Where is it? Tucked behind a Red Robin and overlooking the Parkcenter Pond might not be the first place you look for one of Boise's best restaurants and bars, but it should be now. Barbacoa is located far enough from downtown that the regular Boise bustle can seem far away, but there is never a lull inside.
Come for the drinks...You definitely come for the drinks—buy-one-get-one cocktails is a can't-miss event. The wine list, viewable in person by walking through the wine tunnel, is extensive, but it's worth it to stay the course and look at the specialty cocktail menu. Its huckleberry, cucumber or pomegranate mojitos hit the spot during the summer, and the Negroni is a perfectly executed classic.
Stay for the decor... But Barbacoa is more than food and drinks. It might not even fully qualify as a restaurant; it's more of a concept—part fine dining, part museum, part bar, part art gallery. Work by local artists is displayed en masse alongside worldly antiques. Walking through the wine tunnel is a journey through a baroque hacienda. Digital paintings along the walls cast Harry Potter-like magic across the space. A 13-foot-long copper and steel Medusa sculpture dominates the bar. Sixteenth-century Turkish castle doors guard the private room, cow skulls hang on the walls and a locally designed Chihuly-esque glass antler chandelier hangs as the focal point of the dining room. Point to anything, inside and out, and there's a story behind it. The only shame is that leaving your seat mid-cocktail to see it all might be considered rude. I recommend taking a very circuitous route to the bathroom—each way, twice.
What's the happiest hour? Every day from 4-6 p.m. is BOGO happy hour—buy one drink and a second will miraculously appear the moment you finish the first. Late night happy hour runs from 10 p.m. to close, Thursday-Saturday with discounted drink specials.
Where to find it: Barbacoa is located at 286 Bobwhite Court in Boise.