We have been to several 5-Star restaurants in Boise – Richard’s, Chandler’s, Cottonwood Grill, Andrae’s (when it was open) and Bern’s Steak House in Tampa, FL – and the dinner that Chef and Winemaker Storm Hodge and Sous Chef Megan Hartman prepared for us, and 50+ others, last night at the winery, gives any of these restaurants a very serious challenge. This dinner was every bit a 5-Star dinner. It was amazingly delicious. Kudo’s to the Chefs, their kitchen staff and the wait staff! I sincerely urge any of you who are in the area, to visit the Bistro on a Friday, Saturday or Sunday Brunch and have superb meal. (Here is more info at Parma Ridge Winery – Snake River AVA Happenings) Look at what they prepared and we enjoyed! (Left-Click any of the photos to see them enlarged.)
The Bobby Burns Supper Night is coming up on the anniversary of his birthday on January 25. He was born on January 25, 1759. The supper night is celebration of his poetry and songs.
“Robert Burns was born on 25 January 1759 in the village of Alloway, two miles south of Ayr. His parents, Willian Burnes[s] and Agnes Broun, were tenant farmers but they ensured their son received a relatively good education and he began to read avidly. The works of Alexander Pope, Henry Mackenzie and Laurence Sterne fired Burns’s poetic impulse and relationships with the opposite sex provided his inspiration. Handsome Nell, for Nellie Kilpatrick, was his first song. [robertburns.org]”
According to Wikipedia,
Robert Burns (25 January 1759 – 21 July 1796), also known as Rabbie Burns, the Bard of Ayrshire, Ploughman Poet and various other names and epithets, was a Scottish poet and lyricist. He is widely regarded as the national poet of Scotland and is celebrated worldwide. He is the best known of the poets who have written in the Scots language, although much of his writing is also in English and a light Scots dialect, accessible to an audience beyond Scotland. He also wrote in standard English, and in these writings his political or civil commentary is often at its bluntest.[robertburns.org]
He died July 25, 1796 at the age of 37. So why is he so famous?
“The Ploughman poet. Poems Chiefly in the Scottish Dialect – The Kilmarnock Edition. The main reason Burns is so popular today is because of the themes and language of everyday life that he used. His poems were humorous and he used small subjects to express big ideas. [robertburns.org]
So, you say, what prose or poetry did he write that I might know? Try Auld Lang Syne But the poetry that I like best is,
O my Luve’s like a red, red rose,
That’s newly sprung in June:
O my Luve’s like the melodie,
That’s sweetly play’d in tune.
As fair art thou, my bonie lass,
So deep in luve am I;
And I will luve thee still, my dear,
Till a’ the seas gang dry.
Till a’ the seas gang dry, my dear,
And the rocks melt wi’ the sun;
And I will luve thee still, my dear,
While the sands o’ life shall run.
And fare-thee-weel, my only Luve!
And fare-thee-weel, a while!
And I will come again, my Luve,
Tho’ ’twere ten thousand mile!”
You can find a list and links to his works at Robert Burns Works.
OK. But what about the party? The dinner or supper?
“The annual celebratory tribute to the life, works and spirit of the great Scottish poet, Robert Burns (1759-1796). Celebrated on, or about, the Bard’s birthday, January 25th, Burns Suppers range from stentoriously formal gatherings of esthetes and scholars to uproariously informal rave-ups of drunkards and louts. Most Burns Suppers fall in the middle of this range, and adhere, more or less, to some sort of time honoured form which includes the eating of a traditional Scottish meal, the drinking of Scotch whisky, and the recitation of works by, about, and in the spirit of the Bard.
Every Burns Supper has its own special form and flavour, though there are probably more similarities than differences among these gastro-literary affairs. Individual tastes and talents will determine the character of your Burns Supper. Some celebrants may contribute the composition of original songs or poems; some may excel at giving toasts or reciting verse; while others may be captivating storytellers. A particular group of celebrants will, over time, develop a unique group character which will distinguish their Burns Supper celebration from every other.” [robertburns.org]
Let’s start here –
There’s nane that’s blest of human kind,
But the cheerful and the gay, man,
Fal, la, la, &c.
Here’s a bottle and an honest friend!
What wad ye wish for mair, man?
Wha kens, before his life may end,
What his share may be o’ care, man?
