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Ruth's Chris - Alibaba - Tucano's - Moon's


Where's the Beef?

Brace yourselves, foodies, we have a lot to talk about in this installment of Food News.

Like the tide, news of food in Boise comes in every day, regardless of whether little old Boise Weekly has enough pages in its latest edition to keep up. Here's what you've been missing while Food News has been absent:

• Somebody clearly wants to give Rex Chandler a run for his money. Ruth's Chris Steak House confirmed it has inked a deal to open a Boise location in the "second quarter of 2009." If the currently proposed real estate choice stands, that would put it within spitting distance of the Gamekeeper and a mere much-too-close-for-comfort two blocks from Chandlers. For those of you who don't know much about Ruth's Chris, suffice it to say this: it's the largest fine-dining company in the world. That and it does have "steak house" in its name. If Boise's track record is any indication, the local guys better hope they have their clientele firmly secured, lest the big, bad Ruth's Chris steals away with them.

• Aladdin Egyptian restaurant is no longer. When we noticed it was closed last fall, we called and asked what gives? The nice lady who answered the phone assured us that it was a temporary closure and that she expected things to be up and running again in December. Recently a new sign went up, and though certain BW reviewers (ahem) have had some disappointing experiences at Aladdin's in the past, it was a bittersweet moment to see "Alibaba" in Aladdin's place. Chef Ibrahim has been around town a long, long time.

• Moon's Kitchen has reopened in its new location a block south and east from where it spent the last 37 years. Since December, Moon's has been operating in its new location on Idaho Street almost "as was," including its throwback soda fountain counter. Hopefully, its new high-profile location with lots of late-night pedestrian traffic will spur the owners to reconsider their Moon's after-midnight gigs with live music, beer and wine until 2 a.m., and grub until 4 a.m. If there's one thing I hear again and again, it's "Where's a good late night steak and eggs joints in Boise?" Check out the new digs at 712 W. Idaho St.

• And last but not least, skewered meat is returning to Boise. Only one local restaurateur has ventured into the churrascaria—giant meat roasted on a giant stick—concept before: Boise's beloved Peter Schott's gave it a gander with his Idanha Hotel Rodizio Grill. It was an all-you-can-eat meat-a-rama that seemed to go over well at the time, but its short-lived success suggested otherwise. It's time for take two. Utah-based Tucano's Brazilian Grill will open its fourth location, this time in Boise. Good news for all you unemployed servers and line cooks out there: Tucano's is going to need about 100 able bodies. As for you vegetarians, don't scoff just yet. Rumor has it the "unlimited salad festival" is an event in itself.

This Week's Wine and Dine

I recently had coffee with a friend who spent the holidays eating her way through France. For those of you who missed your opportunity to dine on Les Champs-Elysees (because you were too busy taking in a little pasta in Tuscany, no doubt), here's your mulligan. This Thursday, Jan. 22, Le Cafe de Paris will host a five-course, Rhone Valley-inspired meal with wine and live music. Dinner is $35 per person from 5 to 9 p.m., and you'll want to make a reservation.

Le Cafe de Paris, 204 N. Capitol Blvd., 208-336-0889,