Cheyenne's rises from the ashes
After months of construction delays, Cheyenne's Vista Bistro has finally opened at 650 Vista Ave. The Bistro inhabits a structure formerly used by gourmet beer bar The Abbey, which closed in 2003 after being ravaged by a large kitchen fire. "The Abbey burnt from the back pretty much down," reports Cheyenne's head chef Shan Deleon. "We came in after the fire crew had taken over and sold it, so we've had to redo the floors, back wall and almost everything in the building. Unfortunately, that put us over four months behind schedule."
Deleon, a veteran of Boise a.m. institution Goldy's Breakfast Bistro, teamed with general manager and Bon Appetit-featured chef Cheyenne Adams to finally bring Cheyenne's on line in late April. The Bistro's menu focuses solely on breakfast and lunch, opening at 6 a.m. to serve specialties including Apple Cinnamon French Toast made with fresh Fuji-apple stuffed apple spice bread, elephant-ear scones, scratch-made biscuits and gravy, chicken fried steak, corned beef and eggs and a three-vegetable "Manhattan" Frittata served with fan-tailed shrimp and cocktail sauce. Cheyenne's lunch menu is served from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., and focuses on a small number of wraps, deli and "Gourmet Grilled Cheese" sandwiches. In coming months Cheyenne's will expand its menu, continue renovation activity and open patio seating.
Cheyenne's Vista Bistro, 650 Vista Ave., 713-4495, 6 a.m.-3 p.m. daily.
Better living through gin
English gin mogul Andy Dawson made a brief stop in Boise last Thursday and Friday, April 22 and 23, to offer gin recipes, history lessons and alcoholic philosophy aplenty to local cocktail fanatics. Dawson, a former senior executive at British Petroleum who left the oil industry in 2000 to pursue success with a liquor whose consumption has been devastated by the popularity of vodka in recent years, explains the plight of a gin broker thusly: "Young people today are drinking more today than ever before, and they have very unsophisticated tastes. They want to drink alcoholic orange juice, so they pour vodka in it. Also, for the last 40 years everybody has been watching James Bond movies, and James always asks for a vodka martini. People follow what they see in films. Gin, however, is a far more sophisticated taste and drink, which has led to an unfortunate decline in the market."
With sophistication—and specifically dry, English sophistication—as an overriding mantra, bowler hat-clad Dawson pushed Broker's martinis, gin and tonics and "Frisky Brits" (a gin and tonic with a splash of 7up and a slice of cucumber) at a handful of local watering holes. The goal: a gin renaissance of Victorian proportions. "We are trying very hard to appeal to anyone who has an affinity for all things English," he explained, "as well as to people who have indicated that they are kind of bored with the current gin market. Plus, gin is just good for you." For more information about societal decline as interpreted through drinking trends, go to www.brokersgin.com.
Manhattan Grill Toast
The Manhattan Grill, located atop the Adelman Building at 622 W. Idaho St., abruptly closed on Wednesday, April 21 for as of yet undisclosed reasons. The restaurant's answering message reports a closure for purposes of remodeling, but reports of a change in location and an all-out closure have also circulated as explanations for the Grill's sudden halt. Head chef Gregg Anderson, who has been with the restaurant since its opening in 2001, was reached but unable to comment about the closure.