The historic Ranch Club, at 3544 W. Chinden Blvd, opened June 2 under new ownership.
Jason Kovac, who owns and operates Tom Grainey’s, the Whiskey Bar and The Shed, recently took over the reins at the Western-inspired watering hole and eatery in Garden City. Kovac had no intentions of changing the quintessential roadhouse vibe of the place, only now it’s much cleaner and brighter, and the haze of cigarette smoke is gone. (Sorry, smokers have to go outside because the inside space is now a nonsmoking environment).
Chef Joel Thomas, who wrote the menu at The Shed and handles catering and special events for Kovac’s other businesses, was tasked with creating an upscale pub menu at the Ranch Club that pays homage to other food that was served in the building over the years. Remember the Onati Basque restaurant that used to occupy the back dining room?
“We still have typical bar food, but we’re going back to Onati with croquetas and chorizo grinders. We also have Idaho-themed items like elk meatloaf and an elk burger,” Thomas says.
The all-day menu features starters such as Cowboy Nachos with smoked brisket ($10.50), grilled Mexican-style corn-on-the-cob with cotija cheese ($5.50) and those aforementioned ham croquetas ($7.25), served with spicy tiger sauce.
The sandwich and burger list includes standouts such as the Lone Star sandwich — a New York steak with cheddar, bacon, avocado and a large onion ring ($11.25), and an elk burger with blue cheese, bacon, caramelized onions, horseradish mayonnaise, lettuce and tomato on a brioche bun ($12).
Those desiring a little roughage can choose from a variety of salads, including a kale Caesar ($9) and a My Boy Blue steak salad ($11).
Entrées come in the form of pork ribs ($11.50) and a beef brisket dinner ($13.50).
Eight tap handles primarily pour domestic beers, supplemented with a few local beers such as Payette Brewing Rustler IPA.
The kitchen at the Ranch Club is open 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily. The bar stays open until 2 a.m.
Grit in Eagle making some changes
Grit American Cuisine, 360 S. Eagle Road in Eagle, is no longer open on Mondays. Chef and co-owner Paul Faucher says his kitchen staff is using the day off to play around with new menu items for the season.
“Now that morels are starting to come in, and local strawberries have finally arrived, you’ll be seeing those on the menu soon,” he says.
He’s putting the finishing touches on the menu, which will include a morel pizza, glazed morels (with rich chicken stock) served with dipping bread, and strawberries on both the food and bar menus. He expects to have these seasonal specials up and running by mid-June. Additions will also be made to the Sunday brunch menu, including cherrywood-smoked pulled pork pastrami and other house-cured meats.
On the Grit libation front, the restaurant is collaborating with 8 Feathers Distillery in Boise to come up with a white corn whiskey that boasts pronounced hints of orange and vanilla.
“Each barrel is naturally infused with five pounds of orange zest and five pounds of vanilla beans. It’s real aromatic,” Faucher says.
By mid-July, diners should be able to get a taste of the Grit-label whiskey, which will get used in specialty cocktails at the restaurant. You will also see it at other establishments around the Valley.
Beer geeks should stop by Grit for a pint of 10 Barrel Brewing’s Red Faucher seasonal ale. The amber-hued red ale is a shout-out to Paul Faucher, who used to be the executive chef at 10 Barrel in Downtown Boise before he opened Grit with Porterhouse Market owner Dave Faulk.
Hours: 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Tuesday-Thursday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday (brunch menu only).
New chef at Southfork Lodge
Southfork Lodge, 7234 Idaho 21 in Lowman, recently hired a new chef for the summer months. Paul Berguson comes to Idaho fresh from culinary school in Michigan. Berguson and Southfork Lodge co-owner Chris Armour served together in the Air Force before embarking on new careers after retirement. While enlisted, Berguson was known for his prowess in the kitchen when he cooked for friends and family.
“He’s great at smoking meats and barbecue, which works for us,” Armour says.
For now, diners can order food from the menu (mostly appetizers, burgers and sandwiches) that was conceived last year after Armour and his wife, Beth, took over ownership of the mountain resort. But Armour says the menu will change slightly in the coming weeks, with more dinnertime items such as steaks, pan-seared Idaho trout and other entrées.
The restaurant at Southfork Lodge is open 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. Thursday-Monday. The bar and patio opens at 11 a.m. on those days and stays open till around midnight. The coffee shop — where you can get espresso drinks, drip coffee, baked goods and lighter fare — is open 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily.
Weekend brunch is back at Angell’s
Starting June 10, Angell’s Bar and Grill-Renato, 999 Main St., is resurrecting its weekend brunch program, which runs from 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays. To celebrate the occasion, the restaurant is offering $3 mimosas (or carafes for $9) and $6 Bloody Marys throughout the weekend.
Angell’s, which hasn’t served weekend brunch since 2013, will serve an a la carte menu of morning-time classics. It features biscuits and sausage gravy ($8.99), dollar pancakes ($7.99), customizable three-egg omelets ($10.99), eggs Benedict Florentine ($9.99), quiche with mushrooms, bacon and tomato ($9.99), coconut-dusted French toast ($8.99) and much more.
Make reservations online at angellsbarandgrill.com or call (208) 342-4900.
Michael Deeds and Dana Oland contributed. Submit restaurant news to email@example.com.