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restaurant listings/bench Jerry’s state Court Cafe—Old-school diner food for the old-school crowd. 6767 W. Fairview Ave., 208-376-6767, jerrysstatecourtcafeboise. om com. $$ Jumpin’ Janets—A cozy bar with entertainment and drink specials aplenty. A menu of sandwiches and pub food gives patrons a little something to soak up the two-for-one happy-hour cocktails. You won’t find a deep fryer in the kitchen at Jumpin’ Janet’s, it’s all baked. 574 Vista Ave., 208-342-7620, jumpinjasU nets.com. $-$$ om Los Betos—See State Street listing. 5220 W. Fairview Ave., 208-658-1185. $ sU mongo griLL—You stack it, they grill it. This location also has several different kinds of pho. 3554 S. Findley Ave., 208-336-2122. $-$$ sU the offiCe—The Office is definitely no office, and the pub food is definitely meant for soaking up too many cheap beers. 6125 E. Fairview Ave., 208-672sU 0087. $-$$ panda garden—Small but comfortable, Panda Garden has a huge selection of menu items. Generous portions from Chinese to sushi, and it’s all good stuff. 2801 Overland Road, 208-4331188, boisepandagarden. sU om com. $-$$ patty’s Burger time— Keeping it local with Flying M coffee, Cloverleaf milk and local beef. The early riser menu includes breakfast burritos, diced potatoes and breakfast sandwiches using organic eggs and vegetables. Lunch and dinner feature homemade soup. 1273 S. Orchard St., 208-424-5073. $ pho tam—Vietnamese food without the fuss. Giant bowls of pho, spring and summer rolls, rice and noodle dishes and, of course, giant Vietnamese deli sands. 1098 N. Orchard St., 208-473-2386. $-$$ the pLank—This haunt may be one of Boise’s most interesting watering holes. Pub-style menu with all the usual burger/fry/fingersteak suspects served until close. 650 S. Vista Ave., 208-336-1790, theplanksU boise.com. $-$$ om
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Quinn’s restaurant and Lounge—One of Boise’s longtime diners/ bars. Lunch and dinner in both the bar and restaurant areas and breakfast for your sluggish weekend mornings. 1005 S. Vista Ave., sU 208-345-0135. $-$$ raW—The owners of conjoined, and very popular, Willowcreek Bar and Grill opened up Raw to sate the sushi cravings up on the bench. Striving for sushi art in a comfortable atmosphere and promising rolls that make your money worth it, Raw is a welcome addition to the Japanese food restaurant family in Boise. 2237 Vista Ave., 208-343-0270, rawsushiboise.com. $-$$ om roCkies diner—An old-school diner where customers are greeted by waitresses on roller skates and classic rock emanating from the jukebox. The burgers are big and tasty. We recommend the jalapeno peppers and a shake to cool things off. 3900 Overland Road, 208-3362878, rockiesdiner.com. $ sU om shangri-La tea room—Basic vegan and vegetarian menu. Teriyaki tofu, tea cakes and cookies round out a variety of delightful items. Plus small-batch teas produced on small tea farms. 1800 W. Overland Road, 208-424-0273, shangri-laom tea.com. $ sono Bana—Boise’s oldest sushi joint. Try the ginger and adzuki bean ice cream. 303 N. Orchard St., 208-323-8822, sonobanasushi.com. $$-$$$ sU om stan’s Char-BroiLed hot dogs—New York hot dogs, Italian, Polish or white hot Bockwurst sausages and thick-cut, extra crunchy onion rings with the coveted Bronco Sauce. 818 S. Vista Ave., 208-342-1199, stanshotdogs.com. $ sU om tango’s suBs and empanadas—Tango’s has several dozen styles of savory and sweet empanadas. The gaucho is just like they make them in Argentina, and for dessert: dulce de leche. To change it up, sub sands are also on the menu. 701 N. Orchard St., 208-322-3090, tangos-empanadas.com. $ om
thai Cuisine—Serving traditional Thai food in a casual and elegant environment. 6777 W. Overland Road, 208-6580516, boisethaicuisine. com. $$ sU om tres Bonne Cuisine— European-style deli inside a wine and beer shop. Sandwiches focus on German-style meats, with homemade pierogies and soup. 6555 W. Overland Road, 208-658-1364, tresbonnecuisine.com. $-$$ om WiCky WiCky sushi—Sushi joint on the Bench offering unique dishes like the Dead Cat. 6555 Overland Road, 208-3671314. $-$$ WiLLoWCreek griLL— Casual Northwest cuisine. Favorites include cedar-fired salmon and the portobello melt. Willowcreek is also famous for its “twigs”— sweet potato fries. 2273 S. Vista Ave., Ste. 150, 208-343-5544, willowcreekom grill.com. $-$$ yokozuna teriyaki— Japanese cuisine on the cheap. Chicken, salmon, steak or shrimp meet bright crispy vegetables on a huge bed of steamed rice under a blanket of teriyaki sauce while gyoza, yakisoba, curry, tonkatsu and bubble tea round out the menu. 824 S. Vista Ave., 208-377-3064, yokozunateriyaki.com. $-$$ sU om
east boise BarBaCoa—A classy Latin-fusion menu with standouts like tableside guacamole and the Hot Rock filet. Happy hour is always hopping in the bar, where the music is loud and the fun is always on. The lakeside patio is one of the best places to be come summertime. 276 Bob White Court, 208-3385000, barbacoa-boise.com. sU om $$$-$$$$ Ben’s CroW inn—It’s a destination for the crowd fresh off the lake or the Greenbelt. Clams are the speciality at Ben’s. 6781 Warm Springs Ave., 208sU 342-9669. $$ BLue CoW frozen yogurt—This serve-yourself joint offers 12 different frozen yogurt flavors and tons of topping choices. 2333 Apple St., 208-338-1000, bluecowfrozenyogurt.com. $ sU om
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Hours: Monday- Saturday 10-8 Sunday 11-6
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restaurant listings/east Casa MexiCo—See North End description. 3083 S. Bown Way, 208-345-8464, casamexicoidaho. sU om com. $-$$ Fiesta Guadalajara—Specializing in tacos, burritos and enchiladas. 3552 S. Findley Ave., 208-424-8580, fiestasguadalajara. sU om com. $-$$ Flatbread CoMMunity oven —See Downtown. 3139 S. Bown Way, 208-343-4177, flatbreadsU om pizza.com. $-$$
boise, south boise, garden city
FoCaCCia’s—A rotating menu featuring specialty food items ranging from seafood and vegetarian to French and Italian cuisine. Dessert made in-house. Breakfast nachos are a surefire morning hit. 404 E. Parkcenter Blvd., 208-322-2838, focaccias. sU om com. $-$$ la tapatia—Mexican grill that does enchiladas right. 401 E. Parkcenter Blvd., 208-343-6403. sU $-$$
loCavore—Local-centric food with one heckuva salad selection. Just about everything—including the tempting breakfast pastries—is made in-house. 3110 S. Bown Way, Res 208-338-8887. $$ sU luCky 13 pizza—Pizza, beer, salads and sandwiches at just about halfway between Boise and Lucky Peak. 3662 S. Eckert Road, 208-344-6967, lucky13pizza.com. sU om $-$$
Mazzah—See State Street listing. 404 E. Parkcenter Blvd., 208-3332223, mazzahboise.com. $-$$ sU om Mott’s deli— Bagels, bagelsandwiches, breakfast bagels, bagels and lox. Did we mention bagels? 577 Park Blvd., 208-3456555. $ northern liGhts CaFe—Imagine a diner that prefers salmon and caribou to burgers and chickenfried steaks. 650 E. Boise Ave., sU 208-424-9111. $$
LAu R IE P EAR M AN
