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Whether you’ve been hitting the slopes at Bogus or battling the bustling crowds at the mall, it’s time to shed some layers and cozy up with a boozy drink next to a glowing fire. Forget chestnuts and carols, nothing will fan the flames of your holiday spirit like a flickering flame and stiff spirits. At these five Boise establishments, you can get rosy cheeked as you watch your holiday stress dissolve like a log on a crackling fire.
Highlands Hollow Brewhouse
A staple among Boise’s skiing and snowboarding set, Highlands Hollow serves up melty reubens and golden-fried halibut fish and chips to folks on their way to and from Bogus Basin. The walls are decked out with an extensive collection of beer coasters and a giant round fire-pit anchors the center of the pub. Snag a seat around the brick-lined pit and sip a roasty Faceplant Porter or a creamy Full Moon Stout, made on-site with six types of barley, and rest your weary, frozen feet.
A relatively new kid on Boise’s bar block, Capitol Bar slings stiff Manhattans and smooth Old Fashioneds to a friendly crowd of after-work imbibers and State Street regulars. In addition to a sizeable craft beer list—with rotating options like Hopworks Organic IPA and Woodland Empire Old Boise Lager—Capitol Bar also boasts a respectable by-the-glass wine list that’s half price on Mondays. Grab a table by the roaring fireplace, adorned with an assortment of vintage bottles and knick-knacks, and dig into a bowl of Chef Ryan Hembree’s bubbly green chile mac ’n’ cheese topped with smoky pork belly.
The Modern Hotel and Bar
The Linen District’s boutique Mid-Century modern hotel has received ample accolades for its chic design and top-notch cocktail program. The hotel also features a small kitchen that slings creative farm-to-table fare, like lamb pelmeni with crème fraîche or brisket with sweet onions, potato and chimichurri. On the outside patio, you’ll find a few sleek fire-pits, which are a perfect place to perch when the weather’s cool. The Modern’s bourbon-laced Layover cocktail is an apt fireside choice, served with a smoky peated salt rim and a side of toasty pecans that are an astonishingly perfectly compliment to the cocktail.
Telaya Wine Co. & Coiled Wines
Garden City is on the rise, and nowhere is that more apparent than the new shared building that houses urban wineries Telaya Wine Co. and Coiled Wines. Perched on the banks of the Boise River off 32nd Street, the 11,000-square-foot tasting room and production facility has a Jackson Hole vibe, with polished concrete floors, cedar trim and sliding barn doors. The space also boasts a sprawling patio with an iPhone-charging fire pit where patrons can clink glasses and savor silky Idaho syrahs and fizzy dry rieslings.
13th Street Pub and Grill
In the summertime, the patio at this Hyde Park landmark is packed with North Enders sipping drinks in the open air. But in the winter months, the 13th Street Pub patio gets enclosed by glass walls and heated by a flickering fire pit. It’s a charming place to people-watch as you warm your hands by the fire and your insides with a potent cocktail. Try the smooth 13th Old Fashioned—made with Old Forester bourbon, barrel-aged bitters, orange bitters, brown sugar and simple syrup— or the complex Les Bois, made with Buffalo Trace bourbon, Disaronno, Lillet Rouge, orange and chocolate bitters. And don’t forget to order a snack, like the decadent Stuffed Mushrooms, loaded with bacon, shallots, bleu cheese and garlic cream ciabatta.
Tara Morgan is a freelance food and booze writer. She’s an Editor at Edible Idaho Magazine, writes for publications like VIA Magazine and SIP Northwest and runs the website Boise Feed. She loves an epic dinner party, good design, bad puns and pretty much every French rosé ever made.
Published on December 22, 2016