The Sturiale Place Hires New Chef, Reopens in Boise's North End 

click to enlarge Lamb bolognese with house-made paparedelle noodles (right) and delicata squash salad with mixed greens and herbed cream cheese (top) will both feature on The Sturiale Place's menu.

Gina Sturiale/The Sturiale Place

Lamb bolognese with house-made paparedelle noodles (right) and delicata squash salad with mixed greens and herbed cream cheese (top) will both feature on The Sturiale Place's menu.

Rita Sturiale, owner of The Sturiale Place, has made good on her promise to hire a new chef and re-open her small Italian cafe on Jefferson Street: Chef Shawn Redfield of Portland, Oregon, joined the team last month, and the family owned spot will welcome patrons back for lunch service starting Thursday, May 24.

click to enlarge The Sturiale Place is located on 15th and Jefferson streets in downtown Boise. - LEX NELSON
  • Lex Nelson
  • The Sturiale Place is located on 15th and Jefferson streets in downtown Boise.
Before moving to Boise roughly five weeks ago, Redfield was the executive chef of McMenamins Hotel Oregon in McMinnville, which boasts three bars and a 20th-century pub serving seasonal cuisine. Redfield said that less than two months ago, he and his wife had decided to move somewhere else in the Pacific Northwest but were still debating the city.

"We took a vacation about seven weeks ago, and in like a two-day span we absolutely fell in love with [Boise] and bought a house," Redfield said. "That was actually the same weekend that [Rita and I] met, and everything kind of fell into place."

Redfield has worked at Italian eateries in the past and is accustomed to dealing with small kitchen spaces, which made him a perfect fit for the newly renovated cafe squeezed into the historic Zimmer House. Some of his recipes—including lamb bolognese on house-made pappardelle noodles—will join the menu along with favorites from Rita and her daughter Gina Sturiale, who manages the restaurant.

click to enlarge Beet salad with shaved fennel and arugula was on offer at The Sturiale Place's soft opening. - GINA STURIALE/THE STURIALE PLACE
  • Gina Sturiale/The Sturiale Place
  • Beet salad with shaved fennel and arugula was on offer at The Sturiale Place's soft opening.
"As we're moving forward, we definitely want to make sure our flavors are right, so we're going to continue to practice as we grow and develop here, and continue to add more to our menu," Redfield said.

Redfield is doing almost all of the work in the kitchen himself, and called the cafe "a one-and-a-half-man operation," referring to the part-time pastry chef who is the cafe's only other back-of-house employee. On May 21 and 22, Redfield faced his first test when The Sturiale Place offered discounted tastes from its menu to friends and family at a soft opening. Guests were asked to rate the dishes they chose, and earned free biscotti for their feedback.

"The response was overwhelmingly positive," Gina said. "There were a few tweaks here and there that we're still kind of working on, but all said and done I think it was a very successful soft reopening."

Going forward, The Sturiale Place will be open 11 a.m.-2 p.m. on Thursdays and Friday for lunch, and plans are in the works to add dinner service in the next few weeks. 
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