Old and new come together at The Mode Lounge, in the heart of downtown Boise Idaho, where I was able to stop over for a visit on my way back from Sun Valley recently. You’d be hard pressed to think you’re in one of America’s middle west smaller cities when you see the chic ambiance that invites you in through its vintage pendant lights, 1940’s neon and Art Deco touches. All that combined with classic cocktails, contemporary drinks and tonics to boot. It’s most definitely a cocktail culture kinda place…in other words, skip the wine and beer here and go for something a little more unusual on their menu.
At The Mode Lounge, the coolest vintage cocktails play counterpoint to the newest, most creative ways to mix a drink with house-made everything—bitters, syrups, tinctures, sodas, vermouth, fruits, herbs, juices and more.
Food bites include a fresh heirloom tomato salad with arugula, grapefruit vinaigrette, feta mousse and picked red onions, a ceviche with Alaskan halibut, avocado puree, cilantro oil, an ahi tartare, served with Yellowfin Tuna, Pineapple, Cucumber and Roasted Red Pepper and a bruleed scallop dish which is served with a Ginger Carrot Puree, Frisee Asparagus Salad, and Beurre Rouge. And, how’s this for unusual and delicious sounding? Watermelon Gazpacho with Candied Ginger, Feta and Avocado.
We tried the prosciutto wrapped prawns, served in a Cucumber-Melon Soup which was trickled with Basil Oil and Chili Threads and the steak tartare, which was served with dijon mustard, red onion, capers, parsley, and was topped with quail egg and toast points. I loved both but we both found the soup too spicy to enjoy…..while the chili threads were a nice touch, we both felt that they overdid it since we lost the taste of the cucumber melon since the chili overpowered every other taste in the soup.
Below, a sampling of some of the bitters they have on offer sit on the top of the bar — from tobacco smoke to celery and apple spice, there is a range of options to choose from and as for H1 and H2, I’m not quite sure and forgot to ask our handsome bartender (below) what they represented.
If in Boise on business or passing through on pleasure (the mountain ranges and drives extending from here are spectacular), stop by for a great cocktail and appetizer – I’d recommend sitting at the bar or at one of the cocktail tables with the high stools and taking it all in.
While I was there in the late afternoon/early evening and the energy from the “night” had not yet begun, below is a snapshot of the bar by night so you can get an idea of its lounge-like bar atmosphere.
The Mode Lounge
Corner of 8th and Idaho Street
Russell Crawforth | Owner and Operator
Brian Livesay | General Manager | Beverage Director
Darryl Godard | Head Chef