Food notes: The Dish plans return to Boise dining scene

SPECIAL TO THE IDAHO STATESMANJune 14, 2013 

Chef Jered Couch, a Culinary Institute of America graduate and former owner SixOneSix in Eagle, has recently teamed up with Willowcreek Grill's Brian McGill to bring back The Dish, a restaurant that Couch operated from 2002 through 2005 at Lake Harbor in Boise.

This rendition of The Dish, which Couch and McGill expect to have open by mid-July, is going into the former Huddle Sports Bar spot at 205 N. 10th St. in Downtown Boise. To foodies, the street-level restaurant space in the historic Empire Building is best remembered for housing The Milky Way for more than five years.

"The Milky Way was a great restaurant," Couch said. "It was successful. Our goal is to serve excellent food once again in this building, like they did for such a long time."

Couch and McGill are busy renovating the space, in what Couch called a "total makeover." The decor will include industrial and natural features, like exposed concrete beams and stained wood accents. An island of booths will split the dining room into two hemispheres. There will be a private dining room on the mezzanine level for larger parties.

Couch also said that the expanded sidewalk patio could easily accommodate up to 50 people.

As for the food, diners can expect the same whimsical offerings that Couch served at his previous restaurants. His motto and cooking philosophy has always been "no culinary boundaries," meaning the seasonal menus will draw influences from various cuisines around the world.

"I plan to change the menu about four times a year. The food is going to be global, but it will be approachable and very affordable. I want this to be a place where people come for casual dining," Couch said.

The opening menu will feature appetizers like vegetarian pita nachos, pork belly lettuce cups and an ale plate (designed to go with draught microbrews) with smoked Muenster spread, apricot chutney, candied jalapenos and housemade crackers.

Entrees will include dishes such as pan-roasted monkfish with hazelnut romesco, slow-cooked brisket with millet polenta and saucy blueberry prawns on a tarragon-jasmine rice waffle.

The menu will also have inventive salads, sandwiches and unconventional burgers, many of which are designed with vegetarians and vegans in mind - except for the beef burger topped with a seared slab of foie gras.

Besides a rotating selection of draft Northwest microbrews, including craft beers from the Boise area, people will also find a wine list of select labels from Idaho, Washington, Oregon and California.

DELI DAYS ARE HERE AGAIN

Deli Days will take place on June 20 and 21 at the Ahavath Beth Israel synagogue (at 11 N. Latah St.) from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Here, people can nosh on kosher offerings like fat pastrami sandwiches, potato knishes, bagels with lox and cream cheese and dill pickles - ranging from $1 to $7.50. There will also be lots of Jewish music and dancing on both days.

FOOD TRUCKS PARTNER WITH IDAHO FOODBANK

Local food truck vendors are joining forces with The Idaho Foodbank for this month's Food Truck Rally, slated to happen on June 14 from 5 to 9 p.m. at The Idaho Foodbank's warehouse, just off Federal Way at 3562 S. TK Ave.

This fundraising event, called Hope in Motion, will feature nine food trucks and carts, including Archie's Place, B29 Streatery, Riceworks, Stanley's BBQ and Boise Fry Company, to name a few. Payette Brewing Company will operate a beer garden.

BOISE BREWERS GARNER BIG AWARDS

The Ram Restaurant and Brewery at 709 E. Park Blvd. in Boise recently cleaned up at the North American Beer Awards in Idaho Falls. Brewers Jake Schisel and Jake Talbot brought home six medals, including four gold medals for their Big Red, Oktoberfest, Boise Brown Ale and Sweep Heavy Scotch Ale.

Other local breweries also fared nicely. Check out all the winners at northamericanbrewers.org.

Submit Food Notes tips to scene@idahostatesman.com

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