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JAVA FOR YOUR SOUL

Mention the name Java to any Sun Valley native and the response is Pavlovian as the words "bowl of soul" erupt from the salivating java junkie. Mexican cocoa, a shot of coffee, two shots of espresso, steamed milk, homemade whipped cream and cinnamon. Truly, heaven in a bowl.

Thirteen years ago Todd Rippo opened the original Java in Ketchum and last weekend he and his wife Lisa began brewing "coffee that rocks" in downtown Boise. With their motto "wake up and live," those of us who need a little help with the wake up part of that challenge can find a jumpstart in the bottom of a bowl. If coffee alone isn't enough to get you going, a hefty selection of breakfast is served all day long. Get your eggs scrambled, poached or smothered in 'daise, walk on the unusual side with avocado toast (whole wheat toast covered in sliced avocado and cracked pepper) or get your fix of Cap'n Crunch and seasonal Crunchberries. Lunch starts at noon with quesadillas, sandwiches (including a PB&J for the kiddie in you) and salads. We dare you to try and find one thing going over the counter that's not homemade ... even the whipped cream is from the Java kitchen.

Doors open at 6 a.m. Monday through Saturday and at 7 a.m. on Sunday on the corner of Sixth and Idaho streets, 345-0777.

VINO AND VITTLES

Treat yourself to a posh night of elegant food and wine in Meridian with Bell Wine Cellars. All five courses of this gourmet dinner will feature wine from Bell. Black tiger prawns and filet of Dover Sole wrapped with fresh braised spinach and tied with raffia of leek will be served with a 2002 Chardonnay from Aletas Vineyard. Due Uve Salad, salsiccia (sausage) simmered slowly with red and white grapes served with organic baby greens and tossed in balsamic vinaigrette accompanies a 2000 Merlot also from Aletas Vineyard. Fjord Norwegian Salmon Canapa will be served with Viognier 2003 of Tanimura & Antle Vineyard, and Quail Lucullus, oven-roasted quail-stuffed mushrooms with port wine and fois gras sauce, and accompanied by potato au gratin Dauphinois will be paired with a 1999 and 2000 Napa Cabernet Sauvignon. Dessert will be Peche Flambé au Poivre Vert, a traditional flaming peach desert prepared with an untraditional green peppercorn sauce and paired with a 2001 Syrah from Canterbury Vineyard. Reservations are required and space is limited, $100 per person, call 376-WINE.

WINNING WINE

Ste. Chapelle, one of Idaho's most loved wineries, has been winning awards all over the West for several of their vintages. At the Riverside International Wine Competition where 44 judges who are winery owners, wine writers and wine makers gather to seek out prized wines from across the country, Ste. Chapelle garnered a Chairman's Award for its 2001 Cabernet Sauvignon and a silver medal for its 2003 Winemaker's Series Ice Wine Riesling. In Dallas, at the Dallas Morning News Wine Competition, the 2001 vintage of Ste. Chapelle's Winemaker's Series Ice Wine Riesling also took a silver medal. Falling just short of silver medal success at the Pacific Rim International Wine Competition, the 2001 Winemaker's Series Cabernet Sauvignon won bronze.

ALAN HEAD SELLS RAMPANT PROPERTIES

After spending the last five years collecting some of Boise's most well loved restaurants under the ownership of Rampant Restaurants, Alan Head is calling it quits. "Five years ago I had a five-year plan to get out [of the restaurant business] and it's been five years," explained Head. Currently negotiations are underway for the sale of Goldy's, Saffron and Pie. General manager of Rampant Restaurants, Erik McLaughlin, has purchased Richard's.

Don't expect to see Head heading out of Boise, though. With a serious interest in Boise's arts and cultural scene, Head and his wife may be venturing into a new aspect of business in Boise. :