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.
Castle Ranch's menu features beef from the local Double R Ranch, locally sourced Idaho ingredients, and a respectable wine list to complement any entree. Meat lovers can sink a fork in the 8-ounce filet mignon ($26.95), while pescatarians can savor true Western flavor with a boneless, speckled-brown Idaho trout, tossed with capers, lemon, and brown butter ($15.95), each served with seasonal vegetables and a choice of cheddar hash, hand-cut fries, or a baked russet potato. For lighter eating, venture into the sandwiches and salads selection and try the steak sandwich, Double R sirloin with crispy beer-battered onion rings on sourdough, served with fries ($14.95), or a classic caesar salad with romaine, parmesan, ciabatta croutons, and caesar vinaigrette ($5.95).
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.
Dinner prep happens only once a month for customers of Dinner Thyme Solution. Each month, customers choose an assembly day, during which they arrive to the company's marigold-and-burgundy colored space to craft 12 family-sized entrees in just two hours. The ingredients for these dinners have all been prepped and chopped; all one has to do is put them all together. And though they're working from prescribed recipes, they can customize each meal to their family's taste, skipping over anything too spicy or adding extra garlic to aid in post-dinner games of Keep Away. Families pack their dinners up and once home, refrigerate or freeze them. Cooking instructions are simple and available online. The menu includes nutritional info and rotates monthly.
A pair of bright yellow surfboards and a map of the Hawaiian islands cling to the walls at The Shak Hawaiian Cafe, infusing the eatery with a tropical vibe that extends to its menu. Led by Honolulu native Roger Paglinawan, chefs stuff slow-cooked Hawaiian-style kalua pork inside rolls during lunch, and set it up on blind dates with grilled pineapple during dinner. In addition to crafting this house specialty, they simmer chicken in coconut curry and dip delicate fillets of mahi-mahi in egg batter before tossing it on the grill.
Upon entry, the neoclassical chandeliers and cherry-paneled walls of Emilio’s aptly forecast executive chef Christopher D. Hain’s culinary vision—an elegant menu of European-influenced American cuisine mingled with sweet fruit accents. With organic meats and produce sourced from local suppliers, Chris bends sandwich and burger expectations with unusual garnishes such as tomato-chive jam and wasabi aioli. Entrees infuse savory meats such as filet mignon and lamb with pear, huckleberry, and mango to provide a refreshing burst of sweetness without the flying seeds of an exploding watermelon. Adjoining the open-spaced restaurant, a lobby bar invites lingering with overstuffed sofas, a fireplace, and the daily velvet melodies of relaxing piano music. In addition to private dining for up to 10 and a Wine Spectator Award of Excellence, Emilio’s also offers complimentary valet parking for sedans, convertibles, and overfilled clown cars.