Review: Rupert’s Hotel McCall
Situated right in the heart of downtown historic McCall, Idaho, you will find a quaint little 100+ year old hotel called Hotel McCall. Hotel McCall has a long history of visitors and community recognition, and has gone through some very well done contemporary remodels in recent years. Though I didn’t get a chance to stay overnight on my recent visit, it definitely looks like the kind of “rustic contemporary comfort” I tend to go for, and I look forward to a weekend getaway here soon. But what I did get to enjoy on my recent passing through was the positive experience of dining at Rupert’s Hotel McCall.
Rupert’s is a newer addition to Hotel McCall. A well done addition at that. With stunning views of Payette Lake and the surrounding mountains, the dining scenery is hard to beat. The hardwood floors, open beam ceilings, and wooden tables further enhance the charm. The whole scene made me feel like I stepped into a world from 50-years ago. I haven’t been alive for that amount of time, but for some reason I felt right at home at Rupert’s.
Rupert’s Hotel McCall French Asian Appetizer
Rupert’s had a couple of featured specials going on during my visit, and one of them sounded too good to pass up. It was a Duck Confit Crepe. If you don’t know what Duck Confit is, it is a classic French preparation, and is basically just duck meat which is completely submerged in, and then cooked in, rendered duck fat at very low temperature in the oven for anywhere from 4 to 12 hours. Duck cooked in a pool of duck fat? Sounds great to me!
What was surprising about this dish, though, was the fusion of classic French and Asian cuisines. They took the duck confit, mixed it with some sauteed shiitake mushrooms, and rolled it inside of a spinach and scallion crepe. The crepe was green, and reminded me more of a large won ton wrapper than a crepe. It was cool though and I liked it. The crepe was drizzled with hoisin sauce, sprinkled with sesame seeds, and served with a side of “Thai” slaw. The slaw was made of shredded cabbage and carrots, and was tossed in a slightly spicy peanut sauce.
This dish was not at all what I expected, but worked extremely well. The very pungent duck went well with the sweet-spiced hoisin, and was tamed a bit by the cool crunch of the slaw. Good appetizer, well done.
Rupert’s House Salad
I normally wouldn’t make it a point to write about the included house salad, but Rupert’s house salad deserves mentioning. Thank you for going a touch out of your way to deliver something to enjoy! The salad was perfectly proportioned, and was made up of very fresh, crisp baby lettuce greens, some shoestring Granny Smith apples, high-quality bleu cheese, and a delightful cranberry vinaigrette. The vinaigrette was tart, sweet, and lite. I appreciate how the salad greens were not overdressed with the vinaigrette. It was a great little salad, especially with fresh cracked pepper on it. It could have benefited from a few walnuts or pecans, but was enjoyable as is.
Rupert’s Hotel McCall’s Grilled Lava Lake Lamb Meatballs
This staple dish on their entree menu caught my eye. $23.50 “Grilled Lava Lake Lamb Meatballs, roasted potatoes, seasonal vegetables and served in a charred tomato sauce.” Hmm. I needed to try it. And I’m fairly glad that I did. I didn’t find it “knock my socks off” delicious, but I did find it enjoyable, and honestly, better than I expected to find in McCall.
The charred tomato sauce was great. It didn’t have much of a “char” flavor, but I visualized it being made from oven roasted, olive oil drizzled tomatoes, roasted on high until they charred a bit. Into the blender they go and then cooked with some paprika and a touch of cinnamon. The resulting flavor reminded me of a Hungarian sauce, and was perfect with the lamb.
The lamb meatballs were made from ground lamb, bread crumbs, and, I’m guessing, mint. They were grilled at least long enough to get some grill lines on them, and then, I’m guessing, were finished off in a pan with the sauce. They were very moist and had a good flavor. They were a touch grainy feeling though, either from the breadcrumbs or from the dry nature of lamb, but they sure felt good on a cold winter’s day.
Rupert’s Weekend Special: Quail Stuffed with Couscous
Well this was the super star of the evening! Good heavens. Rupert’s, you’d better make this a regular menu item. You have a real winner here.
Two succulent little quail were stuffed with couscous, pan fried, and served on a bed of a smoky charred tomato sauce. The quail were perfectly cooked, very moist, and perfectly seasoned with salt and pepper. They even had a nice subtle smoke flavor from the pan frying process. The couscous inside of them had a faint spicy red pepper flavor, which I was told came from some chili flakes. But what really brought the dish together was the smoky tomato sauce.
This sauce was awesome. Smoky, salty, slightly sweet. It was perfect. And the pairing with the quail was inspired. Every bite put a smile on one’s face. I think I’m going to go rustle me up some quail to shoot and eat, but then I’d have to try to duplicate Rupert’s perfect preparation. Might just be easier to go back to McCall and have the real thing.
Concluding Review on Rupert’s Hotel McCall
Rupert’s offers amazing lake views and a comfortable dining atmosphere. Their staff is friendly and happy to serve. Their menu has a familiar feel but offers several unique concepts and dishes. The food is great, and makes lake viewing an even more pleasurable experience. Ask for the quail, and tell them The Bald Gourmet sent you.
The Bald Gourmet visits McCall, Idaho, and discovers a little culinary gem called Rupert’s Hotel McCall.
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