Treasure Valley Food and Wine Blog

Food, Craft Beer, Nano Breweries, Wine, Idaho Wineries, Winery Bistros, Restaurants and Events, Boise Foodies in the Treasure Valley Idaho. Come see what we are up to and the variety of our eating and wine and craft beer experiences. Look where we and our friends like to eat and have a great glass of wine or craft beer. And if you are in Boise, let us know. We'll meet you for a bite to eat and/or a glass of craft beer or wine. What is your favorite cuisine? I bet we can find you a restaurant to satisfy your epicurian urge. Cheers!


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Brunch at Parma Ridge Winery


Thank you so much Artist Stephanie and Chef Storm Hodge for another delightful brunch! These brunches are superb! 5-Star! (Bistro Weekend Menusubject to change – or Parma Ridge Winery and Bistro) And many thanks to Garry and Donna for meeting us at the bistro for lunch, despite the highway detours! Here is what we had along with our 2016 Parma Ridge Winery Tre Bianchi and a 2015 Parma Ridge Winery Carmenere. Cheers! Left-Click any of these photos to see them enlarged.

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Coconut Breaded Deep-Fried Shrimp
over
Coconut Lime Rice
with
Korean Barbeque and Sweet Chili Dipping Sauces
They were that good! Started out with 6 shrimp.

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Korean Barbeque Chicken Skewers
with
Coconut Lime Rice and a Korean Barbeque Sauce

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Parma Ridge Pear Salad
with
Mixed greens with apple cider vinaigrette, Bleu Cheese and Poached Pear with Grilled Bread

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Grilled Flat-Bread
with
Italian Sausage, Pepperoni and Mushroom with Homemade Red Sauce

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Parma Ridge Cream of Mushroom Soup

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Brunch Burger – Quarter-Pound Black Angus Burger
with
Melted Double Cream Brie, Apple-wood Smoked Bacon, and Sunny-side up Egg
with
Lemon-Tarragon Aioli and Rosemary Garlic Truffle Fries

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Best Ever Biscuits and Gravy
Sausage Gravy

over
Fresh Bacon Cheddar Biscuit topped with a Sunny Side Up Egg


And to follow-up from the Parma Ridge Winery web page,

Savor the Flavor
Offering both an in-house menu in the Tasting Room and custom menus for your scheduled event, Storm is looking forward to making your day special. From appetizers to full course meals, Parma Ridge offers both the taste and the view. Come by during tasting room hours to enjoy one of his delicious menu items, or contact us today to plan your special event!

I did mention to Stephanie that Robin and I have probably had close to all of the items offered on the menu. We have never had a bad selection, but there are some we prefer! The Parma Ridge Bistro is definitely a 5-Star winery bistro in the Snake River AVA.

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Love this photo by Stephanie Hodge! So dramatic! I understand that it may be a label sometime in the future.

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Capitol Cellars Hosts Parma Ridge Winery


The entrance at 5th and Main in the Belgrade Building.Such a great Wine Dinner hosted by Capitol Cellars in Boise. The featured wines were from Parma Ridge Winery. And if I may so bold as to say, if you need something to do on a Friday, Saturday or Sunday, give the Parma Ridge Winery Restaurant a try. Chef Storm Hodges does an awesome job in the kitchen while Stephanie serves some great wines.
The wine dinner served consisted 1 appetizer and 3 entrees and Parma Ridge wines that were perfectly matched. The 2014 Merlot that was served with the Pork Ballontine is in short supply – they have mostly sold out. A wonderful Idaho Merlot and we were lucky enough to get 2 bottles! Yea! Here is how the dinner went. Delicious!

Stephanie and Chef Storm Hodges. Ownrs/Winemakers of Parma Ridge Winery.

Stephanie and Chef Storm Hodges. Owners/Winemakers of Parma Ridge Winery.

The Menu

The Menu

I did not get a photo of the appetizer, Amuse Bouche, an apricot-prosecco sorbet served with a 2015 Parma Ridge Winery Chardonnay. This was a super good chardonnay.

Bacon Wrapped Pork Ballontine goat cheese polenta cherry reduction sauce micro red cabbage sprouts 2014 Parma Ridge Winery Merlot

Bacon Wrapped Pork Ballontine
goat cheese polenta, cherry reduction sauce, micro red cabbage sprouts

2014 Parma Ridge Winery Merlot
such a perfect paring between the wine and the entree


Moroccan Chicken garbanzo beans, tomato, zucchini served over jasmine rice, cumin yogurt, cilantro 2014 Parma Ridge Winery Syrah another super good wine/food paring. wine went extremely well with the spiciness of the entrée

Moroccan Chicken
garbanzo beans, tomato, zucchini served over jasmine rice, cumin yogurt, cilantro

2014 Parma Ridge Winery Syrah
another super good wine/food paring. wine went extremely well with the spiciness of the entree

Italian Zabaglione fresh apricots and cherries 2015 Parma Ridge Winery LaRea Dolce Riesling you really do need to get some of this wine. superb!