the reFuGe—A neighborhood stop with pool, TVs and plenty of pub grub. 404 E. Parkcenter Blvd., sU 208-424-8211. $-$$ royal dynasty—Chinese all the way. Hot and sour soup is a musthave here. 415 E. Parkcenter Blvd. Ste. 137, 208-336-3113. $-$$ siaM thai—Siam is known for its fresh, delicious Thai food in family style proportions, cozy setting and impeccable service. Dishes are spiced to your liking. 590 E. Boise Ave., 208-383-9032, mysiamthai. sU com. $-$$ sMoky Mountain pizza and pasta—See State Street listing. 415 E. Parkcenter Blvd., 208-429-0011, smokymountainsU om pizza.com. $$
Boise eatery Green Chile offers an important lesson for the food snobs out there: It’s what’s on the inside that counts. GReen chile While some people would rather face grievous per5616 W. State St. 208-853-0103 sonal injury than sully their reputations by being seen at a restaurant in a strip mall, those who let the bland exterior of the State Street restaurant keep them away aren’t hurting anyone but themselves. Green Chile is a bastion of Southwestern cuisine in the High Desert, where a bowl of green is a dish that will keep your insides burning for the better part of a week and a bowl of red will clear up any lingering sinus problems. The menu is filled with what would appear at first glance to be run-of-the-mill Mexican restaurant standards—burritos, tacos, enchiladas—but a Southwestern twist makes things go from mundane dinner to a culinary test of heat tolerance. Green Chile takes full advantage of the Hatch chiles that are the trademark of New Mexican cooking, creating green and red sauces that will slowly simmer their way up to nearly volcanic intensity. If you ignore the fact that the green chile looks like a bowl of bubbling snot, the slow-cooked tenderness of generous chunks of pork will keep you diving in, despite the fact that your insides are steadily burning. If you’re more interested in the smoky sweetness of the ancho pepper, go for the bowl of red, which though less spicy, is about as good of bowl of chili as you can experience. Nearly everything at the modest restaurant comes either smothered in, or sided by, red or green sauce, a fact which those who make it past the strip mall exterior will relish. —Deanna Darr 36 | RESTAURANT GUIDE 2011 | boiseweekly
tavern at bown CrossinG— Choose between the first level streetside balcony where all the passersby can watch you enjoy a bottle of wine and a steak, or lounge on the second-level patio with sushi and a martini. Pot roast nachos are the dish everyone talks about. 3111 S. Bown Way, 208-345-2277, tavernatbown.com. sU om $$-$$$ the trolley house—A favorite neighborhood diner with a giant menu from eggs Benedict to burgers to a low-cal section. BYOB. 1821 Warm Springs Ave., 208-345sU 9255. $-$$ zeppole bakinG Co.—See Downtown listing. 983 E. Parkcenter Blvd., 208-338–1499, zeppolesU om bakery.com. $
south boise ChiCaGo ConneCtion—See Downtown listing. 7766 Lemhi St., 208-323-1231, chicagoconnection. sU om com. $$ Ck hawaiian bbQ—Asian/ Hawaiian fusion on a budget and a schedule. 7709 Overland Road, Ste. 110, 208-376-4380, om ckhawaiianbbq.com. $$ diGG’s pizza—Neighborhood pizza restaurant offering a large variety of pizza options. Free delivery. 4646 S. Cole Rd., 208-362-3177. sU om $$
Goodwood barbeCue CoMpany—If it can be barbecued, chances are, Goodwood has it. If barbecue isn’t your thing, have steak, fish or chicken. 7849 W. Spectrum St., 208-658-7173, goodwoodbbq.com. sU om $$-$$$ le CoQ rouGe—This quaint French restaurant is family owned and run. Reservations are highly suggested. 1320 S. Maple Grove Road, 208-376-9463. $$-$$$ Res sU leGends sports pub and Grill—Legends is a stop for a weekend afternoon of game watching or a quick bite to eat before a movie. Burgers, sands, salads and lots of ice-cold beer. 7609 W. Overland Road, Ste. 100, 208-377-1819, legendspubandgrill. sU om com. $$ pad thai house—Pad Thai House is so confident that its Pad Thai is the best in Boise, the restaurant is named after it. 1473 S. Five Mile Road, 208-375-6014, om padthaihouse.net. $-$$ pollo rey—See Downtown listing. 7709 W. Overland Road, 208-375-4642, polloreyboise.com. sU om $ sushi ya—Huge selection of all-you-can-eat sushi, made fresh to order. 8915 W. Overland Road., 208-377-2000, sushiya-allyoucaneom at.com. $-$$ twisted tiMber pub and Grill—One of South Boise’s only neighborhood pubs. The menu is pub grub, and the barbecue chicken quesadilla gets all the attention. 4563 S. Cloverdale Road, 208-362-7157, ilovethetimber.com. $-$$ sU om
garden city Chapala—See Bench listing. 3447 W. Chinden Blvd., 208-3425648; 5697 Glenwood St., 208-321-8262, chapalarestausU om rants.com. $-$$ Cobby’s—See Broadway listing. 4348 W. Chinden Blvd., 208-3227401, cobbys.com. $-$$ sU om el Gallo Giro—Seafood orders come with oysters, shrimp and octopus. The fish tacos are fantastic but the real draw is the sizzling fajitas. 5285 Glenwood St., 208-321-0355, elgallogiroidaho. sU om com. $-$$ Fortune wok—The restaurant is owned by the Fong family, whose great-great-grandfather immigrated to America from southern China five generations ago to work the mines in Idaho City during the gold rush. They offer a good, but not overwhelming selection of Chinese favorites. 5163 N. Glenwood St., 208-378-4645 fortune-wok.com. sU om $-$$
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LAu R Ie PeAR M AN
Age: 52 Restaurant: Cafe Vicino Number of years in the restaurant business: 21
Past experience: Richard’s Across the Street, Richard’s Bakery, Amore, La Pastaia. what did you have for breakfast this morning? Oatmeal with raisins and walnuts, whole wheat toast, coffee. Throughout your career in idaho, how has the restaurant scene changed and how have you adapted to those changes over time? There weren’t too many dining options in 1993 when I came to Boise, but that changed with Amore and other restaurants like BB Strands. Then in the mid- to late-90s there was Richard’s Across the Street, Doughty’s Bistro and Desert Sage. Boise embraced this more sophisticated dining scene—which Red Feather Lounge, The MilkyWay and
Andrae’s added to. The economic downturn curtailed this growth unfortunately—now dining is more casual, people are sharing dishes. I work hard to keep prices down at Cafe Vicino while still keeping the food interesting and innovative. what do you look to as inspiration for new recipes? Travel and eating out in other cities. I just got back from a week in Boston—incredible food and ingredients. Also, I subscribe to a number of food magazines. How do you innovate without excluding diners? Well, we can’t be everything to everybody. However, I’ve been a chef in Boise for almost 20 years, so I feel I know the market and when and how much to push the envelope. I’ll try things as a
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special first before committing to putting them on the menu to gauge the response and tweak from there.
what one great meal do you fix only for yourself? Chicken and dumplings—and my wife makes that.
what dish would you like to include on your menu, but worry that it might be too forward-thinking for this market? I would like to do more “snout to tail,” including offal. I’ve done a few dishes, like beef tongue and oxtail (currently on the menu) that are a little harder to sell but loved by more adventurous eaters.
what’s the strangest ingredient you’ve ever put in a dish? Prosciutto—on a chocolate truffle.
