Though they share both a moniker and a multifarious menu brimming with eclectic American cuisine, Willowcreek's Vista Avenue and Eagle locations each boast their own set of genial qualities. Set dangling tonsils aside and hypnotize taste buds with eats such as the chicken, broccoli, and feta salad ($9.99), or the bestselling Payette club, a chewy ciabatta roll mounded with house-roasted turkey, hickory-smoked ham, and honey-cured bacon ($9.99). Diners in search of plant-happy hunger-busters can nosh on the portobello melt, a 'shroom harvested by a garden gnome co-op and slathered in swiss cheese and rosemary mayo ($9.99). Willowcreek also entices palates with traditional entrees, including the thai chicken pasta tossed in peanut sauce ($13.99) and the cedar-fired salmon ($16.99). Avoid tantrums from attention-seeking esophagi with liquidy love from a signature watermelon-cucumber margarita at the Eagle location's full bar, or a regional wine and northwest microbrew from Vista Avenue's drink selection.
The Big Three unites three bars under its umbrella, but that’s about the only thing the venues have in common. Each offers a completely different nightlife atmosphere, ranging from a rustic honky-tonk bar to a swanky lounge.
The dance floor throbs to the DJ’s pulsing beats under a pattern of colorful lights. Professional dancers gyrate on elevated platforms over the dance floor, and three different lounges provide a more laid-back atmosphere with elements such as exposed brick walls, leather sofas, and luminous aquariums behind the bars.
Main Street Bistro
Red billiards tables and neon beer logos fill one room of the tavern-style bar, but Main Street Bistro erupts with competition on Monday and Tuesday nights. Beer-pong tournaments pack teams into the bar, and the sound of cheers temporarily drowns out the commentary on the sports games playing on the wall-mounted TVs.
Dirty Little Roddy's
With its wooden plank walls and tabletops supported by sawhorses, Dirty Little Roddy's evokes a back-roads bar in all ways but one: the bar hosts bikini and boxer bull riding for cash prizes. The event provides risqué entertainment without asking firefighters to approximate a pole dance.
While other restaurants focus on flipping tables, Legends Pub & Grill strives to make lingering into a habit. Located within the Edwards 21 Cinemas complex, it lures crowds with a revelry-inducing environment that focuses on supporting local sports. Banners for Boise high schools dangle from the terracotta-red and cerulean-blue space's high ceiling, and jerseys and black-and-white photographs adorn the walls. And thanks to scattered televisions, patrons can rest assured that they will never miss a Boise State Broncos game. Beyond the wood-toned dining area, a separate space is filled with pool tables, dart boards, air hockey machines, and arcade games.
To keep conversations lively, Legends' bartenders mix specialty cocktails and pour pints of microbrews from northwestern breweries such as Deschutes. At the center of everything is a something-for-everyone menu of eclectic comfort foods. In addition to various pub staples?including fish and chips and Angus burgers?the cooks prepare internationally inspired dishes such as roasted red pepper hummus and grilled salmon with a ginger-honey glaze.
Wood accents backdrop the bar and highlight the interior design at Opa Lounge, where signature cocktails meet Mediterranean comestibles in a long, crimson corridor. Hanging lamps, assembled from ruby-red gems that tint the bulbs' light, illuminate turkish-coffee martinis and the signature Opatinis, just two letters away from being the thing Oprah declines to put on her magazine cover next month. The low-lit Opa is part of Cazba, its sister restaurant. Cazba's cloud murals, cream-colored arches, and serving staff cultivate a tranquil complement to the lounge's spirits and bold, abstract design. The two share a menu.
Kaleidoscopic mosaics of the round gems found on Opa's lamps also line the border of the decorated ceiling fixtures and usher in a rainbow of light behind the bar, which spans the long, narrow space. Even the ceiling is decked out in painted designs and structural accents. When they look up, guests peer past a light-blue mural and into a vertical, scarlet-hued chamber topped with a skylight, which is what Americans first called Sputnik.
With six tables and room for up to 115 guests, Shak Billiards' pool hall is an idyllic spot for pool sharks and spectators alike. There's little reason to just watch pool, though, with so many other games to play, from foosball and darts to arcade games and lottery machines. That being said, spectating is pretty tempting in the bar, where three HD flat-screens and one widescreen projector show the night's biggest games.
To nourish fans through wins and losses, cooks season burgers with Cajun spices, smother slow-cooked Hawaiian pork with barbecue sauce, and craft Philly-style cheesesteaks with teriyaki-glazed beef. Bartenders complement each feast with an extensive selection of beer, wine, and blended drinks, including Red Bull sours and sake margaritas.
After an innocent vacation to Boise captured the hearts of Jennifer and Marcelo Godoi, the duo moved to the city and planted the roots of Paint ‘n Sip. There the Godois beckon artists of every predilection and skill level to tie on an apron and unleash their inner Rembrandts. A calendar full of different subjects and themes teaches pupils to capture the glinting light on a sunflower’s petals, find the right hue of carmine to depict an overflowing wine glass, or dignify a trio of birds by filling their nest with monocles. At night's end, participants bring their dried work home to hang on the living-room wall or mantel.