Then catch the moments as they fly,
And use them as ye ought, man:
Believe me, happiness is shy,
And comes not aye when sought, man.
from Burns Night: My Supper With Rabbie
Is there that o’re his French ragout,
Or olio that wad staw a sow,
Or fricassee wad mak her spew
Wi’ perfect sconner,
Looks down wi’ sneering, scronful’ view
On sic a dinner? [robertburns.org]
Here is one recipe for the traditional supper.
2 c. flour
1 tsp. salt
1/3 c. butter
1/3 c. shortening
5-6 T. ice water
1 and 1/2 lean steak (flank or round)
4 tsp. butter (or suet)
1 onion- finely diced
1 carrot- finely diced
salt and pepper
1. Sauté vegetables in the butter until soft
2. Slice meat into very long thin slices, on the diagonal. Cut into pieces 1 inch long. Mix with sautéed veggies. Salt and pepper to taste.
3. Roll out pastry and cut into 4″-5″ circles. Arrange meat on top, brush edges with egg wash, fold over and crimp together. Slit a hole in each pie. Egg wash tops if desired. Bake 30 minutes at 400 degrees. Makes 10-12 small pies.
For the rest of the Bobby Burns Supper Menu, including Cullen Skink (haddock), Bridies (recipe above), The (Bagless) Haggis and Neeps and Tatties (turnips and potatoes), follow this like – Burns Supper Recipes [robertburns.org].
Bella Aquila Restaurante in Eagle, ID sponsored the 3 Horse Ranch Vineyards wine dinner. A full 6 course dinner was served with as many 3 Horse Vineyards wines. The participation was superb and the crowd enjoyed themselves. It was good to see the Cunninghams again – it has been a while. They are the owners of the winery. Also they have added Brandon St-Martin to their staff as the winery manager. Just look at this menu. (You can Left-Click any of these photos to see them enlarged.)
Love to make this and it really is so easy. 5 Hour Roasted Duck and add to that some Roasted Root Vegetables and 5 Hour Roasted Duck Sauce, also really good with ham, and you will have a superb and wonderful dinner. A good 2013 Indian Creek Petit Verdot goes extremely well with it.
Several people have asked how to make the duck. Basically – season with Celtic sea salt and fresh ground Tellicherry Black Pepper, stuff with sweet apple and pear, prick the skin all over and cook in a 300°F oven and turn every hour for 5 hours. Last hour raise temperature to 350°F. Do not cover throughout the cooking process.
So much fun to make some of these. And not difficult at all. The Creamy Turkey Tetrazzini may be the most difficult, although you probably have most of the ingredients left-over from Thanksgiving in the refrigerator, except maybe for the mushrooms. If you don’t have Cream Sherry, use a good white wine that is slightly sweet, yet bold.
Yes, congratulations to Skip and Melinda Smyser for 35 years of marital bliss! A great party at their restaurant in Boise, Capitol Cellars – a 5-Star establishment! (There is a permanent link to their restaurant in the sidebar.) Great party with some 30 year old wines that have aged well, just like the marriage. An interesting point – Skip Smyser was an Idaho State Senator for several years and many of the dishes served are of political slant. Check their menu on the site for some names. “Featuring Prime Rib six nights a week, our dinner menu is all about Idaho cuisine. You’ll be sure to find that almost every product is sourced locally.”
Second time we have been here, not counting take-out, and we are still very happy with the food, the Sushi Chefs and the Waite Staff. Definitely 5-Stars for Boise. Superb.They are located at 7107 W State Street (at Glenwood). (208) 853-4993. Look for their webpage at Sakana Sushi Boise. They also have an Extensive Menu, which might be wise to look at before going, to see what they have to offer. Thanks Marnie for joining us!
From their website, “In far Eastern countries, such as China, Japan and Korea, fish have always been used to symbolize for harmony, wealth and the freedom to live as one wishes.
Over here, it is known that healthy eating and the art of the oriental cuisine have been extended to the fullest. Our restaurant, Sakana, is using the finest raw material, as well as an exquisite way of cooking. Please experience the essence of a mysterious world of oriental food while you are enjoying your time here at Sakana. It will bring you a great amount of surprise and happiness.” Here is what we had. Enjoy!
