McCall Idaho Tamarack Ski Resort Winter Ruperts Venison Meatballs red cabbage

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Thursday — Monday: 4pm – close
Tuesday & Wednesday: closed


1101 N 3rd St
McCall, ID 83638


Where Local’s Go For A Romantic Meal

After such a long day, it was nice that our last dinner was inside the Hotel McCall, called Rupert’s. Every local we spoke to agrees that Rupert’s is the spot they go for a special meal. Only in Idaho would you find the best restaurants connected to hotels. This was a recurring theme as we traveled across Idaho. Local Idaho hotels have great food!

Down a long hallway adorned with historical photos, we enter the dining room of Rupert’s. To our surprise, every table is filled and it’s a Thursday night. We’re glad that we listened to the local’s advice and made reservations.

Local Freshies® tip: Rupert’s is a VERY popular restaurant, even in the small town of McCall, so be sure to make a reservation no matter which day you go.

Venison Meatballs?

McCall Idaho Tamarack Ski Resort Winter Ruperts Venison Meatballs red cabbage
The Grilled Local Venison Meatballs

Seated by our host, we look over the menu and know this will be a hard decision. Fortunately, Chris our server, also the restaurant manager, is our guide for the evening and about to take us on a food adventure! We couldn’t have had a better setup! With so many choices, what should we get? He immediately points to the Venison Meatballs. The menu changes 3 to 4 times a year but the one appetizer that is NEVER removed is the Grilled Local Venison Meatballs. Sure, why not! They arrive on a long rectangular plate resting upon a bed of red cabbage and we dive right in. They’re crispy on the outside and juicy in the middle with spices that lean towards Southeast Asian influences. They aren’t gamey at all but you can tell the meat is something special and not your typical meatball. Simply put… Sooo good!

Exceptional Customer Service

While waiting for our next course, we see Chris interacting with all the patrons and brings out food for a couple holding an adorable infant. The moment they take a bite, the baby starts to cry. In one smooth motion, Chris scoops the baby into his arms, relieving the parents, and bounces him around the dining room while they enjoy their meal. We are mesmerized at the level of customer service. It reminded us that we’re in a small town where everyone prides themselves on knowing and caring about others.

Up next… Beet Salad & Ginger Squash Soup

McCall Idaho Tamarack Ski Resort Winter Ruperts Venison Meatballs beet salad
Roasted Beet Salad

Arriving next is our soup and salad. The Beet salad is refreshing and mixes well with the citrus dressing and feta atop. The shining star though is the soup. A creamy concoction that reminds me of the texture of a lobster bisque. With each spoonful, the spiciness builds upon itself hinting the ginger notes with some tanginess. Again, incredibly tasty.

You Are What You Eat

The old adage “You are what you eat” has rung in my ears for years. Of course, it’s talking about eating healthy, but at the same time my mind always considers what animals actually look like. Typical farm animals such as cows, chickens & pigs don’t appear intellectually superior and are usually fattened up. On the flip side, wild native species such as elk, deer, and bison are muscular, picky eaters and smart enough to make it on their own. Any time I see game meat on a menu, I gravitate right to it and end up picking it as these thoughts run through my mind. Game Meat Bolognese is on the menu tonight and definitely something I would enjoy.

McCall Idaho Tamarack Ski Resort Winter Ruperts
Game Meat Bolognese with elk sausage

After the first taste filled with elk sausage and pasta, I knew I picked right. The elk sausage had the firmness of an andouille and it paired well with the ground meat sauce and al dente pasta. There was just enough sauce to add flavor but not too much to blow out your palette. It’s like the Italians went Elk hunting and whipped up the dish. One word – Amazing. On the other side of the spectrum was our Thai dish.

It’s Thursday Thai night

OK, if the Game Meat Bolognese is amazing, then the Thai dish is out of this world! The first bite made me understand why Rupert’s is packed on a Thursday night. I can’t even begin to explain all the spices and complexities of flavors in the entrée we ordered. All I can tell you is that it had the perfect amount of spiciness to truly enjoy it without making it overkill.

Local Freshies® Tip: If you’re in McCall on a Thursday night be sure to go to Rupert’s for Thai Night. You won’t be disappointed. If Thai food isn’t really your thing, it will be after eating here!

Always Room For Dessert… And Perhaps A Little Port

McCall Idaho Tamarack Ski Resort Winter Ruperts
English Sticky Toffee Pudding

Stuffed to the gills, Chris asks us if we have room for dessert. Initially we say no but then he starts reciting the dessert menu. Our ears perk up. English Sticky Toffee Pudding?!? What is that? Chris’ face lights up. There’s a list of people he actually calls each winter once this dessert is back on the menu. With a following like that, you only live once, right? Sure, let’s try it.

Chris then asks if there’s anything we’d like to drink? “How about a Port from 1967?” he says. That has to be like $100 a sip?! Nope. Only $25 a glass. To drink something that’s 50 years old is just too hard to pass up. He brings out the dessert, the bottle of port, and a glass. The bottle is unique that the logo and year are hand painted accentuating the age of the bottle. Pouring a glass, he leaves us to enjoy our dessert.

McCall Idaho Tamarack Ski Resort Winter Ruperts 1967 Kopke Colheita Port Wine
Besides Muscle Cars & Frank Sinatra this Port was around too

I grab the first spoonful of English pudding soaked in toffee, drizzled in caramel and a side scoop of fresh vanilla ice cream. The cold ice cream pairs perfect with the hot bread pudding. It’s decadent. Perfect for our last dinner in McCall. Taking a sip of the Port alongside the dessert, my mind is transported to a simpler time. I imagine all the things that were around in 1967. Muscle cars and Frank Sinatra are first to my mind. It was also around this time that my father had traveled to McCall and skied at Brundage mountain himself. The town may have changed a bit over the years but it hasn’t lost its soul.