I can’t think of a better spring pastime than drinking local beer. If that’s your idea of fun, too, come and visit the Modern, where you can ride a bike to some of the
best local breweries in the west. Need additional encouragement? Here are ten of my reasons to check out our local beer scene:
- Beer isn’t expensive.
- Beer has no pretense.
- Beer is communal, uniting hippies, yuggies (young urban granola), granolas or business types. A taco truck and a beer could make friends of us all.
- If you happen to spill it on your shoes or shirt, good beer doesn’t smell that bad the next day.
- The west makes the best beer in the country.
- If you walk or ride your bike to each location in Boise with great beer, the exercise will balance out the added calories you’ll consume, resulting in a zero weight gain.
- Beer isn’t fussy (and please, let’s try not to make it that way.) My palate loves a beer with flavor. Personally, I like my beer on the hoppy side, but I also love a good porter or a stout. [I don’t want to say it has good legs, unless you can
- Even gluten-free beer can taste good.
- My grandpa drank cheap beer, and like so many of us, he knew that even bad beer tastes good when you’re with someone you love.
- Beer pairs well with many of the Modern Hotel’s appetizers and dinners. Charcuterie and beer? I say yes! Mushroom empanada and a Payette Brewing North Fork? Oui. Lamb Birria and beer? You betcha! Ginger Pork Bánh Mi? No problem!
Some local breweries to check out:
- Woodland Empire
- Boise Brewing Co
- Highlands Hollow
- Payette Brewing CO.
- Sockeye Brewing
- Crooked Fence Brewing
Drink with a purpose this week – and we’re not talking about just getting a buzz. June 1-7 is Negroni Week, brought to you by Imbibe Magazine. Nationwide, bars are donating a portion of the proceeds from each Negroni cocktail purchased, with funds going to charities of their choice.
The Modern Hotel and Bar’s pick is Interfaith Sanctuary, an organization we consider vital to Boise. From their website: “Interfaith Sanctuary Housing Services is a collaboration of people of faith and people of conscience who have joined together to shelter and serve individuals experiencing homelessness. Sanctuary provides overnight shelter for men, women, and children and provides supportive services that promote greater self-sufficiency, improved well-being, and permanent housing acquisition.”
Now, that’s a cause we can all raise a glass to!
So come, on down, and let’s do good while we drink this week. To quote the wise singer –song-writer John Prine, “Hey, it ain’t such a long drop, don’t stammer don’t stutter, from the diamonds in the sidewalk to the dirt in the gutter.”
Cheers to living and taking care of each other.
We don’t usually think of spring as a time of abundance. After all, most of us are still planting – or planning – our gardens. Abundance is a term we reserve for fall, with its harvest bounty. Still, for a brief time in the spring, Idaho’s mountains, streams, and ditch banks yield up treasures: morels, asparagus, fiddlehead ferns, and baby greens. You’ll find them all at the Modern’s restaurant, where a friendly delivery person from Idaho’s Bounty stops by with the seasonal goo
Our chefs, Nate Whitley and Alex Cardoza, are incorporating as many seasonal elements into a their dishes as possible. Nightly specials and brunch items currently feature this produce of the moment. But hurry, the season will change quickly and the chance to enjoy these culinary delights won’t last long.
Morels with Farro and Peas
cup farro, rinsed
1 cup fresh sweet peas
one handful of fresh spinach
Salt and pepper
2 tablespoons butter
8 ounces morel mushrooms
1 clove of garlic
¼ c dry sherry
1 ½ c vegetable stock
Parmesan cheese to taste
Bring 4 quarts water to boil. Add farro and 1 tablespoon salt. Return to boil, reduce to simmer until tender, 20 to 25 minutes. Drain well and set aside.
In a shallow saute pan, bring ¼ inch of water to a boil. Add the peas and cook until they turn bright green, about 2 to 3 minutes. Then plunge the peas into ice water to shock them. Drain, and set aside.
Heat a saute pan with about a tablespoon of olive oil. Add a small bit of butter to the pan. When the butter begins to sizzle, add the mushrooms. Shake around the pan and salt well. After about 30 seconds add 1 sliced garlic clove. When the garlic starts to brown, deglaze the pan with sherry. Allow the sherry to reduce a little, then add a splash of vegetable stock and a tablespoon of butter. Reduce this while swirling the pan around to emulsify the butter. Finish with fresh chopped chives.
In a small pot, combine the farro with about ¾ c of vegetable stock. Heat this, once hot, add the peas. Season the pot with salt, a squeeze of half a lemon, a tablespoon of butter, and some fresh grated parmesan. Add the handful of spinach and stir it in until it just wilts.
Carefully spoon the farro mixture into bowls with a slotted spoon. Then pour a small pool of broth over the farro. Top with fresh grated parmesan, and the sauteed morels
When Nate Whitley began working at the Modern Hotel and Bar he arrived with a smile and a kind “hey”. Nate’s the opposite of the stereotypical chef. Humble and friendly, he’s a sort of anti-Gordon Ramsay. He continues to impress us with his ability to create great food with local ingredients.
We are happy to report Chef Whitley was recently nominated for the Northwest’s James Beard award. We are proud of the work he does here at the Modern Hotel and Bar and his gentle presentation on our palates and in our Modern hearts. Thank you, Nate
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