Brix -- There's a sophisticated new kid on the block on Coeur d'Alene's Sherman Avenue. Brix's interior has a warm cosmopolitan appearance with rich fabric and leather upholstery. Nooks in the walls showcase local glass art and original paintings. The baked ricotta with shaved prosciutto and balsamic figs appetizer ($8.25) got better and better with each bite and the house bread was a real treat. The crispy roast duck with butternut squash, roast pears and porcini jus ($24.50) was indeed crispy on the outside as promised, with a moist and flavorful interior. Service, however, was inconsistent, and the desert menu could use some improving. 317 Sherman Ave. Call: (208) 665-7407. (LM)
Thrifty Scotsman -- Man, saving coin never tasted so good. The Thrifty Scotsman gets most everything exactly right in terms of quality, price and friendly service. And that includes big, juicy burgers. The $2.59 Super Bacon is essentially a bacon double cheeseburger with the works (mayo, lettuce, tomato) spread out over the expanse of a six-inch Poor Boy bun. It's definitely a two-fister. And delicious as well. The $5.49 double fish and fries contains eight crispy and tender fish portions stacked on a bed of big, fresh, hand-cut fries. The drive-in's new smoke-free dining environment is a much-appreciated addition. 12024 E. Sprague. Call: 927-2214. (MC)
Lindaman's -- Perched at the top of Grand Blvd., Lindaman's offers sophisticated-but-comforting caf & eacute; fare. A glass display case contains all the salads, entrees and desserts. Salads and pasta dishes are sold by the pound and vary in price. Lindaman's specialties are the casseroles like the King Ranch Chicken and the chicken and spinach enchilada ($4.95) which was a spicy and flavorful little number. The stuffed roasted pork tenderloin ($12) filled with a medley of dried cranberries, onions, mushrooms and apples, had a pleasant flavor, though the meat suffered a bit from the re-heating. Deserts here are terrific. 1235 S. Grand Blvd. Call: 838-3000. (LM)
Quinn's -- Quinn's, well known for its exquisite dinner menu, is now open for breakfast and lunch as well. Offerings include both traditional morning grub along the lines of French Toast ($3.95) and Three-Egg Omelettes ($4.95) as well as nowhere-else-in-Spokane selections like Turkey Chili Ranchero ($6.95) and Redeye Ham and Eggs ($5.95). The Huevos Verde y Jamon ($6.95), a nest of grated cheddar, hash browns, proscuitto and two poached eggs topped with piquant tomatillo sauce open-faced in a browned flour tortilla was a zesty and delicious take on eggs Benedict. 830 W. Sprague. Call: 624-7017. (Sheri Boggs)
Solstice -- Although the entree menu at Solstice contains only seven items, they are a diverse group. The pan-seared yellow-fin tuna with wasabi aioli and black bean essence ($18) was beautifully prepared and went nicely with the understated soy rice and vegetables. The house-smoked baby back ribs ($21) with Uncle Monty's famous barbecue sauce is a menu staple. Separated into singles and stacked with the center space occupied by cornbread, upright spears of asparagus and thin baby carrots with the tops on, the ribs proved to be tender and loaded with flavor. Service was delightful. 1332 N. Liberty Lake Rd. Call: 892-5901. (LM)
Capsule reviews are written by Lauren McAllister (LM) and Mike Corrigan (MC), unless otherwise noted.