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Then the other ...


The schoolteacher (who joined me for a previous review) is now out of school and has been busy entertaining out-of-town relatives. One such relative, her sister, is visiting from Texas. On a Tuesday evening, they wanted to go somewhere where we could get cocktails, maybe some appetizers and listen to music. Where else but Pair?

We arrived around 7 p.m., and the weather was lovely so we decided to sit outside. The sounds of the jazz combo wafted out Pair's double doors and, out on the patio, we could clearly hear the music. Our waitress promptly brought us drink and dinner menus. I ordered the Dame Taylor, a lavender infused vodka drink that claimed one of the winning spots in the recent Martini Mix-Off. After breaking my heart by telling me they were out of the lavender vodka, our waitress took our order for my second choice, the Grapefruitini, the Sin Chocolat for Texas sister and the "Pair"Peartini for the schoolteacher. Eschewing dinner, we decided on one of Pair's share platters-the antipasto plate.

I was reminded of the story of Goldilocks and the Three Bears as we drank: The Chocolat was too sweet for the sister from Texas but the "Pair"Pear- and Grapefruitinis were just right. Passing our drinks around for each other to taste, I had to disagree with Texas. The Sin Chocolat was beyond decadent, all foamy and white and embellished with a truffle on the side of the glass (of which I ate half). The "Pair"Peartini was cool and delicious. The Grapefruitini combined tartness and sweetness and was perfect for a warm evening. The antipasto plate was a perfect complement to the cocktails with a smooth, tasty paté, room temperature Brie, slices of Swiss cheese, a bowl of Kalmata olives, crisp pieces of sesame flat bread, hot mustard and dried apricots.

I have been to Pair for breakfast and had a delicious fruit cup. I have been for lunch and had a wonderful Asian salad. This was the first time I had been just for cocktails and appetizers, and as we left, I knew it wouldn't be the last. Whether you sit inside in the comfortable low leather and chrome lounge chairs or outside on the large patio (a lot of real estate for a restaurant in downtown Boise), the great service, choice cocktails and delicious foodstuffs make Pair a great dining destination. And while not inexpensive, if you're looking for somewhere to take your favorite visiting friends or family, Pair is the place.

-Amy Atkins wishes Goldilocks had pink hair instead.