Italian Zabaglione
fresh apriots and cherries

2015 Parma Ridge Winery LaRea Dolce Riesling
you really do need to get some of this wine. superb!

Exec Chef

Exec Chef Dave Shipley, “… As for the food, chef Dave Shipley, who worked with Dustan Bristol at Brick 29, was motioned to run the kitchen. He has a penchant for sourcing local and regional foodstuffs, like farmstead cheese from Ballard Family Dairy, greens from Purple Sage Farms and beef from Double R Ranch.”

Capitol Cellars did a fantastic job in preparing these entrees. Our hats are off to Exec Chef Dave Shipley. Wonderful job and it is great to see your using mostly local, Idaho products in your menu. From their website, “Our History – located in Boise’s historical Belgravia Building, Capitol Cellars opened its’ door in March 2015. Capitol Cellars takes pride in serving local cuisine for breakfast, lunch and dinner with a full coffee bar and an extensive wine list.”


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Spanish Wines at the Buzz


12April2016_1e_The-Buzz-Spain_Faustino-2008Some really good Spanish wines last night at the Buzz. One of the better ones is pictured here. The food paring with the wines was also spectacular. I think I should tell you right up front that I am not an avocado fan. But Cristi made a wonderful Avocado Soup that was served cold. “Mikey liked it!” The only criticism that I have is, it was a little salty. I asked Cristi about that and she told me that she used chicken stock in the soup. That is probably where the salt came from because she did not add any.
The 2008 Faustino Rioja pictured here was one of the better wines of the night receiving from me a score of [18] out of [20]. The onluy better one was a NV Destello Cava that was served with the Brazo Gitanoin Spain, the dessert is called brazo de gitano (literally translated as gypsy’s arm) and is commonly filled with cream or chocolate truffle – and Quesada Pasiegais a dessert typical of the region of Cantabria, Spain. It is one of Cantabria’s most recognizable dishes. It has the consistency of a dense pudding and is made from milk, sugar, butter, wheat flour, and egg, and flavored with lemon zest and cinnamon. It can be served hot or cold. A photo of this dessert is posted below. Here is the rest of the story. Enjoy!

Mushroom Croquettes and Tortillo Espanola 2010 Vivanco Crianza 13.5% alc. not bad but a little light on the bouquet. but then so were most of the other wines [18] $20.00

Mushroom Croquettes
and
Tortillo Espanola
2010 Vivanco
Crianza
13.5% alc. not bad but a little light on the bouquet. but then so were most of the other wines [18] $20.00

Valencia Salad 2014 Piquitos Moscato 11.0% alc Good fruity nose and flavor profile./ I am not a big fan of Moscato [17] $12.00

Valencia Salad
2014 Piquitos
Moscato
11.0% alc Good fruity nose and flavor profile. I am not a big fan of Moscato [17] $12.00

Avocado Soup (This was a very good cold soup) 2013 Picos Garnacha 14.0% alc. a good paring with the soup [18] $14.00

Avocado Soup
(This was a very good cold soup)
2013 Picos Garnacha
14.0% alc. a good paring with the soup [18] $14.00

Fabada and Pisto 2008 Faustino Rioja 13.5% alc. this wine was explained above [18] $24.00

Fabada and Pisto
2008 Faustino Rioja
13.5% alc. this wine was explained above. some labels numbered – the lower the number the higher the quality of the wine [18] $24.00

Fabada – Fabada asturiana, often simply known as fabada, is a rich Spanish bean stew, originally from and most commonly found in the autonomous community of Principality of Asturias, but widely available throughout the whole of Spain and in Spanish restaurants worldwide. ..Fabada is a hot and heavy dish and for that reason is most commonly eaten during winter and at the largest meal of the day, lunch. It is usually served as a starter, but may also be the main course of the meal. It is typically served with crusty bread, and with Asturian cider or a red wine.

Pisto – is the name of a Spanish dish typical from the Region of Murcia and La Mancha. It is made of tomatoes, onions, eggplant or courgettes, green and red peppers and olive oil. It is similar to ratatouille and is usually served warm to accompany a dish or with a fried egg and bread. It is also used as the filling for empanadas and empanadillas…The dish is sometimes formally named Pisto manchego, from its origin in La Mancha. Pisto a la Bilbaína, from Bilbao in the Basque Country, usually has just courgettes and green peppers in tomato sauce, sometimes lightly scrambled with eggs.

