The chefs at The Green Chile want to re-create southwestern Tex-Mex cuisine, even if that means ordering shipments of New Mexico’s signature hatch chilis directly from the source. Although these mild or spicy green peppers appear out of place in Boise, they perfectly complement the restaurant’s burritos, quesadillas, and Southwestern-inspired burgers, adding a distinctive dose of regional flavor to dishes. Even without the chilis, the menu’s recipes continue to draw inspiration from the Southwest. A hearty red chili with diced onions and sour cream takes its cues from Texan cuisine, and the Arizona burrito’s flour tortillas are reminiscent of the state’s acres upon acres of tortilla-filled cacti.
At The Cornerstone Bistro, Chef Benjamin Thorpe composes a different menu every week based on the fresh, seasonal ingredients made available by local farmers. Specializing in northern Italian and fusion American cuisine, he transforms Mother Nature’s organic offerings into rustic small plates, innovative entrees, and homemade desserts, such as pies and tarts aromatic enough to hang from a car's rearview mirror. A weekly chef's table slides Chef Thorpe’s edible handiwork further into the spotlight, inviting diners to gather for a lineup of specially prepared courses during meals outfitted with specific themes.
The animated cheers of sports spectators at Simplot Stadium rumble in the distance, but the atmosphere at Bent Fork Bar & Grill is peaceful. Diners lounge within its sun-filled dining halls or on its back patio, where the Indian Creek rushes past guests lingering over their final bites of burgers, steaks, and pastas. Beneath the restaurant's high ceilings and wooden pillars, you can spot the owners—members of the Buhler family—tending to their respective posts: Amanda supervises the floor, Bo captains the kitchen, and Ryan doles out draft beers and specialty cocktails at the bar. Throughout the month, they also host community events ranging from live music to town meetings to vote on the mayor's new haircut.
Following family recipes passed down for three generations, the chefs at Jalapeno’s Bar & Grill assemble meaty fajita platters and original chicken, vegetarian, and seafood dishes simmered in homemade sauces. Using only fresh ingredients and certified Angus beef, chefs create meals that feed many of the senses, especially diners’ hungry, hungry eyes. Daily happy hours from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. encourage patrons to sample the bar’s vast selection of premium tequilas blended into their margaritas, as well as well liquors, wines, and bottled and draft beers.
Mobilizing more than 25 years of catering experience, Rachel Hurn— owner of Seasons Bistro, Wine Bar & Catering—blends a Cajun-influenced eatery with a door-to-door catering service that earned a Bride's Choice Award from WeddingWire in 2010. Within the bistro, paninis and salads incorporate flashes of Louisianan flair, such as spiced shrimp, remoulade sauces, and improvised jazz steps. As diners nab forkfuls of Cajun shrimp buerre blanc, occasional live music wends its way through the dining room, complementing the complex notes of an extensive range of hand-selected wines. Alternatively, multicourse catered meals add a splash of elegance to both corporate and private events with formal place settings and French- and Italian-themed menus.
Though James and Laura Heiberg count chef Ryan Lancaster among their good friends, that wasn't why they hired him to man the griddles at John Doe’s Grill. Instead, the brother-sister team of restaurateurs recognized that Chef Ryan's experience as head chef at The Dish and Square would help him infuse plates of casual pub fare with surprising twists. Ingredients such as rosemary au jus, sun-dried tomatoes, and homemade red hot sauce bedeck John Doe's traditional sandwiches and burgers, which nestle into diner-style red plastic baskets lined with checkered paper. Three large-screen high-definition TVs broadcast sports games in keeping with the laid-back vibe, and a game room invites patrons to shoot darts and billiards between sips of beer or rounds of hot potato with sizzling-hot quesadillas.