what won’t you eat? Haven’t found it yet. I’ve even eaten my mother-in-law’s hamburger stroganoff—made with cream of chicken soup.
where do you like to eat in town? The Modern, Thai Cuisine on Overland, Pho Nouveau, Tony’s Pizzeria Teatro.
what’s the one ingredient you can’t live without in your kitchen? Olive oil.
what’s the most outrageous thing that’s happened in a kitchen where you’ve worked? The fire suppression system
who is the most famous person you’ve cooked for? Joe Montana, Secretary of State George Shultz, Martin Scorsese, Lolita Davidovich, Susan Sarandon.
went off at La Pastaia on a busy Saturday night, spraying foam everywhere. We had to throw everything out and start over with more than 100 people sitting in the dining room waiting. if you were stranded on a deserted island and could only eat three things the rest of your life, what would they be? Red wine from Walla Walla, [Wash.], lamb, olive oil. Describe the restaurant you would create if cost and demographic were not an issue. Hip, vibrant, late-night chef hangout with a huge wine list with 50 wines by the glass, very creative/unusual foods and preparations. •
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restaurant listings/garden Golden Wok—Offering Mandarin, Cantonese and Vietnamese food. 3948 W. Chinden Blvd., 208om 336-3399. $$-$$$ Granny’s restaurant—Best known for its breakfast, Granny’s is an American-style diner. 6736 Glenwood St., 208-853-4327. $-$$ sU Idaho PIzza ComPany—See Broadway listing. 3840 Glenwood St., 208-343-5455. $-$$ sU om
Pastry PerfeCtIon—Allpurpose bakery making everything from bagels to wedding cakes. 5855 Glenwood St., 208-3763700, pastryperfection.com. $ om the ranCh Club—Lunch like brauts and sauerkraut, chicken alfredo or a hot meatloaf sandwich. Prime rib served on Friday and Saturday nights. 3544 Chinden Blvd., 208-343-7447. $-$$ sU om
staGeCoaCh Inn—Back in the 1950s there was gambling in the back, and heavy clouds of smoke filled the air. While smoking and betting are no longer allowed, little else has changed. The Boise classic still serves strong drinks and big steaks, specializing in prime rib and prawns (and chocolate cream pie). 3132 Chinden Blvd., 208-342-4161, stagecoachboise.com. $$-$$$ om
unCle GIusePPe’s—Deli offering specialty meats by the pound and fresh-sliced sandwiches. 6826 Glenwood St., 208-853-5048, unclegiuseppesdeli.com. $ sU om
fIrehouse Pub and GrIll— Beer. Meat. ESPN. What else can you ask for? How about dozens of hot wing flavors? 1767 W. Franklin Road, 208-846-9535. $-$$ sU om
flatbread CommunIty oven— See Downtown listing. 830 N. Main St., Ste. A (Generations Plaza), 208-288-0969, flatbreadpizza.com. sU om $-$$
banGkok thaI—Local Thai joint with quality lunch specials. 1890 E. Fairview Ave., 208-884-0302, bangkokthaiboise.com. $-$$ sU om
DAVID S EELIG
buffalo WIld WInGs—One guess on the menu item of choice: yep, wings. 3223 E. Louise Dr., 208-288-5485, buffalowildwings. sU om com. $-$$ bull’s head Pub—Cocktails, food, comedy shows, music, dancing and more. English bent with fish and chips, and bangers and mash. 1441 N. Eagle Road, 208-855-5858, bullsheadpub.com. sU om $$ busted shovel—The bacon cheddar ranch burger is purportedly the best burger in town, but if that doesn’t tickle your fancy, the menu is four pages of tempting pub food from fingersteaks and chicken strips to fish and chips, and deli sandwiches. 704 W. Main St., 208-288-2217, bustedshovel.com. sU om $-$$
At Ketchum’s Vintage Restaurant it’s not the size that matters, it’s what you do with it. With only seven tables in a restored historic cabin, Vintage Vintage is all about personal attention, a constantly rotat231 Leadville Ave. N., ing menu and the creative use of regional and organic Ketchum 208-726-9595 ingredients. It’s an approach that has worked for chef/ owner Jeff Keys for 26 years and earned his restaurant a loyal following. In fact, if you don’t have reservations during the busy season, you’re out of luck—the restaurant can sometimes book up months in advance. Keys and his co-chef Rodrigo Herrera hate the idea of being pigeon-holed into one category of cuisine. “It’s very eclectic,” Keys said. “It’s the food we love from the influences we’ve had throughout our lives.” Vintage has a core menu of roughly five entrees and four appetizers—including the fan-favorite pecan chicken and spicy Cajun oysters—but there are always at least four or five specials, created each day depending on what the chefs can buy from their suppliers. “It’s whatever we feel like doing,” Keys said while buying fresh, organically grown truffles. Sometimes those daily specials are created just an hour or so before diners arrive. While the pace in the kitchen might be frantic, diners are encouraged to sit back and enjoy a leisurely evening—cozy, but leisurely. —Deanna Darr 40 | RESTAURANT GUIDE 2011 | boiseweekly
Cheerleaders sPorts bar and GrIll—Sit at a four-top booth while watching the game on your own personal TV. The chicken club wrap is popular, as is the handmade fish and chips, chicken shrimp alfredo and baby back ribs. 3541 N. Eagle Road, 208-939sU om 9209. $$ ChICaGo ConneCtIon—See Downtown listing. 1629 N. Main St., 208-888-1986, chicagoconnecsU om tion.com. $-$$ Curb bar and GrIll—Wide variety of pub food with a full bar and a garage door/wall that opens to a patio. 1760 S. Meridian Road, sU 208-855-0202. $-$$ om don dIeGo’s—Festively decorated space serving Jaliscan style enchiladas and sauces from traditional family recipes. 2951 E. Overland Road, 208-855-0645, dondiegosrestaurant.com. $-$$ sU om el tenamPa—Offering authentic and fresh Mexican food. 729 E. First St., 208-888-4089. $-$$ sU om ePI’s basque restaurant— For top-notch Basque cuisine served in a cozy, homey atmosphere, this is the place. Meals are served family style, so sides can be a surprise, but always a pleasant one. Dessert is just decadent. Closed Sunday and Monday. 1115 N. Main St., 208-884-0142. $$$-$$$$ Res
fusIon asIan GrIll—Serving Japanese, Chinese, Vietnamese and Korean in Meridian. 3161 E. Fairview Ave., 208-855-5930. $-$$ sU om Gelato Cafe—Gelato, coffee, sushi, pizza, sandwiches, gyros, martinis ... pick your poison. 2053 E. Fairview Ave., 208-846-8410, gelatocafeofidaho.net. $-$$ sU om GIno’s ItalIan rIstorante—If you’re going to name a restaurant after yourself, you want the food to be good. Gino, as owner and chef, has made sure it’s superb. This little bistro offers fine Italian dining and wonderful, friendly, bend-overbackward service. 3015 McMillan Road, Ste. 108, 208-887-7710. $$ Res GoodWood barbeCue—See South Boise listing. 1140 N. Eagle Road, 208-884-1021, goodwoodsU om bbq.com. $$ the GrIddle—Hot cakes and eggs for breakfast, burgers and sandwiches for lunch at this newschool diner. 2310 E. Overland Road, 208-288-1848, thegriddle. sU om com. $ harry’s bar and GrIll—The place where it’s all about Harry. The menu is a collection of burgers, a huge list of apps and just enough salads to make you feel guilty. 2032 E. Overland Road, sU 208-888-9868. $-$$ hunGry onIon—A Meridian institution that thankfully hasn’t changed in decades. The hot, tasty food arrives on a tray at your window—don’t forget to tip your server. 334 E. First St., 208-888sU 0051. $ Jaker’s bar and GrIll—A full menu of meat, with everything else a patron would expect to see on the menu including appetizers, burgers, chicken and fun foods plus nightly dinner specials. Sit in high-backed booths or at the curved, wrap-around bar. 3268 E. Pine St., 208-288-0898, jakers. sU om com. $-$$ kahootz steak and alehouse—This place is serious about beer. As for the food, it’s upscale pub food. The kitchen does not have a deep fryer, the soups are homemade daily and none of the salad dressings come out of a container. 1603 Main St., 208-895-9861, gotokahootz.com. om $-$$
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Breaking Free Meat- and gluten-free dining in Boise
For years, vegetarians have grumbled through cheese plates and sighed at side salads. With limited—often uninspired—vegetarian and vegan dining options in Boise, going out to eat has been an exercise in disappointment. story by tara Morgan | photography by guy hand
Baked brie and apple sandwich from Jenny’s Lunch Line.
