Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Bonefish Grill

855 W Broad Street

Time: 3-6 and 9-Close daily
Special: $6 featured martinis, $5 premium wines, ½ off wells, ½ off premium liquor, $4 draft beers & house wines. And ½ off select appetizers.
Rating: 4.5 martinis
Smoking: no
Other mentions: They offer an anytime menu with several $5 options including sangria and Svedka Martinis.

My friends and I first came upon Bonefish during the Martini Mix-Off in May and it quickly became one of our favorite stops, especially on the weekends. It is located in a great part of town at the 8th Street Marketplace. The happy hour deals are fantastic and every time we have Shannon for a bartender, the service is stellar. Unfortunately on this visit Shannon had gone home for the day but we still had a great time.

There were several of us on this visit and most of us ordered food so we were able to sample a variety. I personally love the Bang Bang Shrimp. But the mussels were tasty as well and there were plenty to go around. I heard no complaints whatsoever from our group and the food went down quick.

Drinks were plentiful on this visit. A few of my friends continue to return to Bonefish specifically because of one of the martinis they entered into the mix-off: The Bandit. It is a lovely concoction of American Honey Bourbon and Butterscotch Liqueur with a honeyed rim. This particular evening my friends only got one because they ran out of this fine liquor. Note to Bonefish: stock up! Besides this one glitch in our plans, everything else was fantastic. We will continue to return, especially if the American Honey is there!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

The Lobby

760 W Main Street

Time: 4-6 M-F
Special: $2 wells, drafts, and house wines
Rating: 4.5 martinis
Smoking: no
Other mentions: Martini Wednesdays 4-7 house martinis $6; $1 PBR pints on Wednesdays; Specials during all Bronco and Vandal games and during Monday Night Football; bike racks

Due to my crazy travel schedule as of late, I was long overdue to try out The Lobby. Taking over the space formerly occupied by Lush, it is in prime downtown real estate- on Main between 8th and Capitol. They have done a great job with the remodel brightening things up while still providing a cozy feeling. They also promote local artists with their works on display, I believe on a rotating basis.

On this brisk evening, I sidled up to the bar and thought it appropriate to order a Widmer Brrr (it didn’t disappoint!). They do offer a fine selection of beers on tap that will fit anyone’s liking. There are a few wine options as well and of course a full bar. Everyone seemed very friendly, staff and patrons alike. I felt right at home here.

They have a few TVs around for folks to watch whatever game happens to be on but they didn’t distract from the bar experience at all. They blended in well with the tastefully decorated lounge.

I was lucky enough to have Adam, one of the proprietors, as my bartender on this visit. He told me they are working on permits for outdoor seating and an outdoor grill so they can serve food. Both will be great additions to this fine establishment. This is definitely a place to which I plan to return again and again. Once they get the food going, it will be moved up to a 5 martini rating!

Thursday, December 3, 2009


1520 N 13th Street

Time: 3-7 and 9-1 daily
Special: $6 martinis; $1 off other drinks; 2 for 1 appetizers.
Rating: 3 martinis
Smoking: outside
Other mentions: outside seating, bike racks, full menu, full bar

Bungalow sits in a prime location in the center of Hyde Park in the North end of Boise. Surprisingly, the building has been home to several bars and restaurants in my 15 years of Boise. I’m not even sure I ever had a chance to patron its last resident. Hopefully Bungalow can withstand the necessary turbulence of this economy and hold ground longer.

My friends and I only visited the lounge during this visit so I can not attest to the restaurant area but if it is anything like the lounge, it is tastefully decorated and not overly pretentious. While it appears to be too upscale for many, the variety of patrons during our visit gave the feeling of just another great neighborhood bar. Not sure if that is what the owners are after, but it certainly seems to work.

My friends and I all ordered a variety of items for our enjoyment. The deals I found to be the best: the 2 for 1 appetizers and $6 any martinis. Seriously, any martini....even Grey Goose with a twist. I have ordered similar around town for upwards of $12. The beers came in at around $3 during happy hour and they have some tasty handles, including Widmer’s seasonal Brrrr.

There were four of us this visit so we ordered four appetizers. The meat and cheese plate ($12), the pizza of the day ($10), the wings ($8), and the Brie ($10). All the food was excellent and very filling.

The only real complaint we had was with our service. Sometimes it was good but sometimes it was non-existent. We had to flag down our server several times and it was sort of awkward. There were only five tables that evening with two servers and the bartender was handling those at the bar, so it wasn’t very busy. When the bill arrived, it was incorrect and missing a couple of the happy hour discounts.

Mostly, we were very pleased with their happy hour and are sure to return for the martinis and appetizers.