Over the last several years I've heard a few people make claims that Boise is among the cities with the highest concentration of restaurants per capita. Nobody seems to know how, where or when that rumor cropped up, and a cursory web search definitely indicates otherwise. Regardless, I can tell you that as we were shoehorning restaurants into the listings portion of this edition of our Restaurant Guide, I learned that we do have plenty of eateries from which to choose.
In this, our second annual guide to dining out in Boise and beyond, we start with a look behind the scenes. Scattered throughout the magazine are interviews with a handful of chefs—a few who have been around a while and a few who are up-and-coming. These are the culinarily skilled at work in area restaurants, slogging away in the kitchen day in and day out, creating some of Idaho's most-talked-about food. From there, we ditch the most-talked-about food and venture into the realm of best-kept secrets with mini restaurant profiles. These are the places where you can turn up a surprisingly authentic dark purple beet borscht or slice into a hot Guinness malt waffle. They tend not to be the high-profile places with hour-long wait lists on a weekend night. Rather, they are the places you may have heard about but not yet gotten around to visiting. A few, I'd bet are places completely unknown to a few readers.
In stretching our legs a bit—both metaphorically and literally after a drive east—is "Road Trip." Guy Hand trotted out to Twin Falls, where he discovered a mini restaurant renaissance of sorts, with three new eateries boosting the Eastern Idaho city's culinary credit score. Circling back around to the capital city, Tara Morgan, in "Breaking Free," ferrets out the few dishes in town offering meat-, dairy- and gluten-free diners more than just a side salad.
So maybe we're not setting any records in terms of restaurant numbers but hopefully what you'll see here inspires you to skip your usual haunt and give something new a try.