Mortimer's - Louisiana Fried Chicken - Liquid - Deli Days 

What's In and Out in the Restaurant World

It's been more than a month since I've had to gin up food news, and a busy couple of weeks it's been in the world of food.

Everyone is talking about the impending closure of Mortimer's, which is dishing up the last of its fare this weekend after an eight-year stint in the Belgravia Building. Chef Jon Mortimer is jumping ship on his eponymous, upscale downtown eatery to focus on Franco Latino, his suburban riverside bistro. While the closing of a restaurant of Mortimer's caliber is grievous for downtown Boise, it's not an unexpected loss for those of us who pay close attention to such things. In fact, I'd be willing to wager good money that Mortimer's and The MilkyWay are just the start of a slew of restaurant closures throughout Boise in the coming months.

Off the "foodie" path, whisperings in the commercial real estate world indicate that a couple of chains will be cutting their Treasure Valley losses by shutting down Boise locations. My father was recently very disappointed to discover his favorite cheap steak-dinner joint, Lone Star Steakhouse, closed its Franklin Boulevard location in February. Louisiana Fried Chicken on Broadway Avenue, home to some of the tastiest fried chicken I've had since my days down South, closed up shop this month, too. Guess I'll be looking for a new place to get football-sized chicken strips.

In drinking news: The former Funny Bone Comedy Club space in BoDo is a pretty decent looking mess at the moment, but word is that Liquid, the new lounge and live band haven on the make, will be open by July. And finally, St. Chapelle Winery has changed hands as part of a $209 million multi-winery deal brokered between Constellation Brands and the newly formed Ascentia Wine Estates.

The Days of Deli Return to Boise

This time of year, Food News nearly writes itself with one food festival after another. It's a good time to skimp on the grocery shopping, hop on your bike and spend a weekend day stuffing yourself full of goodies that you may only get once a year.

So far this year, we've gone Greek and Russian. Next up is Deli Days—the all-kosher food festival that delivers (literally and figuratively). Get your corned beef, pastrami or turkey sandwiches, a Polish or good old-fashioned hot dog, or a bagel with lox and cream cheese. Sides and desserts—like knish and rugelach—will also be for sale. You can have your food delivered if you're slaving away at work, or if you have plenty of time for hanging out, head over to the Ahavath Beth Israel Synagogue and Education Center. The Moody Jews will play a couple of sets, as will violinist Lior Kaminetsky and The Bremmers.

Thursday, June 19, 11 a.m.-9 p.m. and Friday, June 20, 11 am.-8 p.m. Ahavath Beth Israel, 11 N. Latah St., 208-343-6601. Fax orders to 208-343-1602. Phone and fax orders will be taken Wednesday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. For more information, visit ahavathbethisrael.org.

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