Boise's Juniper

Article by Jamie Ames

Photography by Claire Everson

Originally published in Boise Lifestyle

/ˈlōk(ə)l/  adjective

1.     belonging or relating to a particular area or neighborhood

Juniper, located at 211 N. 8th Street, downtown Boise, exemplifies local belonging.

You know the food is local when the Chef can tell you they had to take the duck eggs off of the menu because coyotes got into the clutch. He knows exactly what is going on with the ingredients he buys and where they come from- and they are pretty much all local. Juniper's website says, " We work closely with our local farmers, growers, and purveyors to source products with integrity, flavor, and soul." Juniper belongs to Idaho. Idaho farms, creameries, distilleries, vineyards, and breweries all regularly stock the panty at Juniper- but fresh, sustainable ingredients and drinks may not even be the best part of Juniper's menu.

Juniper belongs to the gastronomically challenged. Chef Aaron uses creativity and his Le Cordon Bleu training to compose a menu that both delights the palate and has mouthwatering options to accommodate many dietary considerations- an ever-increasing need and challenge as food sensitivities are on the rise.  Not only are many items on the menu easily modified to be vegan, but Chef Aaron has worked to ensure that those same dishes will be safe for customers with a sensitivity to nuts*- something that is usually mutually exclusive when it comes to vegan dishes. If a customer has dietary issues, the kitchen staff at Juniper wants to know about it. Chef Aaron  is happy to try to find a way to make the dishes on the menu so that customers can enjoy them. Such an open door is a breath of fresh air for those with dietary restrictions.

Juniper belongs to the seasons- or perhaps the seasons belong to Juniper. Chef Aaron changes Juniper's menu at least quarterly, inventing new dishes to make the most of the season's upcoming ingredients. With so much information the last few years about the benefits of eating seasonally, Aaron's frequently updated menu is not only delicious, but has some great perks for health to boot.

Juniper belongs to microbrew enthusiasts. Their entire menu of draft beers is selections from local artisan craft breweries. Once Happy Hour rolls around, Juniper is standing room only, an little of it, when it comes to that. Check out the drink menu which also gets the regular update treatment in order to best compliment the current dining options.

Chef Aaron and Restaurateur Kacey say they love Boise because it's cool without trying too hard. From their website, " Local eggs, non-GMO, organic ingredients, cage free chicken and grass-fed beef. We work closely with our local farmers, growers, and purveyors to source products with integrity, flavor, and soul. Junipers Wine and Tap Beer list focuses on our incredible winemakers and local brewers and bring you gems you may not find anywhere else. The result is Idaho food and drink that is honest, straightforward, and pays homage to the region we are so lucky to call home."

Local: belonging to a particular area or neighborhood, as in: Juniper belongs to Boise.

(And Kacey.)

*This information is not to be taken as medical advice. If you believe you may have food allergies, please consult your Physician before making decisions about food.

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