House-made mozzarella sandwich from Salt Tears.
While neighboring cities like Portland, Ore., have entire diners devoted to vegan soul food and street carts hawking vegetarian “fish” tacos, Boise has struggled to provide anything more than pre-frozen veggie burger patties or chopped broccoli and ranch dressing. But that’s changing. According to a study conducted by Vegetarian Times in 2008, 3.2 percent of U.S. adults, or 7.3 million Americans, are vegetarians while an additional 22.8 million consider themselves “vegetarian-inclined.” Though Boise restaurants have been slow to hop on the vegetarian/vegan bus, there are a number of veg-heads out there—around 6,500 according to the above stats—hungry for viable local dining options. According to Tristan Sluder, pioneer of the website Boise Vegan, local restaurants that cater to vegetarian and vegan palates are on the rise. “I know when I was growing up vegetarian, there was not a lot [of options]. With the popularity now, a lot of places try to at least have one or two vegan items on their menu,” said Sluder. 42 | RESTAURANT GUIDE 2011 | boiseweekly
One of those spots is the downtown joint Jenny’s Lunch Line. Proprietress Jenny Sledge offers a seasonal menu that varies depending on the day of the week. For example, on Mondays in February, she offered vegetarian tortilla soup and a toasted baked brie sandwich in addition to more meat-centric fare like organic local beef chili with ancho and mole. “I try to walk a really good balance … most of my clientele, they’re not vegetarians, so I have to make sure that I have offerings for everybody— the vegans, the vegetarians, the gluten-free, the dairy-free,” says Sledge. “But we always have meaty options because I don’t think I’d be in business if I didn’t.” Andrea Maricich, owner of the recently opened State Street cafe Salt Tears Coffeehouse and Noshery—and former owner of The MilkyWay and Tapas Estrella—agrees with Sledge. Though Maricich offers a number of vegetarian items on her small menu, like pan con tomate and a house-made mozzarella sandwich, she says she couldn’t make it without serving some meat.
“We’ve lost two restaurants already, and they had meat. I guess there’s a niche and you can fill it, and if you’re lucky, you’ll hit it right on the mark. And if you’re not, you’re going to lose your shirt on it,” said Maricich. “It would be hard for you to stick your neck out for that, I think.” But Bob and Toni Hodge did stick their necks out. Their vegetarian restaurant and teahouse on Federal Way, Shangri-La Tea Room and Cafe, is the only completely vegetarian restaurant in Boise and has been steadily growing its customer base over the last few years. They also get a lot of out-of-town business. “[Non-Boiseans] are surprised that we’re the only vegetarian restaurant choice,” said Toni Hodge. But Shangri-La isn’t a vegetarians-only, exclusive establishment. According to Hodge, their eclectic menu—which features items like mock toona salad with raw crackers and wild mushroom miso—draws in meat eaters as well. “There’s people that are our customers who
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Mock toona salad with crackers from Shangri-La Tea Room and Cafe.
actually are not vegetarians but happen to just love our food,” said Hodge. Vegans and vegetarians aren’t the only ones seeking more viable alternative dining options in Boise. Nationwide, the number of wheatintolerant and celiac individuals is steadily growing. According to the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness, more than 2 million Americans—or about 1 in 133 people—have celiac disease, an autoimmune condition in which the consumption of gluten damages the small intestine. For Wendi Flores, founder of glutenfreeboise.com, it’s a challenge to find restaurants that take gluten-intolerant diners into consideration. “What a lot of people don’t understand is, for those who are celiac that maybe have an extreme case, even making food in a kitchen where you prepare gluten foods can make that person sick … there’s a huge risk of cross-contamination when you order ‘gluten free’ foods at a regular restaurant,” said Flores. Rob Lumsden, owner of Flatbread
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Community Oven, caters to the needs of celiacs and is vigilant about avoiding cross-contamination between his regular and gluten-free pizzas. “We take all the steps that we can in order to protect the gluten-free product from the wheat products,” said Lumsden. “We use a separate cutting board, we use a separate pizza cutter, the crust is actually baked in our wood-fired oven on a pizza screen so it doesn’t come into contact with the flour that’s already in the oven.” But rice-flour pizza isn’t the only glutenfree option at Flatbread, Lumsden also offers gluten-free booze. “We have a beer called Red Bridge, which is a gluten-free beer, so the people who come in and
have a gluten-free pizza can have the full-blown pizza and beer experience,” said Lumsden. And while vegetarian and gluten-free options are becoming more commonplace on Treasure Valley menus, there’s still lingering resistance among the meat-and-wheat-eating majority. “We’re a meat-eating state, you know, for the most part,” said Maricich. “I think that’s changing a little bit, but there’s still a lot of people that want steak and potatoes for dinner.” While that might be true for now, Sledge sees changes on the dietary horizon. “I think society, in general, is becoming more conscious of where their food is coming from,” said Sledge.
