Pin It
Favorite

A Glass Half Full 

by CARRIE SCOZZARO & r & & r & & lt;span class= "dropcap " & T & lt;/span & hree Glasses should have been an easy review. This subterranean Sandpoint restaurant and wine bar exudes ambience with amber-colored walls, warm wood seating, Bill Reid on the piano playing "As Time Goes By." Owners John and Darcy Peters have labored with love to model Three Glasses after upscale places they've visited in their extensive travels. Their chef is authentic old-country from Torino, Italy, but with classic French training and a flair for incorporating local flavors like morel mushrooms and huckleberries. Past visits have yielded terrific meals like the charcuterie plate of bread, meat, both hard and soft cheeses, and olives ($18). It's a perfect complement to a full-bodied red and reasonably priced to share among friends. The braised pork shank with huckleberry sauce was mouth-watering, tender and bright with flavor ($24), and I've also had a handmade ravioli in sage and beef sauce that melted in my mouth ($18).





These past meals raised my expectations, however, and made my most recent dining experience at Three Glasses less than ideal, as I and my companion had one dish that was good, but not great, and another that was wholly disappointing.





Usually, we share small plates and appetizers, sometimes getting our own salads. On a past trip to Three Glasses, I'd had the Priest River organic green salad ($7), which was very good and one of the few regulars on their eclectic menu. Wanting to try something different -- and hardly adventurous enough to try the roasted beet and pepper salad with an anchovy fondue ($10) -- I convinced my partner we should split two entr & eacute;es.





The maltagliati -- it means badly cut and implies an assortment of shapes and sizes -- had that telltale homemade-pasta softness, light and moist. The sauce was a mixed seafood ragout of salmon, mahi mahi, a meager helping of shrimp, and rockfish, which was the most flavorful aspect of this dish. There was a subtle smokiness to the sauce, yet I easily could have withstood a stronger garlic or tomato accent. The dish was abundant and, at $21, almost enough to share between two.





For our second choice, the menu offered several tempting entr & eacute;es including the oven-roasted lamb loin chops on a winter vegetable puree ($29), fresh mahi mahi filet rolled in bread crumbs with a lemon marscapone sauce ($26) and chicken breast stuffed with roasted peppers and goat cheese with an herb velout & eacute; sauce ($23). We opted for the most expensive: buffalo straccetti seared with fresh asparagus and basil ($32). When it arrived, it was an unappealing grey-brown color and resembled a large plate of stir-fry minus the rice. The meat was occasionally chewy and lacked flavor, with a thin sauce that may have been just the juice from the meat. The asparagus was fresh but overdone, droopy where it ought to have been crisp, and whatever basil had been used in the dish was also either cooked out or underdeveloped.





The service, while prompt and attentive, lacked the sophistication one might expect in a place like Three Glasses, and our waiter seemed oblivious to the untouched portion of meat on my plate. He brought us more bread, which was delightful, hearty and fragrant with a savory herbed butter. Another treat was the dessert of crepes stuffed with strawberries and a caramel-thick Grand Marnier sauce ($7) that we could have licked off the plate.





When owner Darcy Peters happened by, however, she took our disappointment personally and, had we asked, probably would have had the chef prepare something different. She then ordered the dish for herself, because it was new on the menu and she had not yet tried it because she'd just returned from a family funeral. That, combined with the other hardships Peters and her husband have endured since the restaurant's opening last summer -- including the delay of their chef's arrival from Italy and, more recently, flooding that necessitated several months' closure while the floor was completely replaced -- points to the personal side of the business.





Many previous meals at Three Glasses have been good, so I'll happily return to try the small plates like eggplant parmigiana ($14) and seared ahi tuna rose with citrus and soy ($14). I'd also go back for their new "apertivio," or happy hour, Tuesday through Saturday from 4:30 to 6:00 pm -- with $3 dishes like timbale of roasted eggplant, tomatoes and fresh mozzarella or asparagus rolled with ham and gruyere and $1 off bar drinks and wine by the glass.





Although obviously a restaurateur always hopes for a good review, Peters embodies the glass-is-half-full attitude: If the dish doesn't work, she says, she'll fix it. And that's enough for me.

  • Pin It

Latest in News

  • 'Why Aren't They Digging?'
  • 'Why Aren't They Digging?'

    The family of a man killed by Spokane Police in 2011 is still searching for answers
    • Jan 12, 2017
  • 'Hookerville' Revisited
  • 'Hookerville' Revisited

    Pedestrian bridge's price tag draws fire before city council vote; plus, Washington, Idaho fall short in closing the achievement gap
    • Jan 12, 2017
  • Taking a Hike
  • Taking a Hike

    Whether or not they supported the minimum wage hike, local businesses and nonprofits are scrambling to pay for it
    • Jan 12, 2017
  • More »

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Today | Wed | Thu | Fri | Sat | Sun | Mon
A Million Refugees in Your Hands

A Million Refugees in Your Hands @ Rockwood Retirement Community

Wed., Jan. 18, 7 p.m.

All of today's events | Staff Picks

More by n/a

  • Iron Upgrade
  • Iron Upgrade

    The new one is smart and funny and action-packed, and it’s bigger and better and sleeker. And Downey does it again, this time ramping up Stark’s arrogant wisecracking, telling anyone who’ll listen (mostly women) that, via the creation of his powerful Iron Man suit, he’s brought years of uninterrupted peace to the world.
    • May 12, 2010
  • Seeing Gay
  • Seeing Gay

    A festival showing GLBT from all angles
    • Nov 9, 2009
  • Get Out the Vote
  • Get Out the Vote

    With all the uncertainty in the world these days, hot wings and cold beer are two things we can get behind
    • Nov 9, 2009
  • More »

Most Commented On

  • One Free Shave

    Donald Trump might have merited a honeymoon with voters had he managed his transition better
    • Dec 29, 2016
  • Thanks, Obama

    The legacy of the 44th President goes far beyond the election of the 45th
    • Dec 29, 2016
  • More »

Top Tags in
News & Comment

scandal


Comment


scandals


Briefs


green zone


Readers also liked…

  • Manufacturing Fear
  • Manufacturing Fear

    Spokane's Republican sheriff says members of his own party are dangerously dividing people
    • Aug 12, 2015
  • Patrolling While Black
  • Patrolling While Black

    Gordon Grant's nearly 30 years as a Spokane cop have been affected by race, but that's not the whole story
    • Jul 8, 2015

© 2017 Inlander
Website powered by Foundation