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Chocolat Bar - Richard's

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Sugar-free Sweets for the Sweet

There really is only one thing Boise residents who can't eat sugar are missing, The Chocolat Bar's infamous dark chocolate with red chili pistachio. Sadly you're also missing out on Tapas Estrella's tres leches cake, but that's just tough cocoa for the moment because it's not going sugar free any time soon ... unlike the former.

The Chocolat Bar has begun making some of their most popular chocolates with sugar-free chocolate from Peter's Chocolates, which uses maltidol as a sugar substitute. Eventually, the chocolaterie will offer sugar-free milk chocolate products, but four sugar-free varieties are currently for sale (and for sample): white chocolate with lemon and lavender, dark chocolate with almonds, dark chocolate mocha (made with espresso and almonds) and the dark chocolate with red chili pistachio.

The Chocolat Bar, 206 N. 9th St., 338-7771.

No Meat, No Problem

Name one Treasure Valley restaurant with a vegetarian menu. And no, I don't mean a menu with a vegetarian section. And I don't mean an ethnic restaurant with a veggie/chicken/beef option on every entree. I mean a full menu dedicated to those who for ethical, moral, religious or digestive reasons avoid the swine, bovine and all forms of swimming, walking, hopping and slithering living beings when it comes to each repast. Go ahead, I'll wait while you think about it ... (Jeopardy theme plays here) ... stuck? I put BW's vegetarian clan up to the task and the consensus was that while some of the city's finest eateries offered top notch mac and cheese, a proper vegetarian menu is MIA.

The answer, however, is Richard's in Hyde Park, where a vegetarian menu has supplemented the restaurant's menu for several months. Get four full courses of vegetarian eats from starters to entrees, including creamy tomato basil and carrot ginger soups, and salads topped with various combinations of bleu cheese, local goat cheese, spiced pecans, candied pistachios, grapefruit and house-made dressings. Entrees include butterfly pasta with sun-dried tomatoes and edamame, avocado risotto cake and fried tofu, spinach risotto with red pepper coulis, and spinach and artichoke ravioli in tomato vodka cream sauce. Even better, is the absence of mac and cheese (unless of course, you attempt a self-created collision of the collage de fromage with five selections of cheese with the butterfly pasta--an attempt that will surely incur the wrath of the food gods).

And in the who's who news of restaurants, former Richard's Executive Chef Dustin Williams and former Chef de Cuisine Kelsey Price have both moved to 8th Street Wine Company, where the pair hold the positions of executive chef and sous chef respectively. So who the heck is commandeering the Hyde Park kitchen? Have no fear, it's been in the capable hands of Chef Fred Moffitt, who's fresh out of North Carolina, since March.

Also, rumor has it that Food & Wine magazine will feature the McLaughlin restaurants (Taste, Richard's in Hyde Park and 8th Street Wine Company) in its October issue.

Richard's in Hyde Park, 1520 N. 13th St., 331-9855 .

Got Füd News? Pass it on. E-mail Entertainment Editor Rachael Daigle at Rachael@boiseweekly.com.

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