The Wood River Valley is packed with dining options for all tastes, but a growing number of eateries are putting the focus on sustainable and seasonal menus--so many so that it''s hard to choose. Here are some of our best bets for dining in the Sun Valley area.
460 N. Washington Ave., Ketchum, 208-726-8481, eat-at-rickshaw.com
In unskilled hands, bok choy can be a shruggable, watery green. But Ketchum's Asian street-food hot spot, Rickshaw, does something magical to those little limp, leafy bulbs, bathing them in sesame oil and pairing them with tender shiitake slivers and deep, warming hints of garlic and ginger. It's the same thoughtful treatment the rest of Rickshaw's fare gets in the itty bitty restaurant's open, sizzling kitchen. From spicy, hot and sour soup flecked with Monterey Bay Aquarium-approved seafood to free-range Korean fried chicken to the least boring pad Thai in Idaho--with wild U.S. shrimp, organic tofu, lots of heat and a big hit of lime--Rickshaw serves up simple, sustainable eats and keeps its seats perpetually packed.
260 N. Main St., Ketchum, 208-721-7351, dellamanorestaurant.com
Though locals know Chef Taite Pearson from his turn at Sun Valley's shuttered Sego, the James Beard-nominated chef sharpened his knives working for bigwigs like Wolfgang Puck and Joel Robuchon. But don't let his resume intimidate you, Pearson and Sarah Lipton's latest communal seating concept, Della Mano, is a shrine to simple small plates and comforting handmade pastas. Local, seasonal ingredients make a big showing on the ever-changing menu--the chicken liver terrine is served with pickled rhubarb and saba, a syrup made from grape must, while the agnolotti pasta is filled with fresh peas, local ricotta and topped with delicate, yellow pea shoots. But beware: The joint is only open from 6-9 p.m.-ish, Wednesday-Sunday.
220 East Ave., Ketchum, 208-928-7703, dashisunvalley.com
Dashi's beef short ribs are a warming winter miracle. Tender shreds of fatty Niman Ranch beef are slid off the bone, formed into hunks, lightly fried in a panko batter and served on a bed of kimchi that has been reduced into a hearty, lightly pungent stew. Chef Tyler Stokes' contemporary-yet-casual tribute to pan Asian flavors also offers less weighty menu options like hamachi sashimi with blood orange sorbet, Thai chili and coconut gel, and seasonal summer plates like roasted halibut with sweet corn nage, snap peas, lemongrass and a basil crust.
300 N. Main St., Ketchum, 208-928-6280, ketchum-enoteca.com
If you're looking for a bite of local fare in the late afternoon in Ketchum, you're largely out of luck. But thankfully, Ketchum Grill's new wine bar, Enoteca, opens its doors at 4 p.m., serving seasonal small plates, house-cured meats and bubbly, Neapolitan-style pizza. Snag a seat in the warm wooden window nook overlooking Main Street and tear into the Pizza Diavola with spicy coppa, fennel and manchego, or the marsala-glazed duck confit with risotto.
CK's Real Food:
320 S. Main St., Hailey, 208-788-1223, cksrealfood.com
It's easy to motor past CK's Real Food, a flower- and foliage-shaded shack on Hailey's Main Street, but the temple to local, seasonal eats is well worth making a U-turn. Dinner options at CK's include orecchiette with quattro formaggi, lacinato kale, CK's pancetta, wild mushrooms and a poached local egg, or a king crab salad with shaved fennel, delicata squash, almonds, curry vinaigrette and buttermilk dressing. CK's also offers more laid-back lunch options Monday-Friday, like a reuben sandwich with housemade corned beef and organic sourdough or a brown rice bowl with steamed veggies, pistachio aioli and a Moroccan spice pesto.