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Vine Wine Shop and Noodle Korea Open

Plus Kindness preps for Owyhee Plaza grand opening


Le Coq Rouge is now the home of vin rouge (and blanc). Vine Wine Shop and Lounge took over the former French bistro space at 1320 S. Maple Grove Road June 25.

"We're focusing on small batch, boutique, small vintner wines that you don't get in the grocery stores," explained James Jackson, husband of owner Tim Jackson. "We've got stuff in here from Portugal; South Africa; Spain; Walla Walla; California; Provence, France; everywhere."

The revamped space, decked out in muted earth tones, features a small bar, a smattering of high-top tables and a few brown leather chairs clustered around a stone fireplace.

"We've toned it way down and kept the decor at a minimum ... We took all the TVs out, there's no karaoke. ... We want to encourage conversation and enjoyment of the wine," said James.

Vine's wine selection is displayed horizontally on minimalist shelves lining the walls. Customers can purchase wines by the bottle or by the glass. Tuesday nights they'll offer wine tastings from 6-8 p.m., with 20 percent discounts on bottles being sampled that night.

"Every evening we'll have selected wines by the glass--we'll have two reds, two whites and a rose available by the glass, which will change every few days," said James. "So we're encouraging people to step outside of their comfort zone and try something new."

Vine is currently offering cheese, olives and crackers for customers to snack on, but they plan on expanding the menu over the next couple of weeks to serve salads, soups and cold sandwiches like roast beef and cranberry on ciabatta, and herbed chevre on croissant with kalamata olives, spinach and arugula.

"As we get bigger, we will hire a chef and then we'll start doing chef's tables probably closer to the end of the year, three nights a week," said James. "Full, sit-down, seven- or eight-course meals ... all paired with wine."

Vine Wine Shop and Lounge is open seven days a week, from 11 a.m.-close, which is usually around 11-11:30 p.m., but no later than 1 a.m. Lunch will eventually be served from 11 a.m.-2 p.m., seven days a week.

For more info, call 208-949-5561, or visit the company's Facebook page.

In other opening news, Noodle Korea is now dishing up wok-style Korean specialties at 2325 S. Apple St., next door to Blue Cow Frozen Yogurt. Owned by Kenny and Iris Jeon, the same couple that runs Yoi Tomo Sushi and Grill, Noodle Korea has an upscale vibe, with giant ivory paper lanterns suspended from the ceiling, dark wood paneling and sleek booths.

The kitchen specializes in dishes like Jajangmyeon--noodles with pork, vegetables, stir fry paste and black bean sauce--and Yangnyeom, Korean-style seasoned fried chicken. Other dishes include Yaki-Jjamppong, stir-fried spicy noodle soup with vegetables and seafood, octopus salad, and an assortment of Korean-style rice bowls.

The joint also offers a sizeable beer selection--with brews like Asahi and Sapporo alongside New Belgium's 1554 and Sockeye's Dagger Falls IPA--in addition to wine and sake.

Noodle Korea is open Monday through Thursday, 11 a.m.-2:30 p.m., and 5 p.m.-9:30 p.m.; and Friday and Saturday, 11 a.m.-10 p.m.

For more info on Noodle Korea, call 208-343-0071 or visit

Speaking of openings, the revamped Owyhee Plaza is gearing up for its grand opening bash, July 9 from 6-9 p.m. Boise Weekly toured the spruced-up space with Kindness owner Michael Tapia a couple of days before the project was to be unveiled to the public.

"Basically, we're a hotel without the hotel now," said Tapia, gesturing to the naturally lit, modernized lobby area dotted with low-backed arm chairs and wooden tables crafted from tree-trunk slices.

The Owyhee's new bar area is separated from the lobby by a low wooden wall that conceals a handful of comfy chairs. A row of bar-front, banana-yellow high chairs is more immediately visible. At the building's grand opening celebration July 9, former BW Best of Boise Best Local Bartender Mark Allen will be serving specialty cocktails alongside mixologist Kevin Kelpe. Each floor of the building, including the seventh floor rooftop terrace, will feature a separate bar with "something a little different" offered at each.

The high-ceilinged space that houses Kindness--a new American concept with Mediterranean and Italian influences run by Chef Anna Tapia--features stately columns and impressive crown molding lacquered with a pearlized paint that Michael compared to a "wedding cake." The walls have a similar shimmery look--technically "hot silver" but they give off a goldish hue--and the black-and-white floor tiles, fashioned after the building's original tiling, also glint in the light. A long marble countertop, dotted with red stools, gives way to doors with Art Deco arches concealing a second dining room space with large windows.

Kindness' opening dinner menu will include dishes like sautéed wild mushrooms in a truffle cream sauce with fresh chives and crostini; Lava Lakes lamb sausage salad with local greens, goat cheese, dried cranberries and caramelized pecans; and a grilled veggie flatbread with kale, zucchini, red onion, butternut squash, broccoli, mozzarella and aged provolone. Kindness' main dish, "meat and two sides" options include a Snake River Farms Kurobuta pork shank, ruby red trout and personal meatloaf, with side options like brown butter gnocchi, basil polenta and haricot vert with shallots.

Though Kindness won't host its official grand opening until Thursday, July 24, from 4-10 p.m., the restaurant will be catering food and drinks at the Owyhee's grand opening.

For more info on the Owyhee's opening, visit For more info on Kindness, visit