Avid Best of Boise voters will remember the icky oversight that was Best Local Italian Food last year. In an effort to streamline our voting process for you, the voters, as well as we the counters of those votes, we super-automated the system with fancy software and, in doing so, Best Italian dropped out. It was a situation that went unnoticed until the day Best of Boise went to press, which was, obviously, many days after voting locked up tight. But this year, we remembered. And it's entirely appropriate that Gino's Italian Restaurant, in its new location with its new bar--which is rumored to be quite the happening spot--takes top honors. We downtowners, who were so spoiled by having Gino's so close for so long, have been in mourning for the slow-simmered, butter-knife soft boar shank, but we understand. We shed a tear over the distance that now separates us from the delicate beef carpaccio. But then we remember that we've pledged time and again to travel to the moon and back for the red pepper flake, garlic-laden bread-dipping olive oil sauce and, suddenly, Meridian doesn't seem so far at all.
Second Place: Asiago's Ristorante
Third Place: Louie's Pizza and Italian Restaurant