Wednesday, April 16, 2008

The MilkyWay to Close This Weekend

Posted By on Wed, Apr 16, 2008 at 4:00 AM

It's sad, but true. Boise will lose one its best-loved restaurants this weekend.

Saturday is your last chance to get a Ten Minute Martini and a plate of Jalapeno Shrimp Bites.

Refresh frequently, we're updating as we go.

The restaurant, which opened in 2001, was a regular in our Best of Boise lists for dining options.

In an interview with BW today, Andrea Maricich, a co-owner of the restaurant with her husband Mitchell, A.K.A. "Milky," said the restaurant was struggling in today's economic climate.

"It's the combination of a bad economy and the rising price of food," Maricich said.

The two were also the lead chefs for the popular restaurant.

click to enlarge Andrea and Mitchell Maricich - BW FILES
  • BW Files
  • Andrea and Mitchell Maricich

"Our expenses are higher but we can't raise the prices to compensate for it," Maricich said. "The market is worse and there's more competition from chain restaurants."

Despite the sad outcome, Maricich seemed to be taking it in stride.

"It's the life of a restaurant," she said. "People don't know how much it costs to run a restaurant. It's enormous and the debt gets really huge really fast."

In 2006, BW wrote about them winning the Readers' Choice for "Best Dinner:"

Dinner at MilkyWay is more than just bellying up to the trough. The scenario goes something like this. Belly up and shake off the day by nicely asking martini superhero Pat Carden to mix you one of his infamous award-winning martinis.

If you don't mind shrugging off the stares of those who always gawk at the lucky couple, request to be seated at the round blue booth that looks like it's been airlifted from the cartoon set of The Jetsons. Our meal suggestion: For starters, order the jalapeno shrimp bites (sweet little morsels that deliver a swift kick to your nasal passage) and duck two ways (which, true to the menu's claim, you can't live without). Salad schmalad. For the main attractions, vegetarians all over town swear by the three-cheese mac. For omnivores, braised beef cheeks are a popular comfort food of choice, as is veal scaloppine.

And then, the denouement. Choose as many desserts as you think you still have room for, but without doubt, a slice of Milky's chocolate-infused bread pudding should make a quivering appearance at your table before meeting a violent end in a hail of fork tines.

Maricich said the restaurant tried to make it work, right down to the end.

"Maybe someone will rescue us in the 11th hour, we have a lot of fans," she said. "But our sales have been down 25 percent for 10 months. We've adjusted, we've cut staff, cut costs everywhere we could. Had we done that nine months ago, maybe we'd have been fine. You just keep thinking it's going to pick up next week, it's going to pick up. But with the debt we've accumulated, we just can't do it."

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