Salt Tears, Italian Meats and Real Tears 

Au revoir Chef Roland.

Joyce Alexander/BW Archives

Au revoir Chef Roland.

We begin this week with some unfortunate news: Chef Roland Joseph, owner of Chef Roland's Cajun Cuisine, suffered a fatal heart attack on the evening of Jan. 18. The eclectic Cajun chef was known for his generous spirit--hosting free Thanksgiving and Christmas meals for the less-fortunate--and his boisterous personality. Family and friends gathered to celebrate Chef Roland's life at his restaurant on Jan. 22.

Salt Tears Coffeehouse and Noshery, the new venture from former Tapas Estrella and MilkyWay owners Andrea and Mitchell Maricich, officially opened last week. Nearly three years after closing MilkyWay, the Maricichs have returned with their new venture. The cafe is inside the airy Green Chutes co-op and focuses on light breakfasts, soups, sandwiches and evening small plates with occasional specials. Check out Guy Hand's photos of Salt Tears on Cobweb here.

A bit further down State Street, there's another new, easy-to-miss gem. Don't let the red, white and green sign fool you, the tiny restaurant perched on the edge of the Big Lots parking lot at State and Glenwood streets isn't another Papa Murphy's. It's a similarly named, but family owned, Italian deli called Uncle Giuseppe's.

Opened in late November 2010, Uncle Giuseppe's sells imported meats, cheeses and Boar's Head products. It's owned by former Long Island retiree Jimmy Beltucci.

"We owned, in New York, something similar to the Boise Co-op where we manufactured all our own raviolis and fresh pastas, and we also had a deli," explained Beltucci.

If you were to judge the shop by Beltucci's thick New York accent alone, you'd get a good sense for what they carry--salami, prosciutto, pastrami, mortadella sopressata. Sandwiches are topped with provolone or Beltucci's wife's homemade mozzarella and piled high on Italian bread. The Beltuccis moved to Idaho when their daughter decided to go to Boise State, and they hope to eventually pass the business to their son. For more info, call 208-853-5048.

If soups are more your style, Lisa Peterson's gourmet home delivery business A'Tavola has partnered with Tully's to serve specialty homemade soups.

"We just did a salmon chowder. Tomato orange is very popular. We do a carrot fennel, roasted cauliflower, a field-and-forest mushroom," said Peterson.

The soups are available at the Tully's in BODO and at Capitol Boulevard and Idaho Street. For more information, visit

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