Flatbread community oven
Jenny’s lunch line
615 W. Main St., 208-287-4757; 3191 S. Bown Way, Boise, 208-343-4177; 830 N. Main St. Ste. A, Meridian, 208-288-0969, flatbreadpizza.com
106 N. Sixth St., 208-433-0092, jennyslunchline.com
salt tears coFFeehouse and noshery 4716 W. State St., 208-695-7156, greenchutesboise. com/salt-tears
shangri-la tea room and caFe 1800 W. Overland Road, 208-424-0273, shangri-la-tea.com
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restaurant listings/meridian, Kay and Traci’s 127 club—A bar with a full dinner menu. Prime rib every Friday and homemade soup is the house specialty. 127 E. Idaho St., 208-884-0122. $ louie’s Pizza and iTalian resTauranT—Traditional American Italian food including hand-tossed pizza, tortellini and cannelloni. 2500 E. Fairview Ave., 208-884-5200, louiespizza.com. sU om $-$$ Miss TaMi’s coTTage exPressions and Tea rooM— Miss Tami’s follows the British tradition of tea as a meal in between meals, when everyone settles in around an aromatic brew and nibbles on savories, scones
with Devonshire cream, finger sandwiches and miniature desserts. Tami’s offers a variety of packages for afternoon teas, some of which involve costumes. Serving breakfast and lunch. Reservations suggested. 1030 N. Main St., 208-888-1770, misstamis.com. $-$$ Res om ohana hawai’ian bbQ—Affordable and authentic Hawaiian food with a Pacific Rim influence, including ahi poke and Spam musubi. 1735 W. Franklin Road, 208-8910813, ohanahawaiianbbq.com. om $-$$ Pie hole—See Downtown listing. 726 N. Main St., 208-888-0482, sU om pieholeusa.com. $
Pinnacle sPorTs grill—A comfy, casual spot to bring the whole family after the game or to watch one. Pub grub all the way. 2902 N. Eagle Road, 208-8844400, pinnaclesportsgrill.com. $$ sU om ricK’s Press rooM—Chef/ owner Rick Valenzuela has created a menu of simple, gourmet food for his news-themed neighborhood pub. Lunch and dinner are both casual with sandwiches, salads and steak options. After dinner, cigar fans can retire to the plush smoke room. 130 E. Idaho Ave., 208-288-0558, rickspressroom. net. $-$$
rudy’s Pub and grill—A sports pub with a full menu of diverse offerings with locally grown beef and no trans fat in the fries. Soups are homemade daily and entrees served after 5 p.m. include pastas, salmon and New York steak. 2310 E. Overland Road, Ste. 150, 208-884-4453, rudyspubnsU om grill.com. $-$$ saKana JaPanese sushi and sTeaK—A classy sushi and steakhouse. 1718 S. Eagle Road, 208-888-6278, sakanaboise.com. sU om $$-$$$
LAU R IE P EARMAN
sa-wad-dee Thai resTauranT—This Meridian Thai restaurant offers an extensive menu of traditional Thai cuisine and a few surprises. 1890 E. Fairview Ave., Ste. B, 208-8840701, sawaddeethai.com. $-$$ sU om schooner’s—Pub food with a few knife-and-fork staples like salmon and steak. It’s also one of the few places in town to get Rocky Mountain oysters. 601 S. Main St., sU 208-884-3737. $-$$ sMoKy MounTain Pizza and PasTa—See State Street listing. 980 E. Fairview Ave., 208-8841067, smokymountainpizza.com. om $-$$ Tree ciTy Juice and sMooThie cafe—See University listing. 3355 E. Fairview Ave., Ste. 105, 208sU 846-8180. $ whiTewaTer Pizza & PasTa— Serves pizza with fresh ingredients, as well as sandwiches, soups, pastas and salads. 1510 N. Eagle Rd., 208-888-6611, whitewaterpizza.net. $$
eagle Once an exotic food that few Westerners had experienced, sushi has become as ubiquitous as Tater Tots and barbecued steak here in the High Desert. 100 N. Eighth St., But it wasn’t always that way. For a long time, Boise Ste. 215 was home to only one Japanese restaurant, and when chef 208-338-8423 Shige Matsuzawa and his wife, Debbie, opened Shige shigejapanesecuisine.com Japanese Cuisine in 1992 on the upper level of the building on the downtown corner of Eighth and Main streets, it was definitely a gamble—a gamble that paid off. All of these years later, weekend dining warriors still have to wait for a table. And the Matsuzawas are still gamblers. In the midst of this most recent recession, the couple scooped up the empty space left where Gino’s Ristorante once lived, and they expanded by adding a tepanyaki room and Shige’s Red Carpet Fine Dining. Terrace seating is available, but inside is where it’s at. A high-end bar and two-person tables give the low-lit scarlet, chrome and dark-wood lounge its red-carpet feel. The fine dining comes by way of foie gras a la Japonais, Kurobuta pork chops and the Red Carpet Salad, a beautifully arranged mix of sweet miso dressing, breaded and deep-fried goat cheese, bright fresh greens and watercress. And, of course, a tantalizing array of sushi, which few do better than Shige. —Amy Atkins shige’s Red caRpet Fine dining
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ahi sushi—The atmosphere is chill—especially for Eagle—but the sushi rollin’ team doesn’t slack. The menu includes katsu to rolls, poke to agedashi tofu, and nigiri to the ubiquitous California roll. Happy hour specials include appetizer deals. 1193 E. Winding Creek, Ste. 104, 208-938-3474, om ahisushibar.com. $$ baan Thai—Elegant and authentic Thai food as it was meant to be. 78 Eagle River St., 208-938-8424, mybaanthai.com. Res om $$ bardenay—See Downtown listing. 155 E. Riverside Dr., 208-938-5093, bardenay.com. sU om $$-$$$ bella aQuila—The riverside restaurant boasts one of the best patios in the area. The restaurant serves a wide selection of Italian fare for lunch and dinner, with a weekend brunch that’s certainly worth raving about. 775 S. Rivershore Lane, 208-938-1900, bellaaquilarestaurant.com. $$-$$$ Res sU om
The blue door cafe—Pizza, crepes, sands and live jazz six nights a week. 3300 W. State St., 208-938-6128, bluedoorcafe.com. $-$$ sU om The blue Moose cafe—Bistro fare like soups and salads, sandwiches and wraps. Think about dining in the new sunroom or outside. 79 Aikens Road, 208-939-3079, thebluemoosecafe. om net. $ busTers bar and grill—See Broadway listing. 1396 E. State St., 208-938-1800, busterssportssU om bar.com. $-$$ cafe russian bear—Owner Oleg Mironov and his wife make every single thing on the menu from scratch. Borscht, Russian crepes, beef stroganoff, potato pancakes “it’s all homemade.” 600 S. Rivershore Lane, Ste. 160, 208-939-1911, caferussianbear. com. $-$$ om casa Mexico—With restaurants all over the Treasure Valley, it has an extensive menu and an attentive staff. 393 W. State St., 208-939-7795, casamexicoidaho. sU om com. $-$$ chicago connecTion—See Downtown listing. 344 W. State St., Eagle, 208-939-9100, chicagoconsU nection.com. $-$$ om daVinci’s—Casual Italian cuisine in quaint downtown Eagle, the “locals’ Italian restaurant” is housed in a historic bank building. A wide variety of Italian selections such as lasagna and chicken Parmesan are accompanied by warm bread and all-you-can-eat salads. 190 E. State St., sU 208-939-2500. $$-$$$ eighTeen one aT eagle hills golf course—Fine dining featuring locally procured, New American cuisine. Catering available. 605 N. Edgewood Lane, 208-939-0402, eaglehillsgolfcourse.com/EighteenOne.htm. Res sU $$$-$$$$ fiesTa guadalaJara—See Downtown listing. 3210 E. Chinden Blvd., Ste 100, 208-938-1116, fiestasguadalajara.com. $-$$ sU om The griddle—See Meridian listing. 177 Eagle River St., 208939-9070, thegriddle.com. sU om Joe MaMa’s—Homestyle deli serving up breakfast and lunch, made with locally grown ingredients when possible. 600 S. Rivershore Lane, Ste. 170, 208-939-3917, joemommaseatery.com. $-$$ sU om lily Jane’s cuPcaKes—Specialty cupcakes featuring a rotating selection of unique flavors including You Mocha Me Crazy and raspberry lemonade. 664 S. Rivershore Lane, Ste. 164, 208-938-3408, lillyjanesom cupcakes.com. $
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restaurant listings MickeyRay’s Roadhouse BaRBecue— A meat-lovers paradise with an assortment of sandwiches piled high with barbecue. Plate it up with black-eyed peas and fried okra. 395 W. State St., 208-939-7427, sU om mickeyraysbbq.com. $$ PaMela’s BakeRy—Pamela’s offers an array of pre-made cold sandwiches, salads and wraps for lunch, as well as homemade soup and quiche. Hot sandwiches are available five days a week, the pastry case is amazing and breakfast is a must. 360 S. Eagle Road, 208-938-6585, pamelasbakom ery.com. $-$$ ReMBRandt’s coffee shoP—Rembrandt’s has hot and cold libations aplenty, a pastry case full of homemade muffins, sweets, breads and quiches, and a short lunch menu with largely portioned sandwiches, soups and salads. 93 S. Eagle Road, 208-938-1564, rembrandtscoffeehouse. sU om net. $ RiveR Rock alehouse—Here, nachos have a reputation, the patio hosts live music and the bitty bar area ain’t a bad spot to enjoy a seriously diverse selection of beer. 228 E. Plaza Road, 208-938-4788, sU om riverrockalehouse.com. $$-$$$ sakuRa sushi—Brightly-lit sushi joint with affordable lunch specials. 3210 E. Chinden Blvd., 208-938-1599, boisesakurasushi. om com. $-$$
Clam Bacon / Casanova Pizzeria Olive oil, fresh mozzarella, clams and bacon.
