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Culinary Excellence in Residence

Popular east-side restaurant finds new life as the Cast Iron on 17th

Published online: Jul 12, 2021 Articles, Dining, Lifestyle Steve Smede
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For better or worse, most dining establishments can be described in a single phrase. For one of the latest and finest offerings of the east side’s fine-dining scene, you can even dial it down to a single word: atmosphere.

Idaho Falls dining enthusiasts (especially patrons of Ammon’s eateries) already know about the property at the southeast corner of 17th Street and Ammon Road. Its former life began as a quaint historic home from the 1920s, which later became a general international restaurant, followed by a COVID-canceled 6-month stint as a source for Mediterranean-specific cuisine. 

As of late last fall, the venue has entered its latest incarnation as a new pillar of fine dining, dubbed the Cast Iron on 17th. It’s a made-from-scratch, French-inspired chophouse and watering hole with an ambiance like nothing we’ve ever seen. And we’re not the only ones to have noticed. Since a soft opening late last autumn, its fan base has grown exponentially, including a Facebook page that has already garnered more than 2,000 followers.

Owned by established I.F. restaurateurs Trevor Noles and Josh Swain (a name you may recognize as the owner-operator of a few other well-known local eateries), this new culinary wonder is self-described online as “a redneck-fancy, French influenced steakhouse. Our menu is constantly evolving and changing with the market and market pricing. The one constant: ridiculously mind-blowing food unlike anything you’ve tried before!”

The Cast Iron’s unique ambiance will capture your attention from the moment you enter the front door. Its eclectic interior design features custom upholstery on every chair, racks of for-sale vintage merchandise and vintage pop-culture decor. If you’re paying attention, you’ll even notice a recurrence of severed ties (yes, we’re talking neckties) hooked to walls throughout the bar and dining areas. The running joke is that formal attire—once associated with the prior establishment—shall now be considered an affront to Cast Iron’s unapologetically festive atmosphere. 

So be forewarned: If you come in with a tie, out come the scissors.

Once settled, the next thing you’ll notice is the restaurant’s rotating menu, which includes some truly unique items. (This revelation should come as no surprise if you’re a patron at one of Swain’s other one-of-a-kind eateries: a breakfast bistro on Channing Way called Abracadabra.) 

In our visit to Cast Iron this spring, IFM staff had the opportunity to photograph and sample a few of the house favorites.

According to Manager Steve Sloan (another well-known fixture in local dining circles), the restaurant’s featured dish lineup is constantly revolving and evolving, especially in regards to lighter fare that makes for perfect pairings with the establishment’s wine selections.

In late spring, the restaurant unleashed its brand new, in-house smoked blue cheese ravioli with a delicious in-house apple cider. A few weeks earlier, they introduced a basil-and-balsamic bruschetta stuffed portobello mushroom, as well as a new raspberry lemon cake.

In the Cast Iron bar, you can expect a variety of happy-hour deals like its Saturday-afternoon offering of $3 draft beers. The selection is just what you’d hope for — an eclectic mix of national, regional and local microbrews. The current rotating list includes favorites such as I.F.’s own Scotch Ale from Idaho Brewing Company, Snake River Brewing’s Monarch Pilsner and the OG IPA from Melvin Brewing. Cast Iron’s selection of wines is even more impressive, featuring celebrated names like Velvet Glove, Duckhorn, Bennett Lane, The Prisoner, Chateau D-Issan and others.

For entreés, recurring specials include Spring Citrus Salmon, Sicilian Ribeye Robbusto, Cast Iron Chicken, Mahi-Mahi (served with grilled vinegar vegetable medley, parmesan encrusted mashed potatoes and topped with sweet pea and cilantro puree) as well as the restaurant’s signature dish—a magnificent 3-pound bone-in-prime ribeye called the Cast Iron Tomahawk.

If you find the sheer amount of variation a bit overwhelming, no worries. Those of you with more conservative palates can expect to find a base of half a dozen standard entreé items and an assortment of daily specials that range from basic appetizers to full-blown multi-course meals. 

Whether you’re after a private date-night meal or a grand ol’ party, Cast Iron on 17th has the accommodations (including a revamped patio area) to handle a wide array of occasions and group sizes.  

For more information, visit the restaurant’s page on Facebook, call 208-557-8458 or make an impromptu visit to 3520 E 17th St. in Ammon.

To read more of the July issue click here.

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