Best bar

June 14, 2013 

0224 scene food02

The Modern Hotel and Bar's Pear-Rosemary Collins

DOSWALD@IDAHOSTATESMAN.COM — Darin Oswald

MODERN HOTEL AND BAR

1314 W. Grove St., Boise, 424-8244

www.themodernhotel.com

The bar isn't the centerpiece of The Modern - a reinvented Travelodge - but it's pretty darn close. The low-lit lounge with midcentury-modern design and the fire-lit patio are destinations for Boise cocktail fans.

The Modern earned accolades last year from GQ in a feature story that lauded the inventions of bespectacled bartender Michael Bowers and praised the "ethereal gnocchi."

The menu has no generic cocktails. Instead, there's the Long Weekend - rum, lime, cucumber, pineapple, mint and soda - and the Caravel, with its celery bitters, or the Hanky Panky with flamed orange. The chow ranges from braised oxtail ragout to mac and cheese made with kale and herbs. Much of it is locally sourced.

If there's a flaw in execution, it's that some of the esoteric recipes are, well, esoteric. You may end up quizzing your friendly server on the difference between Aperol and Campari, or pulling out a smartphone to look up "demerara" (a kind of sugar). But hey, it's all part of The Modern's charm.

HONORABLE MENTIONS

• The Reef, 105 S. 6th St., Boise, 287-9200, reefboise.com

• Jaker's Bar and Grill, 3268 E. Pine Ave., Meridian, 288-0898, jakers.com

• Pengilly's Saloon, 513 W. Main St., Boise, 345-6344, facebook.com/PengillysSaloon

• Bar Gernika, 202 S. Capitol Blvd., Boise, 344-2175, bargernika.com

• Neurolux, 111 N. 11th St., Boise, 343-0886, neurolux.com

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