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Touring & Tasting “Southwest Idaho: Adventures For the Fork and Spoon”

What do whitewater rafting, kayaking, canoeing, downhill and cross country skiing, mountain biking, golfing, hiking, rock climbing, and wine tasting have in common? They all make us appreciate a good meal at the end of the day. Recently, Southwest Idaho has been discovered by foodies for its local flavors, intriguing wines, and imaginative chefs, who are pushing sustainability to a new level.

Fork Restaurant With the conviction that words like “local” and “sustainable” should be practiced not preached, Amanda and Cameron Lumsden founded this tantalizing eatery in downtown Boise. Through its own Loyal to Local pledge, Fork features 75 percent of its spirits, beer, and wine from the Pacific Northwest. Guests who bring their own bottle of wine pay a 10 dollar corkage fee that goes directly to a local charity. The ever-changing Eats Menu demonstrates the region’s bounty in many inspiring ways. Fork is a recipient of the 2015 Wine Spectator Award of Excellence and the 2015 OpenTable Diners’ Choice Award.

Brick 29 Boasting locally grown foods with “out of this world” flavors, Brick 29 delivers this and much more. Located in Nampa, in an unassuming building that resembles a library, the menu is a compelling read from beginning to end. Savvy guests start with a seasonal bruschetta or bisque followed by an entrée featuring locally sourced meat or fish, or handmade pasta. Brick 29 is known for its little surprises in the way it blends foods and flavors together. Local ingredients are even found on the bar menu where wines from the Snake River Valley and local craft beers are proudly recommended.

Red Feather Lounge Widely known for an exciting bar menu that showcases Idaho wines and a long list of handcrafted cocktails, the Red Feather has a fabulous food menu, too. Focused on sustainability, eco-restaurateur Dave Krick serves grass-fed Idaho beef, local cheeses, and house-made ketchup from local ingredients. Its three-story wine humidor stretches from the top level of the restaurant down to the basement wine cellar. To decrease waste, Dave built an onsite worm farm to compost food waste generated by the restaurant. The compost is then made available to the growers who provide the restaurant’s ingredients. As with any adventure in Southwest Idaho, there are plenty to try. In fact, the region devotes an entire month each year to adventures of the palate. June not only is Idaho Wine Month, but it also features Savor Idaho, the state’s premier wine and food event, which is sponsored by the Idaho Grape Growers and Wine Producers Commission. So start making plans now! Assemble your gear, make restaurant reservations, and get ready for all the adventures of Southwest Idaho.

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