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State and Lemp

Popular pop-up dinners move out of the house and into an eatery

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For the past three years, Jay Henry and Remi McManus have been preparing high-end, seasonally influenced pop-up dinners at private residences under the name Off the Grid Dining. But by late September, the duo hopes to be on the grid in the former Pacific Rim Wine Stop building at 2870 W. State St.

"We're going to be a prix-fixe seasonal restaurant, so the menu will change every two weeks," said Henry. "So we're going to do five plated courses. It'll be hard seating, as well, so we'll only do one seating at 6:30 p.m. on Wednesdays and Thursdays, and two seatings on Fridays and Saturdays."

Dinners at State and Lemp will cost $75 per person, with the option of adding a $30 wine pairing. There will also be a small beer and wine by-the-glass or by-the-bottle menu that will change with the seasons.

"We think there's a market out there for people who are looking for something that's a little bit more elevated than the current crop of all the new restaurants--which are great. It's great to see all this restaurant growth, but everyone's kind of within the same price point and the same style. It's pub fare; it's a little more casual," said Henry. "They're all going after that same price point and no one has tried to reach a little bit higher."

Both Henry and McManus previously worked for local restaurateur Jon Mortimer--Henry as the general manager at Franco Latino in Eagle, and McManus as the general manager at Mortimer's in downtown Boise.

"When I first came to Boise seven years ago, there were a handful of places with a finer-dining restaurant atmosphere, and when things went on the downturn, those went away really quickly," said Henry. "And that's when we started doing our pop-ups because we worked for Jon Mortimer. We saw that those people were still looking for that outlet."

State and Lemp is still in the construction phase--the stucco exterior of the building has been repainted a dark brown, and there are plans for updated exterior lighting and landscaping. The interior is also being modernized with reclaimed wood tables, repurposed metal chairs and local artwork.

"This is a small space, so it's going to feel very communal, and we want it to feel that way, with everyone arriving within that same time frame," said Henry. "Each course will come out for every guest simultaneously, so it will feel like a dinner party."

Henry and McManus hope to have State and Lemp open by late September. To follow their progress, visit facebook.com/stateandlemp or stateandlemp.com, which will be live as of Thursday, Aug. 1.