Boise has a wide variety of restaurants and bars and we are always looking for something new that we haven’t tried yet. We have enjoyed lunch several times outdoors at the Sandbar Patio Bar & Grill at The Riverside Hotel and have also attended events where the food was very good. We knew about their restaurant the Riverside Grill but had not tried it and when we saw online that The Vegas Strip Kings were playing at the Sapphire Room, this was the perfect opportunity to dine and listen to music!
We started out by ordering Signature Cocktails. Bartender Pat Carden, who we have known for many years, makes a fabulous award winning 10 Minute Martini. The story on this Martini goes back 25 years. Driving home from work customers would call the bar and tell Pat to put one on ice thus changing the molecules and creating the smoothest Martini you will ever have. This Vesper Re-Imagined ( James Bond’s favorite Martini) made with Hendricks Gin, Blue Ice Potato Vodka, Lillet Blonde, Sparkling Wine and a twist of lemon and a classic Cosmopolitan (Just like the one’s the Sex in The City girls loved) put us in a great mood.
The dining room was quite busy, as there were many people like us dining before the show. The atmosphere was very inviting with a semi exhibition kitchen, lovely comfortable booths or table seating and a fabulous midnight blue ceiling that was quite stunning. We appreciated the dark blue table cloths that also added to the décor.
We ordered their small seasonal plate as an appetizer. The Fingerling potatoes topped with bacon and crème fraiche was a perfect starter. We then enjoyed very reasonably priced and right sized Entrees made with fresh, local and seasonal ingredients. Both the Idaho Trout with brown butter, lemon zest, capers, vegetable and rice pilaf and the Smoked Pork Chop which was wood smoked and grilled accompanied by apple chutney, apple crisp and garlic mashed potatoes were so tasty… that we actually finished them! We liked that the pork was sliced and that all of our food arrived piping hot. We appreciated that they served local beer and wine and one of our favorites, Coiled Dry Riesling, which was dry and lively paired perfectly with our entrees.
As the show was about to start, we headed next door to our reserved table at The Sapphire Room where there is entertainment on weekends and some week nights as well. We were excited to see The Vegas Strip Kings who play honky tonk rock ‘n roll, blue grass, Zydeco and Americana music. We really enjoyed their energy and renditions of classics like The Weight (Take a Load off Fanny), Louie Louie and Sloop John B. The Sapphire Room is considered to be Boise’s Premier Listening Room as it seats only 170 at tables which all face the stage, has bar seating and state of the art sound and lighting. The full table service for cocktails and small plates made this nightclub very civilized. Musicians Billy Truitt, Rob Edwards, Al Elk, Daylon Wear, Justin Truitt and Steve Eaton played for two hours and made us smile as we enjoyed cocktails and dessert. There are also two sunken dance floors on each side of the stage so no need to be shy…just get up and dance!
We had a fabulous dinner at The Riverside Grill and a great time listening to the Vegas Strip Kings and dancing in the Sapphire Room. You also have options, if we had we not dined at the Riverside Grill we could have enjoyed small plates in the Sapphire Room with choices like Blackened Salmon Street Tacos, Hot Wings, Zucchini Fries, Shrimp Po’boy Sliders, Salads, and Desserts. We look forward to returning soon to The Riverside and even spend the night. We had friends who stayed at the hotel for a “Date Night” who told us that they were able to enjoy dinner, a show, the overnight stay and the Signature Weekend Brunch Buffet which includes Bottomless Mimosas and live music for a very reasonable price. Whether you are visiting from out of town or are local you will find The Riverside has a lot to offer! We’ll be back.
By Carol & Joe Davis
Riverside Grill and The Sapphire Room
2900 Chinden Blvd
Boise, ID 83714