The fourth annual Inlander Restaurant Week got off to a big start last weekend, as the region's restaurants were packed with diners looking to celebrate the culinary prowess of the Inland Northwest.
The event, which features 104 eateries — ranging from fine dining to pub fare and casual restaurants — continues through Sunday, March 6. With the big turnout, participating restaurants are recommending that you call ahead for reservations, regardless of the day you head out.
On Friday night, we checked in on Italia Trattoria (pictured above) in Browne's Addition, which didn't have an empty table during dinner service. Italia's menu features a lamb and potato sausage, pan-fried steelhead trout, and a porcini mushroom and potato timbale as their three Restaurant Week entrées. Their Drink Local offering is the a figgy Manhattan, which uses Dry Fly's fig-infused bourbon.
Across town in the Logan neighborhood, Clover also was doing brisk business, with most diners opting for Inlander Restaurant Week offerings.
"It is really nice to see a full house, with a lot of new faces every night," says Chef Travis Dickinson, who helped kick off the week by participating in a panel discussion on Wednesday night with other chefs and restaurateurs before the Inlander's Suds and Cinema screening of Chef at the Overbluff Cellars Event Center inside the Washington Cracker Co. Building.
Dickinson says that his semolina crusted rockfish has been the best seller, followed closely by the braised rabbit, which is served with a wild mushroom lasagna.
Throughout the week, diners are encouraged to continue using the #IRWRaveReviews hashtag on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook to post photos and brief reviews of their meals. For each Rave Review, Inlander Restaurant Week makes a donation to Second Harvest Food Bank. n
In the first weekend of the event, we saw several Rave Reviews; here's just a few of the dishes that received shout-outs.
• The Globe's caprese pasta
• Beverly's warm beignets
• Thai Bamboo's golden cashew chicken
• Clinkerdagger's amaretto chocolate mousse
• O'Doherty's Scotch eggs
• Lantern Tap House's chicken bacon gnocchi mac and cheese
• Geno's coconut prawns
• Luna's lamb fettucini ragout
• The Grand's pomegranate, kumquat and fennel salad