Thursday, August 2, 2007

The Legend Begins

All legends have a beginning. Rupert's at the Hotel opened the doors on June 1st, 2007. Owned by the Carey family, Rupert's is operated by the team of Chef Christopher Bradbeer and General Manager John Wood. On those occasions when John or Chef aren't around, you can find Kristina Reeves or Lexie Davis holding the reigns out front and Gabe Giles as Chef's sous in the back of the house. Of course, Rupert is often somewhere in the mix.

What kind of restaurant is Rupert's?
"It's a scratch restaurant!" according to Chef Chris. "We make all of our soups, stocks, salad dressings - roast our own turkey for sandwiches, and (co-owner) Georgina makes all of our desserts." With the exception of the onion rings and chicken fritters, everything is created from raw ingredients. That means bringing in the veal bones from the butcher and roasting them off in the oven with their next stop in the stock pot reducing down the goodness for several hours. Salad dressings start as buttermilk, chipotle, salt & pepper or quality olive oils, herbs, and seasonings. And the French Fries - they start as Idaho potatoes. "We cut them, blanch them in the deep fryer, and then chill them to wait for your order, when we drop them in the fryer again. A little salt and that's it. And the oil is all transfat free."

"Northwest Cuisine?" answers GM, John Wood. "We really have been looking for the best word/phrase to describe the style of our food. This last week we have been running a Kobe beef top sirloin served with soba noodles alongside baby bok choy. Or you can enjoy a really nice piece of tuna broiled in a banana leaf, and served with an Achiote sauce that chef has been working with. I guess that kind of derails the 'Northwest' moniker." Standards like filet mignon, rib eyes, handbreaded (of course) long line cod for fish and chips, a really good BLT at lunch. "We designed the menu to showcase some of our favorites and are relying on quality ingredients to build quality dishes. If you order the Shrimp Po' Boy for lunch, you taste the shrimp! It's not all about the breading."

Your favorite dish?
"I think the Eggs Payette off of the breakfast menu" according to John. "I'm trying to talk Chef into offering that dish all day long. Of course, I have to have just one of our pancakes nearly every day about 10:30 ish. No butter or syrup. They are that good!"

"Tonight's special- or the Cubano sandwich at lunch. Best sandwich in town!" is Chef's answer. The menus at Rupert's were designed as a starting point. "We really didn't know what kind of talent we were going to be able to attract, so started out with this size of menu by design, and will grow with our special board."

Who is this Rupert anyway?
"Rupert was the mascot for Lewis and Clark's Corps of Discovery," or "the first culinary astrodoggie that NASA used in developing food for the Apollo program" or "the first Jack Russell Terrier to join both Julia Child and Graham Kerr on their television cooking programs..."

Legends can be elusive like that. Come down and visit the team at Rupert's to hear your own version and to have some real good scratch cooking in a beautiful room overlooking Payette Lake.

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