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Fresh seafood is the top priority for Anthony’s — the restaurant company works directly with fishermen and shellfish suppliers to make sure every last salmon, swordfish and oyster meets a high standard. But diners don’t need to know the details to appreciate the fine-dining atmosphere, daily specials, happy hour offerings and — perhaps most impressive — the postcard view of the Spokane Falls. (July 2013)

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Two things about Boomers Classic Rock Bar & Grill that you need to forget: it’s in a shopping center strip mall surrounded by grassy, empty lots; its next-door neighbor is an unrelated dive bar by the name of the Cum Inn. Once you’ve forgotten this, you’re free to enjoy the kind of place where bands play classic rock every weekend and the burgers are juicy and full-textured. The best seller is the Frankenstein, a burger decked out in fried Spam, fried egg, deep-fried onion, chipotle brown gravy and (says the menu) an ambulance. The Patty Benatar, Mr. Mojo Rising and Sublime burger each come with their own signature extras. (April 2013)

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Inlander readers voted this hip new eatery in the South Perry District the Best New Restaurant. Opened in June 2012 by the team from Madeleine’s Patisserie, Casper Fry turns out upscale Southern comfort food like Low Country Shrimp and Grits and some of the best fried chicken you’ll find. Its Josper oven, one of only about 10 in the country, uses charcoal and wood chips for smoking and grilling to turn out house-smoked meat and sausages. (July 2013)

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This isn’t lakeside dining — when you eat at Cedars’ floating restaurant, you’re dining on the water at the confluence between the Spokane River and Lake Coeur d’Alene. Seafood is the specialty here and the smoky, cedar-planked, wild-caught salmon is consistently good. The patio is the place to be. You can even arrive by boat and tie up at one of Cedars’ docks. (July 2013)

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This restaurant at the Coeur d’Alene Casino incorporates locally foraged mushrooms, bitterroot, camas root and shore-netted sockeye. Steaks — filet mignon, ribeye, baseball-cut top sirloin, cedar-flamed porterhouse (for two) — are cooked over open flame using locally harvested apple wood. In the summer, order the huckleberry ice cream, showcasing North Idaho berries, that’s made right at your table and flash-frozen using liquid nitrogen. (July 2013)

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Don Draper would fit in beautifully at Churchills, with its luxurious, masculine décor, top-shelf cocktails and traditional (in all the best ways) takes on sides and steaks. The star of the show here is the USDA prime Midwestern beef that’s dry-aged, then cooked at 1800 degrees. The sides are a la carte, and the Cougar Gold mac and cheese is worth every single calorie. (July 2013)

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With excellent food, service and view of the river, Clinkerdagger sets the standard for reliable fine dining in Spokane. The restaurant’s pea salad, rock salt prime rib or crème brûlée have become beloved favorites since the restaurant opened during Expo ‘74. Want to try something new? Order off the seasonal menu, featuring fresh and locally grown ingredients. (July 2013)

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Cricket’s has stood the test of time on Coeur d’Alene’s mercurial Sherman Avenue. Maybe it’s because Cricket’s is the only game in town for oysters. Or maybe it’s their vast menu that spans from build-your-own pizzas to steaks and sandwiches. Or maybe it’s their prime people-watching location, right smack on the avenue. Whatever it is, it’s working. (July 2013)

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Elmer Fudd would be right at home here — trophy mounts, rustic cabin interior — except there's no rabbit on the menu. Instead, breakfast, served daily until 3 pm, includes the wild omelette with choice of elk, buffalo or German sausage. For dinner, pork, beef, elk, chicken, or seafood. (July 2011)

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Squatting directly off the highway in Liberty Lake, Hay Jay’s Bistro’s blocky strip-mall exterior — and book-cover first impressions — are immediately overturned the second you open the door. Inside, the bistro is pure class, with candle flames flickering atop wine bottles at the tables, and metallic vine sculptures wrapping around wine bottles on the walls. With a wine list boasting 100 choices, and a wine bar next door, the selection manages to live up to the hype set by the décor. The relatively pricey menu boasts steaks, tapas, burgers, pastas and risottos — but seafood remains the most popular genre. (July 2013)

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Housed in a rustic yet upscale lodge overlooking Luby Bay on Priest Lake, Hill’s Resort’s restaurant boasts a menu of Northwest standards, including steaks and their signature baby back pork ribs, in addition to creative seafood options you can choose from while sipping on a specialty cocktail from the bar. When you wake up in the morning, you might as well come back to Hill’s — their breakfast, available on their recently enlarged deck, is just as good as dinner. (July 2013)

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While the food at Hills’ is often simple, it’s prepared with such care and fresh ingredients that we can’t stop thinking about it. The bar is also notable — their tap selection is usually unusual, and they have surprising reserves of port and scotch. Owner Steve Hill can recommend a hard-to-find beer or whip up a specialty cocktail, if that’s more your speed. (July 2013)

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You’d be hard-pressed to find many other eateries that have been alive and kicking in Sandpoint since 1975. One of those is the Hydra, which continues to produce reliably priced and tastily cooked steaks, including their well-known baseball-cut top sirloin, which comes in both 8- and 16-ounce sizes. If beef isn’t your game, that’s fine. The Hydra also has a full seafood menu in addition to pasta, sandwiches and other options. (July 2013)

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On the banks of Lake Williams, 15 miles southwest of Cheney, chefs Trevor Bradley and Jerry Schrader prepare pan-fried oyster specials on Tuesdays, serve up a breakfast buffet on Saturdays and Sundays, and offer new dishes like shrimp and grits — large white shrimp sautéed in lobster-tomato broth ($15). All of the restaurant’s sauces and dressings are made in-house, and their meat and fish are never frozen. The sirloin-brisket burgers, coupled with happy hour and a sunset, make this a worthy destination. (July 2013)

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Masselow’s is the only Eastern Washington restaurant to have ever received AAA’s Four Diamond Award, an honor earned by stringent attention to detail. Every detail. The decor is beautiful, without being stuffy or pretentious. The food is carefully (and locally) sourced. The service is unparalled. And the complimentary fry bread is a lovely nod to the rich Native American history in our region. (July 2013)
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