Grilled Beef Bo Nuong / Baguette Deli Sliced grilled beef with mayonnaise, pickled vegetables, cilantro and jalapenos on homemade baguette.
seasons BistRo Wine BaR and cateRing—One part upscale market, one part deli and catering, one part wine tasting room. Great place for a light lunch and good glass of vino. 1117 E. Winding Creek Road, 208-939-6680, seasonsdelicatering.com. om $$-$$$ sMoky Mountain Pizza and Pasta—See State Street listing. 34 E. State St., 208-939-0212, smokymountainsU om pizza.com. $$ the stuffed olive—Fresh sandwiches, pastas, roasted meats and fresh-baked desserts. 404 S. Eagle Road, Ste. A, 208-938-5185, thestuffedolive.net. $$ om WilloWcReek gRill and lounge— See Bench listing. 1065 E. Winding Creek Drive, 208-938-3010, willowcreekgrill.com. Res om $-$$
Siu Mai/ Yen Ching Steamed dumplings with pork, shrimp and water chestnuts.
zen Bento—See Downtown listing. 342 E. State St., 208-938-4277, zenbento.com. om $
caldwell athena’s gReek gRille—Greek food and you’ll never guess what the signature menu item is ... yep, a gyro. 2609 E. Blaine St., 208-454-9169. $ coWlicious BakeRy and deli—If you can get past the selection of sweets, deli sandwiches are made to order. The most popular item, inexplicably, is the pizza. 2010 Blaine St., 208-453-2188, cowliciousbakerydeli.com. $-$$ denali Pizza coMPany—Denali has a salad bar, lunch buffet, toasted sands and pasta options. The All Meat pizza is popular with regulars but vegetarians may want to consider the White Lasagna. 2610 Blaine St., 208-459-1930, denalipizzacompany. sU com. $-$$
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Chocolate Souffle/ Chandlers Steakhouse Double Belgian chocolate souffle topped with chantilly cream and chocolate sauce. boiseweekly | RESTAURANT GUIDE 2011 | 45
DAVID S EELIG
Age: 35 Restaurant: Sego Number of years in the restaurant business: 18
Past experience: Sous chef at Wright’s at the Arizona Biltmore in Scottsdale, Ariz., as well as positions at Mary Elaine’s The Ventana Room and Janos in Phoenix and Tucson, Ariz. Sous chef at Charlie Trotter’s in Chicago, executive sous chef at Brasserie T in Chicago. Founder of Linen There in Tucson, Ariz. Chef de cuisine for Wolfgang Puck’s Postrio, Spago and Wolfgang Puck Bar and Grill in Las Vegas, Joel Robuchon at The Mansion in Las Vegas, executive chef and director of culinary development for Wolfgang Puck Fine Dining Group. Private chef for David Geffen. Consulting executive chef at the Viceroy in Santa Monica, Calif.
what did you have for breakfast this morning? Mint tea and a blueberry muffin from Java. Throughout your career in idaho, how has the restaurant scene changed and how have you adapted to those changes over time? I’m hoping that we have changed the scene in the short year Sego has been open. what do you look to as inspiration for new recipes? The seasons, farms, ranchers and artisans.
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How do you innovate without excluding diners? Solid technique is innovation. Thoughtful pairings of ingredients without being too esoteric. what dish would you like to include on your menu, but worry that it might be too forward-thinking for this market? Foie gras. what won’t you eat? I eat everything except most fast food and processed foods. what’s the one ingredient you can’t live without in your kitchen? Passion.
what one great meal do you fix only for yourself? Peanut butter and jelly. what’s the strangest ingredient you’ve ever put in a dish? Live baby eels. who is the most famous person you’ve cooked for? Too many to list. where do you like to eat in town? Rickshaw in Ketchum.
if you were stranded on a deserted island and could only eat three things the rest of your life, what would they be? Charcuterie, crusty bread and olive oil. Describe the restaurant you would create if cost and demographic were not an issue. Working on it as I write. •
what’s the most outrageous thing that’s happened in a kitchen where you’ve worked? Getting seasick in a kitchen on a private yacht.
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restaurant listings/caldwell, Dutch Goose—See State Street listing. 2502 Cleveland Blvd., 208-459-9363, dutchgoose.com. sU om $-$$ Garcia’s tex-Mex Grill—Mexican food and award-winning chili. 313 S. Kimball Ave., 208-4596948. $$-$$$ sU haMburGer connection—Traditional Idaho drive-in specializing in burgers, fries and shakes. 423 S. 10th St., 208-454-8477. $
iMelDa’s Mexican FooD— Known for the homemade tortillas and a make-your-own-taco option. Select from a wide variety of meats including chili Colorado, beef guisado, barbacoa, ground beef, cubed pork, chicken, chorizo, shredded beef, bacon and sausage; then choose from a variety of toppings that include rice, onions, lettuce, beans, cilantro and even potato. 2414 Cleveland Blvd., 208-4548757. $
Mancino’s subs anD Pizza— Home to oven-baked sandwiches with melted cheese piled high with deli meats. 2412 Cleveland Blvd., 208-459-7556. $-$$ the orcharD house restaurant—The Orchard House has a country-style menu and serves meals three times a day out in wine country. 14949 Sunnyslope Road, 208-459-8200, theorchardsU om house.us. $$-$$$
nampa brick 29 bistro—Three-time James Beard-nominated chef Dustan Bristol does it local, casual and delicious. Consistently one of the valley’s top-tier restaurants. 320 11th Ave. S., Ste. 100, 208-468-0029, brick29.com. Res sU om $$-$$$
DAVID S EELIG
coPPer canyon—Fine dining in downtown Nampa. If you’re looking for a delicious steak, Copper Canyon in downtown Nampa deserves your attention. It may be a little off the beaten path but well worth the trip to enjoy fine dining in an intimate setting. 113 13th St. S., 208-461-0887, copppercanyonRes om nampa.com. $$$ the eGG Factory—See State Street listing. 820 Caldwell Blvd., 208-466-2728, eggfactorycafe. com. $$ sU om el rinconcito—Casual Mexican dining for the family. 824 First St. S., 208-466-6963. $-$$ eli’s italian Deli—Eli’s offers hot and cold sandwiches and Italian pastas. With a full salad bar and a friendly staff, this is a great place to eat. 122 12th Ave. S., 208-466-8880, elisitalian.com. $ om Firehouse sPorts Pub—The sports pub features seven 42-inch flat screen TVs, games, billiards and a fully fried menu with chicken strips, fries, tots, fish and chips, French dip, ham sandwich, calamari and house salads. 1515 N. Midland Blvd., 208-463-0167, sU om firehousepub.biz. $-$$
