Review: The Brickyard Boise
New to the downtown Boise dining scene, The Brickyard is a quaint little upscale restaurant with traditional Steakhouse menu items as well as fun little twists like their truffle fries and their Pot de Créme with Pop Rocks. Located on the corner of Main and 6th, it is very easy to find, and parking is close at hand. I suppose their only draw back is that the live music venue, The Reef, is directly above them. But this isn’t much of a concern as long as you finish up your meal before 10pm.
The Brickyard’s Downtown Boise Decor and Ambiance
Upon walking in the front doors, the first thing you see is their beautiful inset bar. Rich dark woods surrounded by very clean pale colored brick. My eyes kept being drawn to this obvious focal point all night. I’m not much of a bar guy, but there was just something about the wood, brick, bottles, and lighting that kept pulling my eyes to it.
Moving beyond the bar, you are greeted with warm hard wood floors, dark rich wood beams, very clean tables and settings, awesome chocolate brown lights (I want these in my house), and the coolest leather booths I’ve seen in a while. I loved these booths. I doubt this is what they were going for, but they reminded me of sitting in a completely restored classic car with all new modern designed leather seats and door panels. Maybe it’s just the guy in me, but I took my seat in that booth and felt like I was ready to cruise the summer night away in my 57 sportster. This made for a great mood setting for my culinary drive into The Brickyard’s city of edibles. Of course, the live piano music in the center of the restaurant helped to make that more of a mellow drive than a rock out race. The pianist was very good and played a nice mix of show tunes, classical, jazz, and traditional pop, but as a pianist myself, I found the digital pianos a bit disappointing. But I suppose they are easier to control their volume than a real piano, a feat which becomes very important during the live dueling piano show I’m sure.
The Brickyard’s Boise Focused Appetizer Menu
Boise residents aren’t exactly known for adventurous eating. The Brickyard seems to be catering to that market well with Boise standards of Oyster Rockefeller, Tuna Tartar, Bricksticks (tuna, chicken, and steak samples), and crab cakes. However, the crab cakes are playfully titled “Crab Shots” and are prepared as a fritter ball instead of a cake. I liked them. They were crunchy, rich, and quite tasty, and came atop three different accentuating sauces. They were made with delicious sweet dungeness crab, and had good chunks of it in them. Let’s talk about the accentuating sauces.
Our server recommended eating them in a specific order, which I must agree completely with. First up was the Parsley Pesto. This was very nice, especially with a squeeze of fresh lime. Bright and clean, it set the stage for the rest of the crab.
Next was the Fiery Habanero Marmalade. Fiery is quite the stretch. It was barely hot at all. But it was very sweet made with carrots, onion, and brown sugar. It paired perfectly with the crab. I probably could have eaten these all night.
Last was the Cool Tartar Vinaigrette, which was basically a vinegary aioli. It was exceptional with the crab! The dill and lemon in it was very crisp, which really lightened up the deep fry fat of the fritter. It was a perfect end because it left your mouth feeling refreshed and ready to eat something new. Great job on your Crab Shots Brickyard!
The Brickyard Salad Cart
So this was a really fun concept, one which I haven’t seen in Boise before. A dedicated salad “chef” wheeled a cart to our table and explained all of his offerings to make before your eyes. Every salad starts with a bed of crisp romaine hearts, but the rest is up to you. I went with bacon, baby shrimp, hearts of palm & marinated artichokes, cherry tomatoes, egg, and house made croutons. I chose their house Green Goddess dressing, which was exceptional, but I could have chose Caesar, raspberry vinaigrette, or smoked bleu cheese. I tasted the bleu cheese and the smoke definitely gave it a unique flavor. Not really smokey per say, just bizarre. I’m glad I went with the green goddess.
As fun as the salad cart was though, it was a bit of a mess. I don’t know, it just seemed to have taken too long and not all that organized. But the fun factor made up the difference and I liked it.
The Brickyard Offers Fresh Seafood and Steak Entrees
The Brickyard is foremost a steakhouse, so most of their menu is dedicated to that. However, they do offer a great selection of seafood and roasted chicken to choose from. First up, the Alaskan Halibut.