Brazo Gitano Quesada NV Destello Cava 11.4% alc. strangely, I rated it the highest of the night. Superb paring [19] $15.00

Brazo Gitano
Quesada Pasiega
NV Destello
Cava
11.4% alc. strangely, I rated it the highest of the night. Superb paring. It is discussed above. [19] $15.00


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Brunch at Parma Ridge Winery


08Nov2015_1_Parma- Ridge-Brunch_2014-Avielle-RoseYea! Parma Ridge Winery, 24509 Rudd Road, Parma, ID has re-opened! Under new owners Chef Storm and Stephanie Hodge, the venue has changed also. They are now serving a wonderful Sunday Brunch from 12 noon to 5:00pm. The space indoors is limited in the winter season to about 25 seats. The deck is open in season. Wonderful owners. Wonderful location. Wonderful food. The wine pictured is really a good Rosé of Merlot. Not too sweet and with a little spice to it. It was named after their daughter. You might want to call for reservations if you have 4 or more people. Or visit their website at Parma Ridge Wine and Spirits. From their website, “Tasting Room hours are 12-5 p.m., Friday – Sunday. Now open for Happy Hour Friday from 4-7 p.m. Join us for a glass of wine, a bite of food and take in the amazing view!” Enjoy the creations of Chef Storm and/or the artwork of Stephanie. Here is what we had and some photos of the area. Enjoy! Ranks very high for winery food – 5-Stars! It’s that good! I have also listed it on TripAdvisor.

2015-Parma-Ridge-Hodge-Logo

The sign at the entrance.

The sign at the entrance.

The tasting room and restaurant.

The tasting room and restaurant.

View from the patio at the tasting room.

View from the patio at the tasting room.

There is a variety of herbs from the garden for the kitchen.

There is a variety of herbs from the garden for the kitchen.

Artist Stephanie Hodge at the tasting counter.

Artist Stephanie Hodge at the tasting counter.

Chef Storm Hodge in his kitchen.

Chef Storm Hodge in his kitchen.

The seating area in the restaurant.

The seating area in the restaurant.

Happy Hour menu.

Happy Hour menu.

Sunday Brunch menu in addition to the Happy Hour menu.

Sunday Brunch menu in addition to the Happy Hour menu.

Cheese and Salami Platter smoked provolone, Boursin, dill Havarti, muenster, fresh mozzarella, warm brie and bleu cheese with dry salami and fresh baked bread

Cheese and Salami Platter
smoked provolone, Boursin, dill Havarti, muenster, fresh mozzarella, warm brie and bleu cheese with dry salami and fresh baked bread

Parma Ridge House Salad Mixed greens with apple cider vinaigrette, Bleu cheese and poached pear with grilled bread

Parma Ridge House Salad
mixed greens with apple cider vinaigrette, Bleu cheese and poached pear with grilled bread

Sliders and Rosemary Garlic Truffle Fries choice of Ground Beef with smoked provolone, bacon and mesquite aioli  "Triple B" Ground Beef with bacon, bleu chees and BBQ Braised Pulled Pork with black cherry BBQ sauce

Sliders and Rosemary Garlic Truffle Fries choice of
1. Ground Beef with smoked provolone, bacon and mesquite aioli
2. “Triple B” Ground Beef with bacon, bleu chees and BBQ Braised
3. Pulled Pork with black cherry BBQ sauce

Best Ever Biscuits and Gravy with a Fried Egg

Best Ever Biscuits and Gravy with a Fried Egg

Slow Braised Beef Short Ribs rosemary mashed potatoes, grilled asparagus, homemade bread

Slow Braised Beef Short Ribs
rosemary mashed potatoes, grilled asparagus, homemade bread


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Local Food at the Buzz Wine Dinner


buzz_logo_cafe_building_bestAnother good wine dinner at the Buzz in Boise. This time, Cristi pared wines from the NW, and Idaho, with Idaho farm products. Some interesting information that Cristi presented. (This is a great food, wine and educational affair every month!) 99% of the mint used in the USA comes from Idaho. 90% of the trout sold in the USA, either for private use or to restaurants, comes from Idaho. 95% of the lentils produced in the USA come from Idaho. Cristi used a new spice to me, Grains of Paradise, in the soup. Grains of what?

