I don't know what I expected when I headed out to explore Peregrine Steaks and Spirits in Kuna. It certainly wasn't trains, a BMX racing track or wandering beagles, yet that's what I got.
I tend to like the quirky, and Peregrine solidly falls into this category.
Entering the dining room at Peregrine, diners are greeted by the standard dimly lit, dark wood with forest-green accents of a regulation steakhouse. A sea of square tables spreads across the expanse of the room, which occupies one half of a relatively new building just off Indian Creek in Kuna. The other half is filled by Creekside Lounge.
With a conjoined twin named Creekside, my dining companions and I decided to sweep straight through the dining room and head to the patio, for which I had great hopes of quiet dining next to a babbling brook.
That bubble was quickly burst.
The concrete patio is an understated affair, where wrought-iron tables look over a rather large expanse of lawn with the aforementioned creek far below. But the feature that firmly throws Peregrine into the "quirky" category is the BMX track nearly abutting the patio on the Creekside side.
That night, young racers decked in multi-colored jerseys, pads and helmets were racing around the curving, jump-filled track. As the announcements blared over the loudspeaker and families cheered from lawn chairs, nearby diners were provided with a bit of odd, albeit free, entertainment.
As we watched the action, we were thrilled with an order of onion rings ($3.50) that proved to be neither greasy nor over-battered, which, unfortunately, seems to be the prevailing method of preparation around the valley.
We were equally pleased with the bartender's heavy hand when it came to pouring our glasses of wine, which arrived at the table looking like goldfish bowls on delicate stems. No complaints from our table.
I can't help but think that our entrees would have seemed a bit more worth the price tag had we been sitting in the darkened confines of the dining room. Instead, we ate steak while an occasional freight train rumbled past on the other side of the creek, the country music station on the patio created a discord with the pop/rock played at the BMX track and an inexplicable beagle wandered by the tables.
I chose the beef medallions ($15.95), while my dining companions selected the grilled pork chops ($13.95) and the flat iron steak ($11.95). All meals come with a choice of potato--fried, baked, mashed or au gratin--as well as soup or salad and bread.
What stood out was the soft, homemade bread. The small loaf brought to each table was both sweet white bread and earthy wheat, a feat pulled off by some clever twisting of the dough. I was a little too excited to find a half-and-half piece.
Also a standout were the au gratin potatoes, which had plenty of gratin, with a touch of spicy that was a welcome surprise.
Overall, the main entrees were adequate, although whoever was manning the grill could have used a lighter touch, or possibly a timer. Calling the pork chops "chewy" would be an understatement. My medium-well beef medallions were a bit bouncy--and this is coming from someone who orders her bacon "cremated."
While the food wasn't enough to win us over on its own, Peregrine's entertainment value diffused the disappointment, although the orange plastic fencing separating the patio from the lawn gives the place the distinct feel of a construction zone.
We decided to forgo dessert at Peregrine, instead opting for hand-dipped ice cream cones at the nearby Sweet Spot. With waffle cones in hand, we wandered over to watch a little more of the BMX racing.
--Deanna Darr thinks you should not be able to hear anything else while chewing bacon.
Boise Weekly sends two reviewers to every restaurant we review. Read what our other reviewer had to say about Peregrine Steaks & Spirits.