This was possibly one of the best halibut dishes I’ve ever had. Seriously. It was pan seared and perfectly cooked. Very moist and tender. It was served sitting on a bed of fingerling potatoes, olive oil poached tomatoes, and melted leeks. It was topped with an exceptional sauteed diver scallop and a dungenous crab butter sauce, which was basically at least a 1/3 cup of dungenous crab chunks with tons of butter. What a beautiful presentation, as well as flavor. My only complaint is that it came out slightly warm and not hot. I’m guessing the timing wasn’t quite right with the rest of our dishes, but it was exceptional all the same.
Next was the Wild King Salmon. I want so badly to give this the same high marks as the halibut, but unfortunately I just can’t, mostly because it was a bit dry. But that’s where I get confused, because it was perfectly cooked, with just a thin center line of medium cooked flesh, but I’m guessing it maybe sat under the warming lights a bit long waiting for my steak to cook. Who knows, maybe it was just a naturally dry fish (it happens right?). That being said though, let’s talk about this dish.
It was served on a plate of tarragon pesto. This pesto was awesome! So perfect with salmon. I will be repeating this in my kitchen at home. Atop the pesto were two rice croquettes. Deep fried, unseasoned, bland, mushy rice. What’s the point? Toss those and replace with something else and you might have a winner here Brickyard. The salmon went on next and was topped with micro greens and scattered with fire roasted corn tomatoes, which I found to be very fun. Yellow, red, green, and pink. Beautiful plating.
Last up was one of their steaks. The Brickyard uses only Certified Angus Beef seasoned with Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper. Well that sounds just about perfect. So I ordered the Waygu Kobe Sirloin. Now why did I do that when they have all this Certified Angus on the menu? I guess I just wanted to get a richer fatty beef. Anyway, it was cooked perfectly medium rare, and was very soft and tender. It had a great beef flavor and was extremely moist and pleasant to chew. However, it needed more seasoning on it, and I wished that I would have ordered one of their steak sauces to go with it (Cabernet Demi Glace, Bearnaise, Bleu Cheese or Horseradish Cream). It was served with some grilled asparagus and broccoli rabe. Next time, I’ll give one of the Angus steaks a try to see how it compares.
The Brickyard Steaks Include a Side of Unique Potato Accompaniments
Steak and potatoes The Brickyard has, but not quite like you’re used to. The French fries are hand cut seasoned Idaho potatoes, but are tossed in white truffle oil. Talk about an addictive savory treat! I couldn’t stop eating these things. They were accompanied with roasted garlic mayonnaise, which doesn’t sound quite right, but was actually terrific with the truffle fry flavor. They came out in a crazy metal cone, which was kind of silly looking on my plate. But who cares when they taste this good?
We also has the privilege of enjoying their Peanut Butter Mashed Potatoes. Yup, peanut butter. I’m thinking they could have used more peanut butter so that it wasn’t quite so subtle of a flavor, but these things were pretty good. They were prepared with chipotle in them, which made them fairly spicy actually. But they were good and brought out the kid in us. Definitely worth ordering.
The Brickyard Restaurant in Downtown Boise has Some Awesome Desserts
We were pretty stuffed at this point, but our server insisted that we try their house favorite dessert; Pot de Créme with Pop Rocks. Oh my gosh, this was a blast to eat!
First of all, the pot de créme was exceptional. Pot de créme is a light custard dessert, kind of like a pudding meets whipped creme. It was very lite, mildly sweet, and had a great subtle lemon flavor. It was served in a classic white bowl, was topped with fresh berries, and had a spoonful of Pop Rocks on the side. Our server recommended placing a few Pop Rocks on each spoonful just before popping it into your mouth. Talk about fun! The Pop Rocks exploding tingle in your mouth was really great, and their flavor actually married well with the pot de créme. This dessert is fun for all, and is well worth the visit to The Brickyard alone.
The Brickyard Restaurant Review Conclusion
Great atmosphere, fun menu, great service, and delicious food, The Brickyard is off to a great start. They still have a couple cooking/timing issues to work out, but you are sure to have a great dining experience regardless. Tell them The Bald Gourmet sent you. They’d be glad to hear the referral.Address: 601 Main Street, Boise, ID 83702 Phone: (208) 287-2121
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