Aframomum melegueta is a species in the ginger family, Zingiberaceae. This spice, commonly known as grains of paradise, Melegueta pepper, alligator pepper, Guinea grains, fom wisa, or Guinea pepper, is obtained from the ground seeds; it imparts a pungent, peppery flavour with hints of citrus. Although it is native to West Africa, it is also an important cash crop in the Basketo district (Basketo special woreda) of southern Ethiopia. The Pepper Coast (or Grain Coast) is a historical coastal region named after this commodity.
Melegueta pepper is commonly used in the cuisines of West and North Africa, where it has been traditionally imported by caravan routes through the Sahara desert, and whence they were distributed to Sicily and the rest of Italy. Mentioned by Pliny as “African pepper” but subsequently forgotten in Europe, they were renamed “grains of paradise” and became a popular substitute for black pepper in Europe in the 14th and 15th centuries. The Ménagier de Paris recommends it for improving wine that “smells stale”. Through the Middle Ages and into the early modern period, the theory of the four humours governed theorizing about nourishment on the part of doctors, herbalists and druggists: in this context, John Russell characterized grains of paradise, in The Boke of Nurture as hot and moist.
The importance of the spice is shown by the designation of the area from the St. Johns River (present day Buchanan) to Harper in Liberia as the “Grain Coast” in honor of the availability of grains of paradise. Later, the craze for the spice waned, and its uses were reduced to a flavoring for sausages and beer. In the 18th century, its importation to Great Britain collapsed after a Parliamentary act of George III forbade its use in malt liquor, aqua vita, and cordials. In 1855, England imported about 15,000 to 19,000 lbs per year legally (duty paid). By 1880, the Encyclopaedia Britannica (9th edition) was reporting, “Grains of paradise are to some extent used in veterinary practice, but for the most part illegally to give a fictitious strength to malt liquors, gin, and cordials”.
Today, it is sometimes used in gourmet cuisine as a replacement for pepper, and to give unique flavors in some craft beers, gins, and Norwegian akvavit. In America, grains of paradise are starting to enjoy a slight resurgence in popularity due to their use by some well-known chefs. Alton Brown is a fan of its use, and he uses it in okra stew and his apple pie recipe on an episode of the TV cooking show Good Eats. They are also used by people on certain diets, such as a raw food diet, because they are less irritating to digestion than black pepper. [Wikipedia]

Here is what we had for dinner and the wines that went with dinner. Enjoy!

Zucchini Cakes with Smoked Trout 2013 Basel Cellars Sauvignon Blanc 14% alc. not bad, but not a favorite wine varietal for me. went really good with the zucchini cakes. [17] $21.00

Zucchini Cakes with Smoked Trout
2013 Basel Cellars Sauvignon Blanc

14% alc. not bad, but not a favorite wine varietal for me. went really good with the zucchini cakes. [17] $21.00

Lentil Soup (This is where Cristi used the Grains of Paradise) 2013 Revelry Merlot 13.6% alc. good match with the soup and the spices. I enjoyed the texture of the soup. [18] $16.00

Lentil Soup
(This is where Cristi used the Grains of Paradise)
2013 Revelry Merlot
13.6% alc. good match with the soup and the spices. I enjoyed the texture of the soup and the Grains of Paradise. [18] $16.00

Pork and Quinoa Salad 2010 Snake River GSM 13.9% alc. good match with the salad. buy a couple of bottles. [18] $19.00

Pork and Quinoa Salad
2010 Snake River GSM

13.9% alc. good match with the salad. I did like the quinoa. buy a couple of bottles. [18] $19.00

Wild West Beef and Gouda Potatoes Beets and Carrots Pinto Bean Bread 2013 Koenig Cabernet Sauvignon 15.2% alc absolutely a spectacular wine and went extremely well with this entree. [19] $20.00

Wild West Beef and Gouda Potatoes
Beets and Carrots
Pinto Bean Bread
2013 Koenig
Cabernet Sauvignon
15.2% alc absolutely a spectacular wine and went extremely well with this entrée. [19] $20.00

Apple Tart with Cinnamon Cream (I want this recipe!) 2014 Rose Tranche 12.8% alc. good wine that pared well with the apple tart. well worth buying some. [18] $18.00

Apple Tart with Cinnamon Cream
(I want this recipe!)
2014 Rose Tranche
12.8% alc. good wine that pared well with the apple tart. well worth buying some. [18] $18.00


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“Fire Up the Grill” at The Buzz


buzz_logo_cafe_building_bestIn my not so humble opinion, this was by far one of the best Wine Club Dinners at The Buzz! Everything tasted so very good and the paring with the wines was superb. The Grilled Potato Soup with Bacon Bits was awesome. And the sauce on the pulled pork brought the entire dish together and made for a great entree. The Beer Can Chicken Salad was a refreshing and cooling dish on a hot pre-Summer evening – 99 degrees here in Boise. Many thanks to Peggy, Joseph, Michelle and “The Kids” for helping out tonight. Cristi’s Choice Wines were a 2009 Cold Springs Riesling [18] $10.00 and a Cellar 616 Red Blend [16] $16.00. Both Idaho wines! Here is what we had for dinner tonight and the wines that went with the selections. You won’t see me rate a Pinot Noir higher than a Zin. But tonight, I did! Enjoy and Left-Click any of the photographs to see them enlarged. Cheers!

