The Cutwater on Payette Lake

Written by S. Ryder at
Patio dining at The Cutwater on Payette Lake.
Pomegranate in The Cutwater on Payette Lake
Wine and food on a table.
Interior dining at The Cutwater on Payette Lake.


If you're planning a visit to McCall, a meal at The Cutwater on Payette Lake should be on your must-try list! I had the pleasure of dining there with some friends for lunch during a recent weekend getaway, and it proved to be a delightful experience that I highly recommend.

Cutwater, situated by the waterfront, offers a picturesque view and a wonderful ambiance. The layout of the restaurant is designed to encourage conversation, making it an ideal spot not only for a meal but also for catching up with friends.

You can choose to sit at the bar and chat with the bartender, relax on the patio, or cozy up inside by the fireplace. The Cutwater also features a variety of games, perfect for whiling away the time while sipping on a few drinks.

And in addition to the beautiful atmosphere, the staff at The Cutwater is genuinely warm and welcoming.

As someone who loves learning about food preparation, I asked them several questions and found them to be respectful and knowledgeable. They take pride in carefully selecting the ingredients for their dishes, ensuring freshness and sourcing from local markets whenever possible. This commitment to quality is truly admirable.

One unique aspect I found about The Cutwater is The Tank—a special game room that keeps both kids and adults entertained. Filled with exciting activities such as foosball and board games, this room is the perfect place for families to have fun while waiting for their meals.

So if you're looking for a fantastic dining experience that combines outstanding food, wonderful ambiance, and excellent service, The Cutwater on Payette Lake is your spot. Don't miss out on this gem during your McCall vacation!


Welcoming, warm, and enjoyable are some of the words I would use to describe the vibe of The Cutwater on Payette Lake. Sit down, relax, enjoy a glass of wine or a fabulous cocktail, and then spend some time chatting and reconnecting. 

The staff is very friendly and warm, and the area is beautifully decorated with a lot of focus on all-natural elements.

The Cutwater on Payette Lake: Menu & Drinks

I visited on a weekend lunch period and enjoyed a wide range of foods—their menu is incredible!

My table began with the Spinach and Artichoke Dip, which was very luxurious and creamy. It is served with carrots, radishes, pita, and chips and was a very large portion. I enjoyed just how much spinach was in it and not just a lot of cream.

For my meal, I decided on the Bang Bang Chicken Sandwich. I was a bit worried about it being messy, and it was a bit, but it was also very much worth it! 

Wow, what flavor and the chicken was very moist and incredible. This is easily one of the best versions of this chicken I have had. Because it was so tender, I asked, and they said they marinate it in buttermilk for at least a few hours before they bread and fried it. It’s a big sandwich that comes with a spicy bang bang sauce along with lettuce, tomatoes, and pickles.

I also enjoyed the Bourbon Peach Smash cocktail. Quite the drink, I must say. It used Bird Dog Peach Bourbon, which has such a strong flavor profile that I absolutely loved. It also has Disarrona Amaretto, lemon, and iced tea with it. A nice tart treat that’s easy to enjoy over a long conversation.

Local Tips

  • I visited during the summer, but the views and experience during the winter, especially with that very warm fireplace, has to be one of the best ways to spend some time.
  • There’s a Starbucks located around the corner that serves up the coffee for this establishment, too.
  • While it seems a bit more upscale than other locations, it is a family-friendly location, and kids are treated with lots of smiles, too! Bring them!
  • I suggest coming in with a reservation, as they did not have available tables for those who popped in during the time I was there.


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