Taste February 12, 2024

A Cut Above

Bellevue's Cutthroat Club is set to shine the light in the south

There’s something simmering down south in Bellevue.

In the usually sleepy town that is known for being the “Gateway to the Sawtooths,” follow your nose to the Cutthroat Club, the newest yet rustic and Idaho-centric restaurant that gets your mouth watering and your belly full.

“Our restaurant was built with the locals in mind, there’s really nothing quite like this in Bellevue,” owner and chef Jay Verrege says. The Cutthroat Club is Verrege’s brainchild. Along with Verrege are partners Mike and Jane Flynn, and chef Rodney Moore to oversee the day-to-day back-of-house operations.

A former Navy Seal, Verrege is an avid outdoorsman and family man who fits in nicely with the Wood River Valley culture. At 10 years old, he learned how to cook in his grandfather’s Basque restaurant in California.

He spent three years as an apprentice to iconic restaurateur and chef Pierre Gagnier in France. He ran multiple successful restaurants throughout California, including Wolf House Restaurant in Sonoma, which was then a Michelin-rated restaurant.

Now, he brings his expertise and love of wild game to Bellevue, Idaho. With a June opening, the Cutthroat Club is still fresh in people’s minds but not as familiar as it should be. The cuisine has a unique southern Creole flavor to it, but it’s not entirely based on that. It has a distinct taste that can only be described as “mountain southern.”

“We take food quality very seriously and are extremely particular about sourcing,” says Verrege. “Our goal is to source locally and seasonally whenever possible. It’s not something we boast about; it’s just a responsible approach to food. We believe in doing things differently, and that’s reflected in the food we serve.”

Verrege tries to bring in elk or venison as much as he can; he likes to keep it an Idaho-style spread, which is what you’d expect with the hunting and fishing clientele of the mountains. He also brings a pronounced cut of Wagyu steak.

“We always ensure to serve our customers with a great steak. We source several cuts of premium Wagyu steak from a custom butchery process product in Kentucky, which is 100% Wagyu, not cross-bred. This sets our beef cuts apart from others and makes them very upscale,” says Verrege.

On top of the top cut of steak, try other popular dishes like their signature fried chicken Tupelo, which is a southern-style dish made with biscuits and greens. They also offer fresh fish daily, and duck or rabbit on a regular basis.

“We always have some sort of game available to cater to everyone,” he adds.

Thankfully, when it comes to desserts, they don’t rotate too many, as Verrege’s dessert menus are a thing of folklore. Try the signature butterscotch bread pudding or sheep’s milk pie. If that’s not enough, they make their own ice cream and bake their own pies in-house.

Based on the state fish of Idaho, the name Cutthroat Club is as unique as the menu. They aim to create a classy lodge-like atmosphere that’s reminiscent of upscale hunting and fly-fishing lodges. At 200 S Main Street in Bellevue, the building has an old brick feel that’s unique to the area—and, at one time, housed a bank, complete with a secure vault room.

These days, the Cutthroat Club serves diners daily, except Wednesdays, and has quickly built a Sunday brunch following to watch football. It’s a place to take your (taste) buds or even the whole family.

This article appears in the Issue of Sun Valley Magazine.