The word “affordable” doesn’t necessarily jump to mind when thinking about the restaurant scene in the Sun Valley area, yet one of the area’s hidden treasures is lago azUl just that. 14 W. Croy St., Hailey 208-578-1700 Sandra Castillo, owner of Lago Azul in Hailey, is a transplant from Nampa, and the Treasure Valley’s loss is the Wood River Valley’s gain. Lago Azul has been dishing up a combination of El Salvadorian and Mexican food for nearly a decade and in the process earned a loyal following of locals. Castillo peppers her menu with favorites from her home country of El Salvador, including the ever-popular pupusas (ground pork and cheese inside a handmade cornmeal tortilla), fried plantains, yucca and even homemade caldo de res—a soup that comes complete with bone-in beef. The cuisine shifts a bit north with Mexican favorites like tacos tinga (shredded chicken with onions and chipotle inside a taco that’s deep-fried and then topped with veggies). Lago Azul even serves breakfast all day for those who can’t get enough of the first meal of the day. Of course, it’s done with a distinct south-of-the border taste with creations like shredded beef machaca. If you really want to look like you’re in the know, ask for a michelada—a combo of beer, tomato juice, Clamato and hot sauce—that is, if your stomach can handle it. Best of all, diners can easily eat for less than $10 per person—and that’s not something you can say very often in the Wood River Valley. —Deanna Darr 48 | RESTAURANT GUIDE 2011 | boiseweekly
house oF kiM—Great food, top-notch service and unique ambience makes House of Kim worth a drive to Nampa. The food is fresh, portions are plentiful and the selections aren’t soaked in soy sauce. If that doesn’t get you to gas up the car, maybe this will: HOK offers spicy, spicy, spicy Thai options as well. 1226 First St. S., 208-466-3237, houseofkim.net. sU om $$ krunG thai restaurant anD sushi bar—Talk about Asian fusion: We’re talking Thai, Japanese and a little sushi for good measure. 3008 Garrity Blvd., 208-442-5254, krung-thai.com. om $-$$ la belle Vie—A fine-dining French cafe slinging quiches and pastries for breakfast and paninis and soups for lunch. Also open for dinner on Friday and Saturday, offering an ever-changing array of dishes. 220 14th Ave. S., 208-466-0200, labellevienampa. com. $-$$ sU om le baron’s honker caFe—A diner reminiscent of eating at your grandma’s house but with really big pastries. 1210 Second St. South, 208-466-1551. $-$$
MessenGer Pizza—A pizza joint complete with a “Catholic retro atmosphere” and pizza offerings such as the Chuck Norris, Jalapeno Popper and Red Velvet Nun. Indulge in a whole pie or grab just a slice. 1224 First St. S., 208-461-0081. Res sU $-$$ Mona lisa—This atmospheric restaurant specializes in fondue served in an intimate setting inspired by a single piece of art (you know the one). This isn’t just for fine dining—it’s positively decadent. Great for special occasions or when you want to take your time. 102 11th Ave. N., 208-442-1400, mlfondue.com. Res sU om $$$ squeezers—Retro-themed burger joint that makes with the tasty but leaves the grease on the side. 2121 12th Ave. S., 208-4665455, squeezersgiantburgers.com. sU om $ WraP shack—Limited menu but plenty of options for wraps, salads and rice bowls. 5830 E. Franklin Road, 208-468-8833, wrapshack. sU om us. $
kuna el Gallo Giro—The carne borracha is a good example of the fare delivered in a caldron made of volcanic rock with carne asada, jalapenos, onions and tomatoes with a side of tortillas. Other selections include lengua en chile verde, zope (handmade tortillas with beans, steak, salsa de tomatillo and cotija cheese) and menudo. 482 W. Main St., 208-922-5169, elgallogirokuna. sU om com. $-$$ Firehouse restaurant— Homemade pastries in the morning and deli sands for lunch. The cinnamon rolls should be on your Kuna to-do list. 271 Ave. B, 208922-9496. $ lonGhorn lounGe—A serious bar with a serious late-night food selection—hot wings, chicken strips, finger steaks, stuffed tots, deep fried green beans and anything they can throw in the fryer, including potstickers. 458 W. Third sU St., 208-922-4163. $ PereGrine steaks anD sPirits—Kuna’s nicest food destination. The menu features stuffed pork chops, chicken fried steak, salmon filets and Italian chicken breast. 751 W. Fourth St., 208-922-4421, creeksidekuna. sU om com. $-$$ reD eye saloon—Drinking is definitely a hobby here, but there’s a menu to help soak it all up when you’re ready. 414 W. Main St., sU 208-922-9797. $
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restaurant listings/wood wood river valley A TAsTe of ThAi—Authentic Thai dishes made with the freshest ingredients. 106 North Main St., Hailey, 208-578-2488, atasRes teofthaiboise.com. $-$$ sU om Big Belly Deli—Unique takes on homemade sandwiches and goodies. 171 N. Main St., Hailey, 208-788-2411, feedyourbelly.com. om $
river valley, twin falls
The Brickhouse BAr AnD grill—Down-home, comfort food staples meet fine dining. 202 Main St., Bellevue, 208-788-4999, brickhousebellevue.com. $$-$$$ om Res ck’s reAl fooD—Combo fine dining and affordable lunch spot all with a focus on locally grown and sustainable foods. 320 S. Main St., Hailey, 208-788-1223, Res cksrealfood.net. $-$$ sU om
greTchen’s—Located within the Sun Valley Lodge, Gretchen’s serves breakfast, lunch and dinner overlooking the ice skating rink. 1 Sun Valley Road, Sun Valley, Res 208-622-2144. $-$$ sU Johnny g’s suB shAck— Yummy toasted subs with gourmet toppings at a locals’ favorite stop. 371 Washington Ave., Ketchum, 208-725-7827, johnnygsubshack. sU om com. $-$$
kB’s BurriTos—Tasty boutique burritos in a brightly-lit space in downtown Hailey. 121 N. Main St., Hailey, 208-788-7217, kbsunvalley. om net. $$ keTchum grill—A local favorite serving up the best in American cuisine with a focus on quality. Enjoy homemade breads, desserts, fruitwood-grilled meats and an award-winning wine list. 520 East Ave. N., Ketchum, 208-726-4660, ketchumgrill.com. $$-$$$ Res sU om
LAU R IE P EAR M AN
konDiTorei coffeeshop—Located in the Sun Valley Village, this is a coffee and snack stop. 1 Sun Valley Road, Sun Valley, 208-6222235. $ sU lAgo Azul—Homemade Mexican and El Salvadorian favorites in a comfortable atmosphere with breakfast served all day. 14 W. Croy St., Hailey, 208-578-1700. Res sU $-$$ lefTy’s BAr AnD grill—The local’s hangout with wild game and microbrews. 213 Sixth St., Ketchum, 208-726-2744, leftysbarandgrill.com. $-$$ sU om mAhoney’s BAr AnD grill— Offering creative, casual dining with burgers, sandwiches and salads worth stopping for. 104 Main St., Bellevue, 208-788-4449. $-$$ sU oAk sTreeT fooDs—Constantly rotating menu of homemade goodness in a cozy luncheonette. Closed over the weekends. 109 Oak St., Bellevue, 208-788-3646. $-$$
One might expect to find many different things in Star—a feed store, acres of farmland, possibly a horse and rider meandering down a trail—but an English-style pub sUlly’s PUb may be among the most unlikely. and GRill 11123 State St., Star Yet there is Sully’s, proudly staking out some main 208-286-7743 street territory while it defies all logic. And that’s part of sullys-idaho.com the charm of the eatery that is equal parts pub and open patio oasis. Those who favor the pub side of that equation can park it inside the main dining room decked out in dark wood and a long, imposing bar boasting a respectable number of taps. Those in search of some fresh air can hit the expansive patio, so big there are separate areas for shaded dining, open air dining, an outdoor bar and even horseshoe pits. The menu straddles the line between pub fare and bistro offerings, highlighted by thoughtful upgrades with fresh touches like thick slices of pineapple on a grilled chicken breast sandwich, hand-sliced tri-tip, Saturday night prime rib specials and buckets of clams. But if there’s a reason to make the trek to Star (besides the simple fact that Sully’s managed to more than double the beer selection in town, but with only one other bar, it really wasn’t that hard) it comes in the form of Sunday brunch. Once a week Sully’s rolls out offerings like a Guinness malt waffle, rib-eye steak and eggs, and some seriously impressive stuffed French toast, all accented by drink specials— the kind that are deemed acceptable first thing in the morning, of course. —Deanna Darr 50 | RESTAURANT GUIDE 2011 | boiseweekly
