Idaho Shakespeare Festival
Food can make or break an event, whether it's a football game, a wedding, a party or a play. In Boise, a Hawks baseball game just wouldn't be the same without a cold beer and an Idaho Philly cheesesteak (it has potatoes on top), and football in Bronco Stadium goes best with a bowl of savory "Bronco Style Hammer Fries"—thick-cut Simplot fries topped with local brisket, deep-fried onions and smoky mozzarella cheese. Since it's imperative that revelers have the right things to nibble on, it seems only fair to recognize one Boise institution that has long delivered the ultimate in snack-bang: The Idaho Shakespeare Festival.
Although theater buffs are welcome to bring their own picnic baskets into the company's outdoor amphitheater and unpack during the show, locals know that their own spreads can rarely compete with the food on offer from Cafe Shakespeare, the gourmet concession stand just past the ticket booths. The cafe gets is upscale selection—which includes salads, sandwiches, desserts and a variety of gorgeous finger food plates and pre-packed picnic baskets—from caterer extraordinaire Lisa Peterson, the master foodie behind a'Tavola Gourmet Marketplace, which opened near the intersection of 16th and Grove streets in 2012. Peterson has been running the cafe since 2005, and her passion and talent comes through in the composition of every meal.
There is perhaps no evening more perfect (or perfectly Boise) than one spent sitting cross-legged on a blanket spread across soft grass, watching actors caper across the ISF stage while you munch on slivers of honey-drizzled goat cheese and brie, imported Italian salami, roasted grapes, marcona almonds, mixed olives and chunks of crusty baguette. As the second act finishes, share a lemon bar or a slice of blackout chocolate cake with your sweetheart to put an exclamation point on date night.