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Eli's Italian Deli Moves to Boise

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Downtown Boise gets a new restaurant. And it's a good one.

Eli's Italian Deli. For those readers who know the name, I've just set in motion a Pavlovian response that prods the salivary glands into overdrive. Granted, a majority of BW readers don't often make it out to Nampa, where Eli's is located, but enough of you do so that I know about Eli's from you.

Last year, BW inadvertently omitted "Best Italian" from the Best of Boise readers' poll. Just for fun, I held an informal round of voting in Food News to determine a winner. Eli's placed second by a single vote, losing out to Rotella's Trattoria on State Street in Boise. That was in October 2008 and it was the first time I'd heard of Eli's, myself being one of those Boise birds who flies west infrequently. I've since eaten there, and two things will keep me going back: first, the food and second, the owner. Last time I was in for lunch, the homemade hoagies won me over immediately, and then owner James Elizondo himself (who did not know I was with BW) went out of his way to take care of me. Judging by the many BW readers who love this place, it sounds like that's his M.O.

So now for the good news: Eli's is moving a little closer to BW HQ.

Boise Cafe, aka Cafe Bellisima, which is known for its weekend salsa dancing, will fold Eli's into the lunch and dinner mix. The Nampa menu, comprised of all homemade food from a Sicilian friend of Elizondo's, will move to Boise as soon as next week. Look for news of a semi-grand opening in Food News in the next few weeks.

Boise Cafe, 219 N. 10th St.

This Week's Wine and Dine

Life's Kitchen is hosting a wine dinner in conjunction with Snake River Winery's chef and winemaker Scott DeSeelhorst. Mediterranean Nights is a feast starting with finger foods and paired wine. Provencal fish soup kicks off the serious food courses, followed by a tart of chicken, leek and Ballard Family feta. Continuing the emphasis on local food, the nicoise salad features fresh beans, heirloom tomatoes and baby greens from Peaceful Belly Farm in addition to fresh tuna. Braised lamb from Meadowlark Farms is paired with couscous for the main course, and baklava is, of course, the dessert.

Dinner is Friday, July 17, at 6:30 p.m. Reserve your table before Monday, July 13. Tickets are $75 per person. Call Life's Kitchen at 208-331-0199 for reservations or more information. Life's Kitchen, 1025 S. Capitol Blvd., lifeskitchen.org.

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