Visit The Melting Pot in Boise for a fun dinner or Happy Hour. Good food with a fun presentation. And yes, the kids are welcome! 4-Star restaurant in Boise. And here is a link to their extensive Fondue Menu. Check it out! More importantly, I think, is “just what is a fondue?”
According to the Cambridge dictionary, “a hot dish prepared by keeping a container of either hot oil or melted cheese over a flame at the table and putting pieces of meat in the oil to be cooked or pieces of bread into the cheese.”
And from Justhungry.com, “In Switzerland, ‘la fondue’ means a cheese fondue and nothing else. Other types of dip-bits-of-food-in-a-communal-pot dishes are specifically called fondue-something, e.g. fondue bourgignonne (bits of beef filet fried in a pot of oil), fondue chinoise (thin slices of beef or other things cooked in a pot of broth), and so on.”
The cheese fondue at The Melting Pot consists of, “CLASSIC ALPINE – rich, sweet-yet-earthy
Featured Cheeses: Gruyère, Raclette, Fontina. Melted with: White wine, garlic, fresh nutmeg. Gluten Free $8.95” Delcicous. Here is what we had to complete this 4-Star evening. Enjoy!
We’ve not been out to Parma Ridge Winery and Restaurant for their Friday Happy Hour until last night. Glad we went. They are very busy, so if you have a crowd of more than four, it’s best to call ahead. The patio is open and a large part of it is covered.The menu may also be somewhat different than the Saturday or Sunday Brunch menus. Check the link above for the available menus or look at This Weekend at Parma Ridge to see the menu varieties for at least one of the weekends. Whenever you go, and I highly suggest this 5-Star winery and restaurant, you will be treated to some awesome wines and definitely some awesome food as prepared by Chef Storm and Sous Chef Megan. The Staff in the restaurant has grown! They have added Sous Chef Megan and service Staff. Our server Tammy was excellent. Thank-You! Here is some of the Happy Hour food that was at our table. We did not eat all of this as Fred and Dottie Christensen joined us. Good to see friends there. Enjoy! We did.
We did have wine. A wonderful blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot that paired wonderfully with asparagus. (Robin tried the newest rage of vanilla ice cream in red wine. She tried it with this blend. Wasn’t bad! If you like Guinness and Ice Cream you will probably like this.) And then we had some –
2015 Chardonnay, $16.50
Fargo Farms – Snake River Valley
Everything you would expect from the terroir of the area, this dry Chardonnay is made with Chardonnay grapes from Fargo Farms and a touch of Gewürztraminer from Parma Ridge Vineyards. This wine has been created to preserve the intense flavors and aromas without any manipulation. Hints of grapefruit and rosemary compliment the tart finish to be enjoyed any time of the year.
2015 Dry Riesling, $16.50
Fargo Farms – Snake River Valley
Made with 100% Riesling, this dry wine features melon with citrus notes and touches of honey crisp apple. This smooth wine is a perfect complement creamy pasta and sharp cheeses. This also pared very well with asparagus. Hard to find a wine that pares well with asparagus or artichoke and maybe avocado.
Such a great evening at the winery and restaurant. Definitely 5-Stars!!!
And such a great party it was! 80 people plus attended and we felt quite honored to be included. Robin did help start the winery back in the early to mid 1970’s. From their web page, “On a fall day in 1976, as ravens taunted from tree branches above, Joel Peterson worked doggedly to bring in four tons of grapes before a looming thunderstorm hit. The fruit he crushed that night was used for one of two single-vineyard Sonoma County Zins – the first wines to bear Ravenswood’s signature ring of ravens. The fledgling winery got off to a great start when those wines came in #1 and #2 at a prestigious San Francisco tasting in 1979. With the critical thumbs-up, Joel was able to gather a few wine-loving investors to help get his winery off the ground. He still didn’t have enough money to buy property, so he looked around for more grapes.” Ravenswood Winery, web page.
But before we get there, we had to travel. Here are some of the places we stopped. Donner Summit is the high pass before we hit the Sacramento Valley.
And the night before the super Ravenswood birthday, we must eat dinner. Here’s what we had at the Sonoma Grille. Super patio eating, if you wish. Awesome meal!!
And now to Ravenswood Winery. Happy 40th Birthday!!
breakfast the next morning before departing at the Sunflower Caffe in Sonoma.
And now ………….. Back to Boise!!