Enjoy summertime eats at Rupert’s and Jug Mountain Ranch

Rupert’s chef Gary Kucy works wonders with local ingredients at the fine McCall establishment.
Rupert’s chef Gary Kucy works wonders with local ingredients at the fine McCall establishment.

All that outdoor summer fun in the McCall area can leave you hungry.

Refuel with the seasonal fare at Rupert’s at Hotel McCall, 1101 N. 3rd St., where executive chef Gary Kucy always finds inventive ways to use local foodstuffs this time of year at the dinner-only restaurant.

Morel mushrooms, for the most part, have run their course in Idaho’s mountains. But those juicy, plump huckleberries will be flowing in the backdoor like clockwork in the coming weeks.

“That will be happening real soon. We always like seeing the huckleberries,” Kucy said.

Soon diners will be able to sink their teeth into pan-seared elk chops with syrupy huckleberry compote and other huckleberry-centric entrées and desserts.

Kucy puts out several mainstay dishes at Rupert’s, yet he tweaks his globally-tinged menu throughout the year to fit the season. The dynamic fresh sheet lists plenty of specials on a weekly basis.

“There’s an abundant supply of Alaskan halibut and East Coast scallops this summer, so we’re using those a lot,” he said.

“Salmon has been struggling a little bit.”

Good summertime picks include pan-roasted halibut with asparagus risotto and Moroccan-spiced olive salsa ($28.50), and the crispy-skinned, herb-roasted half chicken with pesto mashed spuds and smoky bacon-tomato jam ($27.50).

Or go for a mélange of small plates and a bottle of wine. Expect to find appetizers such as fried Brussels sprouts ($7.50), grilled venison meatballs with juniper-pickled cabbage ($9.75) and steamed Himalayan momo dumplings packed with locally raised yak meat, and served with fragrant tomato chutney ($8.50).

Rupert’s is open 4 to 8:30 p.m. Thursday-Monday. It’s closed Tuesday and Wednesday during the summer months.

For reservations, go to rupertsathotelmccall.com or call 208-634-8108.

At Jug Mountain Ranch, Rupert’s sister establishment in nearby Lake Fork, working up an appetite is the modus operandi with all that golfing and mountain biking going on over there.

The Clubhouse restaurant, at 13834 Farm to Market Road, features a summer menu that favors eclectic bar and grill grub. Chef Rob Maini takes care of the kitchen responsibilities at Jug, as the locals call it.

Hang out on the scenic patio and enjoy some starters and pints of cold craft brew. Appetizers include garlic-Parmesan fries ($5.50), Thai chicken satay ($7.50) and oozy baked Brie with roasted garlic and fresh fruit chutney ($8.50).

Those who have larger appetites can go for pub-style fish and chips, seasonal entrées and a signature burger and fries.

In addition to the regular menu, The Clubhouse now offers theme-inspired nights throughout the week. On Saturdays, the restaurant features Sunset Date Night Dinner, a three-course tasting menu for two lovebirds ($39 per couple). The menu changes weekly with the whim of the kitchen. On Sundays, check out the specials on Chef’s Italian Night. Expect to see Mediterranean-leaning dishes such as spaghetti Bolognese, brick-pressed chicken with gnocchi and grilled swordfish agrodolce with orzo.

“The theme nights seem to be popular. People are really liking them,” Kucy said.

The Clubhouse is open for lunch and dinner from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. six days a week. Closed Tuesday.

Online: jugmountainranch.com