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Gastronome Gossip

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After an afternoon of gossip hunting 'round the strip in the metropolis that is our burgeoning Boise, we were able to muscle out a few rumors, thanks to our kneecap breaking bodyguards. Here's what a couple of heart to hearts with local restaurateurs and some busy construction crews fleshed out:

The cavern in the Idaho Building's first floor on the corner of Eighth and Bannock streets will morph into a Thomas Hammer coffee shop set to open the first week of December. And that won't be all the action that week. Basque Leku Ona at Sixth and Grove will throw its doors open the first of December as well.

The owners of Mai Thai, who have won the loyalty of darn near each and every tastebud to walk through their doors, are taking a stab at Japanese food just around the corner. Koi will open in The Mode building on 8th Street 'round the first of January. And rumor has it that Mai Thai won't be missing out on the latest wave of the Eagle invasion, opening a second version of its downtown restaurant in the 'burbs the first of the year.

Also soon to open in the 'burbs is Jared Couch's new restaurant, SixOneSix. Boise shed a few tears after Chef Couch called it quits at The Dish, but SixOneSix promises to stomp all over the delicious memory of the lakeside restaurant.

And now a real saucy tidbit ... keep an eye out for a late night weekend happy hour from downtown's lone-standing fondue peddlers, also rumored to happen about the first of December.

Regulars at Piper Pub and Grill may have noticed a few changes recently. With a new owner and a new head chef, Piper is on the verge of rolling out a new menu and enclosing its patio for the winter.

Also undergoing a few tweaks here and there is Pair. New food and wine menus have put quite a few new choices in front of customers, especially at dinner. But the real change is happening next door, where a vacant space is being reworked into the IVI Room for private parties and banquets, featuring a wine cellar with tastings and vintners dinners.

A bit of bench news takes us up to Vietnamese reinvented. Benchites who love Southeast Asian cuisine can now stay close to home with Pho Vietnam at 8630 W. Overland Road.

So spend this week giving thanks and stuffing your face with home-cooked meals, preparing for a month of December mayhem on the restaurant front.

Have a Füd News item? Send it to Rachael Daigle at rachael@boiseweekly.com or fax it to 342-4733.