pioneer sAloon—Sitting in the heart of Ketchum, the Pioneer Saloon boosts hearty meals and great swills. Meats and seafood, wine, beer and liquor. 308 Main St. N., Ketchum, 208-726-3139, pioneersaloon.com. $$$ sU om rAsBerry’s—Just the place for a lazy lunch filled with Mexican- and Southwestern-infused comfort food. Closed weekends. 411 Fifth St. E., Ketchum, 208-726-0606, rasberryonline.com. $-$$ om rickshAw—Southeast Asian creations flow daily from this little restaurant with a welcoming atmosphere. 460 Washington Ave., Ketchum, 208-726-8481, eat-at-rickshaw.com. $-$$ sU om roosevelT TAvern—Featuring creative affordable fare including steaks, pasta and pizza in a comfortable atmosphere. 280 Main St. S., Ketchum, 208-726-0051, therooseveltgrille.com. $$-$$$ Res sU om sego resTAurAnT AnD BAr— Featuring contemporary American cuisine with a focus on sustainable practices and local products. 131 Washington Ave., Ketchum, 208928-7878, segorestaurantandbar. Res sU om com. $$$$
TAqueriA el pAsTor—Eat taco-truck cheap on Mexican goodies. 321 Main St., Bellevue, 208-578-2300; 160 Fifth St. W., Ketchum, 208-725-5001. $ sU Three Ten mAin—Fine dining with a rotating menu based on the seasons. Watch for the occasional theme night. Brunch served every Sunday. 310 N. Main St., Hailey, 208-788-4161, threetenmain.com. $$$-$$$$ sU Res vinTAge—It’s tiny, but the creative cuisine, based on what’s available each day, makes this a one-of-a-kind fine dining experience. Reservations highly recommended. 231 Leadville Ave. N., Ketchum, sU 208-726-9595. $$$-$$$$ Res zou 75—A contemporary location featuring Asian fusion, sushi and seafood selections. 416 N. Main St., Hailey, 208-788-3310, zou75. Res com. $$
twin falls A TAsTe of ThAi—Casual and authentic Thai dishes made with the freshest ingredients. 837 Pole Line Road, 208-735-8333, atasteofthaiboise.com. $$ Res sU om The cove of Twin fAlls— Neighborhood dining. 496 Addison Ave W., 208-733-8443, thecoveofRes twinfalls.com. $-$$ cucinA gemelli—Fine Italian dining with an authentic flavor. 653 Blue Lakes Blvd. N., 208-735Res 1228. $$$-$$$$ elevATion 486—Fine American bistro fare with a view that can’t be topped—as in on the rim of the Snake River Canyon. 195 River Vista Place, 208-737-0486, elevation486.com. $$-$$$ Res sU locAl Dish mArkeT & cAfe— Creative lunch and dinner fare with a focus on local and sustainable products. 778 Falls Ave., 208-7343100, localdishmarketcafe.com. $-$$ river rock grill—Casual dining and catering, with a wide variety of sands, salads, entrees and more. 1824 Blue Lakes Blvd., 208735-0722. riverrockgrilltwinfalls. om com. $$-$$$ rock creek—Old-style steakhouse known for its signature salmon entree. 200 Addison Ave. W., 208-734sU • 4154. $$ For even more restaurant suggestions, reviews, highlights and news, visit boiseweekly.com and click on “Food.” Or scan the QR code below into your mobile phone for a link to Boise Weekly’s mobile restaurant listings.
sun vAlley Brewing compAny—Classic Northwesten pub fare with the added bonus of handcrafted microbrews. 202 N. Main St., Hailey, 208-788-0805, sunvalleybrewery.com. $$ om sU
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LAu R IE P EAR M AN
Restaurant: Barbacoa Number of years in the restaurant business: Five
Past experience: Restaurants in Portland, Ore., Boston, Boise, Oxford. Also, I’m Le Cordon Bleu alumni. what did you have for breakfast this morning? Bagel with cream cheese, chai latte and honey greek yogurt. what do you look to as inspiration for new recipes? Inspiration comes from a lot of places for me. My parents are a huge role in my cooking. My mom is a great cook. She had the staples down to a science. She makes the best pie crust I’ve ever had, so a lot of my core ideas would be great foundations from her, whereas my dad is ver y much a par t of the chemistr y of the food, which is extremely interesting, as far as gastronomy. Also my food mentor, chef Sadie Damon, is a great source
for me to bounce ideas off of. Always be interesting but not too “out there.” The idea of savor y vs. sweet is also one of the most interesting factors in desser t creation. How do you innovate without excluding diners? It’s really important to create desserts that people will want to tr y. Maybe start with something they’re comfortable with: chocolate cake. Then go from there with innovation. Add some beet chips, rosemar y, cardamom anglais and a Cointreau truffle. Suddenly it’s not an ordinar y chocolate cake. And you have introduced diners to a few things they’ve never tried or maybe didn’t consider the combination. It’s all about tr ying new things. Hopefully your clientele is up for it.
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what dish would you like to include on your menu, but worry that it might be too forward-thinking for this market? Molecular gastronomy is something I’ve been really wanting to get into. As far as the Boise market goes, I’m not entirely sure it’s comfortable or ready for it. Smoked bacon and eggs ice cream? Hell yes. what won’t you eat? I don’t eat beef. I can’t stand the texture of celery. Anything with shortening or margarine. Cool Whip is pretty bad. what’s the one ingredient you can’t live without in your kitchen? Butter. The French have a proverb, “Nothing replaces butter,” and it is entirely true. Browned butter is also one of my favorite ingredients.
what’s the strangest ingredient you’ve ever put in a dish? Hungarian sheep cheese. It was used in an ice cream along with caramelized apples and chardonnay. who is the most famous person you’ve cooked for? Ben Affleck. In Boston I worked at The Buttery, and we made and delivered cupcakes to Mr. Affleck and his film crew in South Boston. where do you like to eat in town? Pollo Rey—best burritos. Goldy’s is always great. La Vie en Rose has the single greatest banana french toast ever made. Le Cafe de Paris has an amazingly beautiful dessert case that tastes even better than it looks. Pho Nouveau has the best comfort food in town.
if you were stranded on a deserted island and could only eat three things the rest of your life, what would they be? Fresh mozzarella, grilled cheese sandwiches, root beer floats. Describe the restaurant you would create if cost and demographic were not an issue. Extremely modern, mid-century furniture, low-lit, incredibly simple menu. Not a huge staff. Probably a small area, really intimate and all about the food. •
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boiseweekly | RESTAURANT GUIDE 2011 | 53
The most discerning guide to destination food in the state.