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Back in Business

The former EJ's opens as Browne's Tavern under a new chef


A list of food styles on the new Browne's Tavern Facebook business page includes 16 entries, ranging from German to Thai, Italian to Hawaiian.

The lack of a distinct theme is intentional. Browne's Tavern co-owner and executive chef Floyd Loomis, formerly of Asiagio's Ristorante in Boise, set out to create a menu representing many varieties of international cuisine, with a focus on comfort food-inspired entrées.

"People are more familiar now with cuisine from all over the world," Loomis says, adding, "there are food choices of various traditions that can come together on a menu at a tavern."

He mentions kraut flekken ($14), a buttery German pasta dish of gnocchi, braised red cabbage, bacon and parsley. Alongside that and several other Eurocentric pasta entrées ($13-$17), Loomis also created the Mobile, a shrimp and grits dish with spicy, Southern-style Tasso ham and au jus ($18). Just below that is the Thai, a red curry risotto with peppers, onion, spinach, basil and the choice to add chicken or shrimp ($16-$21). Other international dishes in the mix include a Vietnamese banh mi sandwich ($11) and a Hawaiian-inspired rice and chicken bowl ($13). Rounding out the menu are a half-dozen appetizers ($9-$13), salads ($5-$9), several housemade desserts ($7-$8), and an extensive cocktail and wine list.

And while "tavern" may not be the first word that comes to mind when describing the feel of the charming, brick-colored Victorian housing the new eatery, a steampunk-inspired decor inside — including a wall of open books attached by the cover framing a taxidermied bear head — lends to the menu's eclectic approach.

Browne's Tavern is co-owned by Mary Moltke, who also owns the adjacent EJ Roberts Mansion Bed & Breakfast and operated the defunct EJ's Garden Bistro, which lasted little more than a year before closing last fall.

For those who've missed the historic home's former occupant, the return of another outdoor patio to dine on all summer long is a welcome addition to the Browne's Addition neighborhood. ♦

Browne's Tavern • 1924 W. Pacific • Open Mon-Sat, 8:30 am-11:30 pm; Sun, 11 am-2 pm and 4-7 pm • 315-9934 •