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East Idaho Eats: Experience eastern Idaho’s version of fine dining at South Fork Restaurant

East Idaho Eats

This story is brought to you by Colling Professional Services.

RIRIE – Like many restaurant owners in eastern Idaho, Levi Hill has had many struggles since opening South Fork Restaurant at 235 Main Street in Ririe last summer.

Labor and supply chain shortages due to the COVID-19 pandemic have had a huge impact on the industry.

But when it comes to establishing a presence and building up a customer base, Hill couldn’t be happier.

“We slowed down at the end of the summer just like a lot of restaurants do in the area. We’ve done really well … in getting people that come on a regular basis. We’re super lucky to have support from people in the area,” Hill tells EastIdahoNews.com.

Hill says he’s seen a good mix of locals and tourists visit his restaurant, which is currently only open for dinner. He’s looking forward to another busy summer in 2022.

RELATED | Biz Buzz: Local couple opens family restaurant in Ririe

levi and nicoleta
Nicoleta, left, and Levi Hill with their 18-month-old daughter, Hailey. | Rett Nelson, EastIdahoNews.com

He runs the restaurant with his wife, Nicoleta, along with some help from his parents. He’d like to start serving lunch with an expanded menu just as soon as he can find someone to help in the kitchen.

“We already have the menu created and everything (we need) in terms of equipment,” Hill explains.

He isn’t ready to unveil the specifics of the new lunch menu, but he did say it will focus on providing great-tasting food to accommodate the time crunch most customers have at lunchtime.

“It’s going to be geared more towards sandwiches, good salads, maybe a couple of extra burgers, but we’ll expand on those,” he says.

Though it’s a casual family restaurant, Hill describes it as an eastern Idaho version of a fine dining experience. The menu specializes in providing dishes that suits locals’ collective palettes. It includes grilled salmon with chive mashed potatoes and broccoli and blackened chicken pasta served with sauteed vegetables, which Hill says is the most popular item on the menu.

There’s also the New York steak with mashed potatoes and green beans, along with meatloaf and the signature South Fork Burger. EastIdahoNews.com gave some of these items a try, which you can watch in the video player above.

Hill says he’d like to see South Fork Restaurant grow into a restaurant that everyone recognizes and become a place everyone thinks of when they think about dining out.

“It’s a well-named restaurant and (I want it to be) a restaurant where people want to go for a memorable experience and a special occasion,” he explains. “We appreciate all the support from the surrounding area. We wouldn’t be here without it.”

South Fork Restaurant is open 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. Reservations are recommended, but not required. To make a reservation, call (208) 534-6000. If you have experience as a chef and would like to apply, email a resume to chef@southforkririe.com.

grilled salmon
Grilled salmon with garlic mashed potatoes and broccoli at South Fork Restaurant. | Rett Nelson, EastIdahoNews.com

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