Catering company Boise Oak Barrel is transitioning from canapes to cocktails at its new restaurant and lounge, Oak Barrel of Eagle, located at 1065 E. Winding Creek Drive. Husband and wife team Mark and Kristina Anderson officially opened the restaurant March 4.
"We believe that food in its most natural form is better for you and tastes better," said Kristina. "So we're bringing a very fresh cuisine concept to Eagle and the surrounding communities."
Though Kristina ran the kitchen at her catering company, she hired Executive Chef Mike Gradian to take the reins at Oak Barrel of Eagle. The menu includes American standards like salads, burgers and grilled salmon, along with more unusual offerings like Basque-marinated flat iron topped with chimichurri and the Plato de Tapas, a starter with manchego, roasted asparagus wrapped in serrano ham, tortilla de patata and dried chorizo.
Oak Barrel of Eagle is currently serving lunch and dinner seven days a week from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. The spot also boasts a cocktail lounge, open every day from 11 a.m. to 11:30 p.m., with live music on Friday and Saturday nights.
"I'm really excited about some of my signature drinks that we've come up with," said Kristina. "We're calling it the New School of Classics."
Cocktails options include the Silver Fizz Disaronno Sour, the Coco-Chata Fire Martini and the Blood Orange Old Fashioned. In addition to the restaurant and lounge, Oak Barrel will also continue to offer catering.
"We've been catering for about four years now, so we're opening up our dream," said Kristina.
In brews news, a new 10-barrel, 5,000-square-foot brewery is planning to open in the Lusk District at 1026 S. La Pointe St. Owned by Jake Black, who previously worked in sales and distribution for Payette Brewing, Lost Grove Brewing will focus on IPAs and kettle sours. Though Black isn't ready to announce his head brewer, he confirmed that it's someone who has been "brewing in the industry for the last five years."
"It's our goal to create well-crafted beers," said Black. "I think the brewing community here in Boise has been growing like crazy and I think there's a lot of really good breweries popping up and I think there's some that could utilize a little bit of work on their beer. I think the one thing that we're bringing that's a little bit different ... is that we've had brewing experience and have been in the industry."
Lost Grove will boast a 90-100 person tasting room, a dog-friendly front patio and "significant" bike parking. Black plans to self-distribute around Boise to start and will launch with three flagship brews.
"We actually just want to make sure that once we start producing a certain product that any of the bars or restaurants that are carrying our products can maintain that beer, if they so choose to," said Black.
Black says the brewery will to give back to community nonprofits through a program called Powerful Pint, similar to Payette's Kegs4Kause.
Black plans to open Lost Grove by the fall of 2016. As for the name, he says it's a nostalgic nod to childhood.
"When I was a kid, one of my good friends and I would go to this field where we would always be running around and playing ... It was a place where you could escape from reality and leave things behind," said Black. "I guess that's the meaning of Lost Grove, it's just a space where you can go and relax and be with friends and enjoy yourself."
In other soon-to-open news, Chef Richard Langston, of North End staple Richard's Café Vicino, is relocating his popular Italian restaurant to the Inn at 500 Capitol.
The six-story, 112-room boutique hotel is currently under construction at Capitol Boulevard and Myrtle Street, in the parking lot adjacent to The Flicks. Obie Development Partners LLC, which owns a similar hotel in Eugene, Ore., broke ground on the property last October.
"They came to me several months ago and asked me if I'd be interested in doing it," said Langston. "So we spent a lot of time and did a lot of research. It's going to be a beautiful hotel."
Langston said the new space will boast a 70-seat dining room divided into three "vignettes of seating" to maintain the intimate atmosphere Richard's Café Vicino is known for. There will also be a 28-seat, full-service bar and a 12-seat private dining room on the ground floor, along with a 100-seat banquet room on the second floor and a patio terrace that will seat around 20 people in the warmer months.
"We're going to open that seasonally, probably with a little more casual concept ... have a drink, have some appetizers," said Langston.
Though the restaurant will keep the menus from its North End location, it'll drop "Café Vicino" and go by Richard's. It'll also expand its hours to offer breakfast seven days a week and brunch on Sundays.
"We are definitely keeping the style and the feel of Richard's Café Vicino. ... At lunch and dinner you probably will not recognize a difference in the menus, except they may get a little bigger because I'll have a bigger facility to prep in and prepare in," said Langston.
Langston said all of his staff plan to make the transition to the new location, which should be open by Dec. 31. He confirmed there will be dedicated surface parking and said the "transition should be seamless" for his regular customers.
"It's still my food, this is what I've done for a long time and people seem to react to it well and appreciate it," he said. "So that'll be very much the same."