A New Flavor of Magazine
Since 2010, Boise Weekly has combed the greater Treasure Valley for its annual compendium of all things gustatory. What started as the BW Restaurant Guide later morphed into the Restaurant and Bar Guide and, this year, has become the BW Bar and Restaurant Guide. That might seem like a small change, but it signifies another shift in the way we present the Boise area's food and dining scene.
For one thing, readers will notice the publication begins with several pages focused not on restaurants—or even food—but the liquid accompaniment that begins, enlivens and caps so many social and culinary occasions. Following libations, we focus on local food and food producers, then dining and restaurants.
In short, it's all about drinking, farming and eating—three noble pursuits, if you ask us.
Throughout the magazine, we've livened up our presentation with top five lists, graphics and recurring explorations on various aspects of the eating and drinking experience. Of course, you'll also find listings of area bars and restaurants—by no means an encyclopedic accounting, but we feel representative of the variety to be found among Boise area eateries and drinkeries. That's another change: we've pared down our listings, both in number and detail, and are now providing the option for local establishments to pay for guaranteed inclusion. You can find our paid listings on Pages 60-61, and through our mobile app, BW on the Town: boiseweekly.com/boise/BWOnTheTown/Page.
We hope that this content-rich format makes for lively—and useful—reading. Much thanks for that go to BW food writer Tara Morgan, who envisioned the content for this year's Bar and Restaurant Guide.
A Guided Tour
Each week, Boise Weekly breaks news of restaurant openings and closings, brings you the buzz on new breweries and wineries, and chats up the artisans who make Boise's food scene so vibrant. But our annual Bar and Restaurant Guide gives us a chance to take a step back and examine the year's overarching food trends with a wide-angle lens.
In this year's Bar and Restaurant Guide, we've taken the word "guide" to heart. With help from a number of Boise food and drink badasses, we compiled stories that will guide you to a better understanding of Boise's food and drink culture.
On page 16, we tapped cicerone Matt Eggers to pen a craft beer style guide that flows from pale ales to stouts, with a little sudsy sass thrown in. On page 17, Modern Hotel and Bar cocktail connoisseur Michael Bowers gives us a run-down of all the unpronounceable liquors you'll find mingling in his concoctions. And on pages 32-33, Arlie Sommer of Idaho's Bounty clues us in on which fruits and veggies are in season every month of the year. So the next time a restaurant tries to serve you "local" zucchini in January, you'll do a double take.
We've also got some more, ahem, meaty features, including Harrison Berry's intrepid exploration of Boise Barbecue culture—from smokers to sauce, wood to Wetnaps. And I take a look at the abundance of craft beer events in Boise and how they've helped sculpt a thriving, dynamic beer scene.
We also give you a peek behind the culinary curtain at two of Boise's most innovative new food and drink concepts: State & Lemp, the seasonal pre-fixe restaurant that's taken Boise's fine dining scene by storm, and Bodovino, BoDo's surprisingly elegant mechanized wine bar.
And if that's still not enough to elicit epicurean excitement, we've instituted another new feature called How It's Made, which explores the complex processes involved in creating some of our favorite artisanal goods. From Janjou Patisserie's delicate, buttery croissants to Mai Thai's frothy, fruity tiki drinks, we let the experts show how us how it's made.
So while restaurant guides tend to have as much substance as a fried Twinkie—filled with sugary puff pieces that take up space between advertisements and listings—BW's 2014 Bar and Restaurant Guide is serving up a more complex bill of fare. Bon appetit.