Food notes: Toast Idaho Wine Month; Thai Basil opens; Buster's redo

doland@idahostatsman.comJune 13, 2014 

Idaho wines

Idaho's growing wine culture and industry gets a brighter community focus during June, which is Idaho Wine Month.

You'll find wine dinners, tastings and wine-centric events around the Treasure Valley all month long.


• Red Feather Lounge, 246 N. 8th St., Boise, will create a dinner with two Idaho wineries. Red Feather chefs will pair four courses with HAT Ranch and Split Rail wineries. Dinner is $65 per person at 429-6340, ext. 1.

• Huston Vineyards winemakers Greg and Mary Alger are working with Castle Ranch Steak House chef Dean Fuller for a farm-to-table wine dinner using Idaho Preferred products. The dinner is at 6:30 p.m. June 28 at the winery, 16473 Chicken Dinner Road in Caldwell. It's $75 per person at 455-7975 or

• Chandlers Steakhouse, 981 W. Grove St., is offering 50 percent off all Idaho wines by the bottle on Sundays through June.

• Bodovino, 404 S. 8th St., will hold Idaho wine tastings from 5-7 p.m. on these dates:

June 16: Fujishin Family Cellars

June 18: Sawtooth Winery

June 23: HAT Ranch Winery and Vale Wine Co.

June 25: Cellar 616

June 30: Colter's Creek Winery

• You'll find wine specials on local restaurant menus.

• On June 13-14: Mike McClure from Indian Creek Winery will sign bottles at the Nampa Costco. Ste. Chapelle winemaker Maurine Johnson will sign bottles there June 27-28.

You can find more events at


Family-owned Thai Basil Restaurant opened June 12 at 3161 E. Fairview Ave., ste. 110, in Meridian. It's from the same clan that created the menu for Pad Thai House at Overland and Five Mile roads.

It will serve authentic Thai food from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. and 5-9 p.m. Mondays to Thursdays, 11 a.m.-3 p.m. and 5-10 p.m. Fridays and noon-3 p.m. and 5-10 p.m. Saturdays. You can check out the menu at Phone: 888-5797.


Artist Mike Landa has a new creative project - brewing kombucha. It's a low-sugar and low-alcohol (less than 0.5 percent) fermented tea that has gained wide popularity over the past few years for its health benefits and diversity of flavors.

Landa started experimenting with the brewing process six years ago and has come up with his dry, light, flavorful product. He makes pomegranate, Owyhee hibiscus, ginger pear, ginger peach and blackberry fig now and will have huckleberry and green jasmine seasonally.

Landa's Idaho Kombucha will start popping up in stores around Boise in the next few weeks. It's $5 for a 16-ounce bottle at Flying M Coffeehouse, 500 W. Idaho St., and City Peanut Shop, 803 W. Bannock St., in Downtown Boise.

He also offers home delivery in and around Downtown in reusable 750-milliliter bottles ($10 each). And you can get it through Peaceful Belly's Consumer Supported Agriculture program that offers weekly vegetable deliveries to supporters. Landa's ultimate goal is to replicate the local beer model and have refilling stations around town. Online:


Rex Chandler opened a new executive dining room at his Chandlers Steakhouse, 981 W. Grove St., Boise. It's in the space formerly occupied by the Starbucks Coffee bar between the restaurant and Hotel 43, which shares the building.

Chandler moved the coffee operation to the front of the space and converted the remainder into a glass and wine-rack enclosed private dining room that features a smart TV for displays and presentations. The executive dining room is now available for booking at 383-4300. Online:


Niel Hergert Jr. bought Buster's Sports Bar, 1326 S. Broadway Ave., about a year ago. Since then, he has gutted and remodeled the kitchen and retooled the food and cocktail menus with Executive Chef David Sanchez for more of a fresh, local focus.

"We have nothing frozen - we hand cut our fries and we make all the sauces," Hergert says. "And we're smoking our own meat."

Hergert - who goes by JR - worked for many years in the restaurant and bar business after graduating from Boise State University. He always had fond memories of Buster's and wanted to come back and give it a boost, he says.

Over the summer, Hergert plans to freshen up the interior dining and bar areas and the exterior, and install a new sign on Broadway Avenue in time for football season. He also installed new HDTVs that will show sports packages.

Look for a grand reopening sometime this fall. Phone: 345-5688. Online:


Berryhill Restaurant, 121 N. 9th St., will rev up its Sunday brunch for Dad with meat carving stations, omelets, hash browns and tons more from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. It's $29 for adults, $16 for 10 and younger. Reservations: 387-3553 and

El Gallo Giro, 482 W. Main St. in Kuna, will serve a special buffet for Father's Day with prime rib, omelets, shrimp, a full dessert bar and more from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. It's $12.95 for adults, kids 3 to 12 are half price, and 2 and younger are free. Phone: 922-5169. Online:

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