Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Restaurateurs try new ideas in Ketchum

3 new dining venues open doors

Express Staff Writer

Enterprising restaurateurs have not lost their nerve in a slow economy. The time is right, many of them say, to add to dining options in Ketchum.

Deida and Duane Runswick are reopening Mama Inez, likely in mid-July. The Mexican restaurant originally operated in Ketchum, and later moved to Bellevue. The economy and location did not prove ideal, Deida said, and the restaurant closed. They continued to sell salsa while planning their next venture.

"We've been wanting to reopen in the valley but were patiently waiting for a good time," she said.

When they found the location at 210 N. Main St. in Ketchum, their idea gained traction.

"Ketchum is majorly in need of a taqueria," she said.

Plans call for "the majority of the well-loved Mama Inez menu," she said, but with a bigger emphasis on takeout. Indoor and outdoor seating also is planned.

"We ... feel that Mama's was at home in Ketchum and that is where it should be brought back to," Deida said. "We love the food, we love Ketchum and we know the public has been missing it."


Dashi, a "new American" restaurant with an Asian influence, opened on May 23 in a downtown location on East Avenue.

"In this weak economic time, I think there is great opportunity for those who want to work hard at providing the best possible product, as people are more particular about how they spend their money," chef and owner Tyler Stokes said.

Stokes said Dashi's version of fine dining will offer hip music and a relaxed atmosphere, with support for the locavore movement.

"Our motivation is to provide the valley we love with a unique dining experience that shows the local bounty of Idaho and the many ways it can be prepared and presented," he said.

Della Mano is scheduled to open for dinner at 260 N. Main St. on June 17. The restaurant is billed as an authentic Italian restaurant with some modern influence, focusing on seasonal and local ingredients.

Sarah Lipton, chef and partner, said the time is right.

"This town is ready for a hip new restaurant," she said. "A place that offers a different atmosphere than what is already available, with food that is familiar and approachable but appeals to a broad range of customers from restaurant 'newbies' to discriminating foodie palates," she said.

Lipton said she and fellow chef and partner Taite Pearson will focus on cuisine that is "soulful and driven by the bounty of local artisans, ranchers and farmers. Healthy, natural, thoughtful, bold and authentic are a few words to describe our connection [to] and passion for our craft."

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