The Modern Remodels Its Kitchen, Plans To Offer Brunch 

Plus Woodland Empire hosts grand opening bash

Some big changes are in the works for The Modern Hotel's tiny kitchen. For the past few years, the boutique hotel has been cranking out top-notch small plates on nothing more than a four-burner electric stove, two induction burners and a panini press. But sometime at the end of February or the beginning of March, The Modern's kitchen will shut down for two weeks for a remodel.

"So mainly it's putting in a full hood with a 10-fire gas range, a couple ovens. Pretty much upgrading the kitchen from more of like a sandwich deli kitchen to a full restaurant kitchen," said Remi Courcenet, Modern food and beverage manager. "Inside the kitchen, nothing's going to change. We're not taking away more rooms to make a bigger kitchen or anything. It's just upgrading it to more of a commercial standard."

Since the cocktail lounge will remain open during the remodel, Courcenet is searching for other ways to sate hungry patrons.

"We still would like to be able to have some food options for our guests, so we're trying to get some food trucks together to be there at night during that time period," said Courcenet.

The Modern's revamped kitchen should be up and running by mid-March. And that new set-up will pave the way for an even bigger change--The Modern will start serving brunch Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays.

"The brunch menu is keeping the same vision of food that we have at night, where we're kind of a bar that offers an interesting food selection," said Courcenet. "The brunch is going to be in that same range of ideas; trying to serve something different than the regular eggs benedict. ... It won't look like the traditional brunch menu that you can find everywhere else. We're trying to set ourselves apart."

Chef Alex Cardoza, formerly of the Boise Co-op deli, (full disclosure: He's my boyfriend) will take the reins of the brunch program. Possible dishes include steelhead lox with potato cakes and creme fraiche, scones with fresh berries, and graham cracker pancakes with lemon curd. Courcenet hopes to have brunch in full swing "somewhere around May"--just in time for prime patio weather.

Speaking of remodels, Woodland Empire Ale Craft is currently repairing the damage caused to its roof after a fire broke out Feb. 3. But a little ash isn't stopping the brewery from hosting a grand opening bash Saturday, Feb. 22, from noon-11 p.m. The celebration will feature live music by The Pint Scoundrels and DJ Winkle. Neckar Coffee will be on hand in the morning serving pour-over coffee, and Archie's Place and Boise Fry Co. will be parked on-site serving food. The previous day, Friday, Feb. 21, Boise Mayor Dave Bieter will drop by the brewery for a ribbon-cutting ceremony at 2 p.m.

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