Smoked Salmon on Cucumber 2013 Tangent Sauvignon Blanc 13.5% alc. the salmon was good. can't say the same for this wine. the balance was off and the finish was almost non-existant. [14] $14.00

Smoked Salmon on Cucumber
2013 Tangent Sauvignon Blanc
13.5% alc. the salmon was good. can’t say the same for this wine. the balance was off and the finish was almost non-existent. [14] $14.00

Grilled Potato Soup with Bacon Bits (This soup was awesome!) 2012 Luna Merlot 13.5% alc gopod Merlot that went very well with the soup. long lasting finish. [17] $17.00

Grilled Potato Soup with Bacon Bits
(This soup was awesome!)
2012 Luna Merlot
13.5% alc good Merlot that went very well with the soup. long lasting finish. [17] $17.00

Beer Can Chicken Salad (A really great salad!) True Myth Chardonnay really a light chardonnay that pared well with the salad from the spice and cinnamon over tones. on its own, it was not big. [16] $16.00

Beer Can Chicken Salad
(
A really great salad!)
NV True Myth Chardonnay
really a light chardonnay that pared well with the salad from the spice and cinnamon over tones. on its own, it was not big. [16] $16.00

Pulled Pork and Grilled Vegetables (Peggy made a good sauce for this) 2013 Mossback Pinot Noir 13.9% alc. a well rounded pinot noir. big but not overwhelming. great paring with the sharpness of the BBQ sauce and pork. [20] $23.00

Pulled Pork and Grilled Vegetables
(Peggy made a good sauce for this)
2013 Mossback Pinot Noir
13.9% alc. a well rounded pinot noir. big but not overwhelming. great paring with the sharpness of the BBQ sauce and pork. [20] $23.00

Grilled Pound Cake with Strawberries and Pineapple 2011 Renwood BBQ Zinfandel 14.8% alc a hot Zin but surprisingly good with the dessert, even the pineapple [19] $15.00

Grilled Pound Cake with Strawberries and Pineapple
2011 Renwood BBQ Zinfandel
14.8% alc a hot Zin but surprisingly good with the dessert, even the pineapple [19] $15.00

It was great to have Garry and Donna Scholz back with us. Next month: BBQ Around the World on Tuesday, July 14 & Wednesday, July 15. 6:30pm. $20.00/person for a dinner like I have just shown you and wines specifically chosen for the dinner selections. Hope to see you there!


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Da Vinci’s Italian in Eagle, ID


05Feb2015_1a_DaVincis-Eagle_SignOverall, a good visit and meal at da Vinci’s Italian in Eagle, ID last night. Overall good flavors in the food and good wines. My only negative comment is that there seemed to be an overuse of salt. Things were salty. But the layers of flavors – after you got by the salt – were very good. Had it not been for the overuse of salt, we would have rated da Vinci’s a 4-Star restaurant. Instead, we rate this as a 3-Star (out of 5-Stars) restaurant. You can see their menu at Yelp. From their website, “All Full Size Entrees Include Our Bottomless House Salad Bowl With Da Vinci’s Homemade Italian Dressing And Freshly Baked Tuscan Bread, Or Substitute A Caesar Salad For An Additional $2.95.all Chicken And Veal Dishes Are Complemented With A Side Of Angel Hair Pasta With Aglio Olio Or Tuscan Tomato Sauce. Add Extra Chicken $2.50 Add Extra Veal $4.50” Here are some photos from the evening. Enjoy!

The "party" area.

The “party” area.

Art on the walls.

Art on the walls.

Table ambiance.

Table ambiance.

Robin had

Robin had,

Veal Piccata
Veal scaloppini sauteed with lemon, white wine, capers and garlic

Bob had -

Bob had –

Veal Marsala
Veal scaloppini sauteed with sweet marsala wine and mushrooms

The 2010 Terra Nativa Cabernet Sauvignon went very well with this veal. The wine was light enough that it did not overpower the subtlety of the veal and the marsala sauce did not interfere with the wine. Good paring.

We shared -

We shared –

Homemade Tiramisu
Coffee and rum-soaked chocolate sponge cake layered with mascarpone cream, dusted with cocoa, and garnished with chocolate pieces