We went to dinner with a friend from Charleston tonight. Rob and he worked together in South Carolina and are still with the same company, but he's in Pittsburgh now and we're here in Idaho. This gentleman came out for work--he's Management now--to see "The Site," as it's locally known, and learn what goes on out here, as some of the Idahoans do when they go inspect East occasionally. Anyway, we've been planning on dinner out with him for some time now, and weren't sure where to take him. We noticed a new restaurant several weeks ago, and wondered how it was. It looked great, but unique and interesting restaurants don't really happen in this town. There's the clever and refreshing Snake Bite Restaurant and the fancy, date-night Cellar, but that's it for interesting here. Tonight we decided to try this new place with the modern sign and hip web page (and two terrific Yelp reviews!).
We came from Charleston, a town with more James Beard Award winners per capita than anywhere ever (that might be not quite right, but it cannot be far off the mark), and I miss good food so much. I have a thing for food that was thought about, really and truly cooked with love, with ingredients that are appreciated and enjoyed, and served by happy, attentive and vouching waitstaff. I am not a snob, or a foodie, or an afficianado of any sort--i can't even spell afficianado--but i LOVE food that is good. I especially like food that is good that was raised and grown here. I like a glass of wine, a conversation, laughs, some stunning food, flavor I can't stop thinking about, and someone who genuinely wants to know if we're enjoying the meal. I like when my food makes me think, this is it. this is where i want to be, doing this. This was my dinner tonight.
Who knew this town had Tapas?! It does. Fried goat cheese with cracked-pepper honey. Chorizo-stuffed jalapeno poppers. Sea salt fingerling potatoes (local, of course, and purple!), bacon wrapped dates, crab cakes. Oh my.
Good conversation, laughter, and catching up ensue. We have a third good restaurant. One I won't see in another town, on any other day. It is going to be something that makes us who we are, a town with a personality and a fight for what's good and what's important. Somewhere we can visit, enjoy and contribute to what's local and good. We'll be back!