Best Lawmaker Turned Restaurateur

Chuck Smyser's Capitol Cellars

Staff Pick

Miss Manners says the topics of sex, religion and politics don't belong at the dinner table, but the latter is intimately entwined with Capitol Cellars. Opened in March in the former District Coffehouse space, the proprietor's name is familiar to Idaho politics watchers: Charles A. "Skip" Smyser, an attorney, lobbyist and former Republican senator (his wife, Melinda, was also a senator). As Smyser told Boise Weekly shortly after her purchased the location in October 2014, "Everything's going to have a political theme." He wasn't just electioneering. The menus are separated into First Reading, Second Reading and Third Reading categories and printed with snippets of Idaho political history in the margins. Food items follow a political bent, too, with offerings like the Borah Burger; Steunenberg Salmon; Bethine's Beet Salad, named for late-U.S. Sen. Frank Church's wife and late-longtime Idaho Democratic party icon; and the C. Ben Ross Romaine Salad, honoring the Idaho governor who served from 1931-1937. Even the seating is legislative, with booths named the Speaker, Pro Tem and Governor. Serving breakfast, lunch and dinner, politics at table are most definitely (always)welcome.

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