Across the U.S., restaurateurs are opening ever-more-casual places. I’ve seen it in New York, Chicago, San Francisco…and now Boise, Idaho. Although several Boise landmarks closed this past year, casual restaurants are thriving. The best are as good as they are accessible, which I discovered on a recent food crawl.
I started with lunch at Café Vicino. This Italian restaurant in the North End offers smart dishes like ahi puttanesca with fresh linguine; the chefs get much of their pasta from Ferranti Fresh Pasta, founded by Rome transplants Ubaldo Ferranti and Sigita Cernius. Afterward, I stopped at the new Boise Co-op Wine Shop, where I bought a lovely rosé from Cinder, a winery started by Melanie Krause, formerly of Washington state’s esteemed Chateau Ste. Michelle. This month, Krause opens a winemaking facility and tasting room, Urban Winemakers Cooperative.