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City Grill - Fortunato

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8th and Idaho Gets a New Tenant

Since Chef Joyce Doughty called it quits in the Boise City National Bank Building several years ago, Boise diners have snubbed every restaurateur's attempt to make a go of it in what should be a surefire downtown location. Like a gang of pouty schoolchildren who've had their candy taken away by well-meaning adults, Boiseans just keep passing right on by every brew pub, Mexican joint and—what was undoubtedly an aesthetic low point for the turn-of-the-century building—bumping night club in the Eighth and Idaho location.

Maybe the fourth time will be a charm. As the space prepares to present yet another culinary face to the public, the anticipation buzz alone could be enough to sustain what will soon be known as the City Grill through at least its first six months of business. Rumors of City Grill's opening under the leadership of Pair's Christine Reid and Mitch Thompson have been wafting among foodie circles since early spring. According to Thompson, everything is ready to go. Everything except the liquor license, that is. (It appears that even proven downtown business owners have liquor licensing issues in a state whose growing pains have yet to force the revision of certain archaic laws—maybe if they were multimillionaire tennis stars, things would be expedited for Reid and Thompson.) City Grill's opening, however, is imminent, and once the doors are open, diners can expect cuisine described by that overused catchphrase touted by so many valley eateries: "upscale Northwest pub fare." More specifically—and certainly more interestingly—Reid and Thompson are promising a seafood-heavy menu and what will be the sole oyster bar in town. Additional surf options at the oyster bar will include crab legs and peel-and-eat shrimp, and the turf portion of the menu will offer organic steaks and burgers.

Stay tuned for an opening date.

Lucky Next Door, Too

Two weeks ago, a little panini and wine joint called Fortunato opened up in Harris Ranch in the building situated next to the home of the new Lucky 13. Its name, "fortunato," is Italian for "lucky." Coincidence? Negatory rubber duck.

As if re-establishing Lucky 13 in its new Harris Ranch digs weren't a mammoth task already, owner Liza Goul launched Fortunato as what she calls a work in progress. Might as well kill two birds with one stone, as the saying goes. The food menu is no-frills, says Goul, with simple paninis and simple salads. And Goul is tailoring a wine selection that she says is well-priced and will cater to specific requests of area customers, but reasonably priced for the wine drinker who just needs to stop in for a bottle to take home.

Fortunato, 4940 Mill Station Dr., 208-344-4240.

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