Boise and the Basque country of Spain have a lot of connections—Jaialdi, and the shops and restaurants of the Basque Block, just to name a few. Txikiteo, which serves small plates and tapas, and is the sister restaurant to The Modern Hotel, represents how Basque culture is widespread across the city even though the restaurant serves mostly Spanish fare.
“I wouldn’t say our food is really Basque. To be honest, it’s more Spanish-inspired,” said Chef David King. “It’s just simple, good food.”
Txikiteo roughly translates to "pub-crawl," or a group of friends walking to enjoy different snacks, which was the exact idea owner Elizabeth Tullis had in mind. She was looking for an all-day restaurant option for the guests of The Modern Hotel, where they could walk to and enjoy affordable wine and snacks from breakfast to dinner. What’s great is that people don’t have to be guests at The Modern to enjoy what Txikiteo has to offer.
“We wanted to open a more accessible and less expensive restaurant that could be an all day long experience,” said Tullis. “We also wanted to have really good food and took the idea after Spanish cafés, so we ended up using a lot of Spanish foods.”
The restaurant opened during Treefort in 2018, and has a strong snack game. The cheese and meat boards are particularly impressive and the restaurant rotates options to provide the freshest selection possible. Txikiteo also has a large wine menu that offers a lot of natural wines and always has at least two Spanish wines on the menu, as well as some from the Basque country and around the world.
Txikiteo makes everything in-house except for the meat, cheese and bread. The meat and cheese boards come with a large variety of pickled vegetables and fruit compotes. The restaurant also has a rotating menu of hand-made deserts, often with gluten-free options. The jamon sandwich is a favorite, and the different tapas change out seasonally.
The restaurant also has a popular "bottles and boards" program, where people can bring in their own food, and the restaurant will plate their charcuterie board and people can also buy bottles of wine at a discount.
Due to COVID-19, the restaurant has made some changes, but it still posts as a place to pick up a snack and a bottle of wine. It also offers catering with advanced notice, though it has discontinued table service.
“We have put every safety precaution possible into place for guests and staff,” said Tullis. “What’s great is that the weather’s nice right now, so it’s working well and people can come down and enjoy the patio.”