Topping Out

Topping Out

Schweitzer Mountain Resort takes fine dining to the mountaintop
If you're looking for the highest place to get a good meal in all of Idaho, you might just find it atop Schweitzer Mountain. Located 6,375 feet up and between the Great Escape and Snow Ghost runs, Sky House replaced the rustic Wang Shack.

When One Door Closes

Chef Adam Hegsted has closed the Cellar, but has other irons in the fire
Friday will be the end of something special for many in the Inland Northwest. The Cellar's chef/owner Adam Hegsted recently announced that the Coeur d'Alene restaurant would unexpectedly close, and that the business and building were up for sale.

A Big Move

Badass Backyard Brewing is now pouring in Spokane Valley
If there's any downside to the new location of Spokane Valley's Badass Backyard Brewing, it's the loss of the namesake backyard where owner Charlene Honcik and head brewer Kendra Wiiest established their brewing acumen back in the summer of 2015. The trade-off with the move to their new spot, though, means more parking spaces, a bigger taproom and a walk-in cooler with room to store a lot more beer than the old spot.

A Bright Spot

The Kitchen Counter serves simple, seasonal fare to the lunch crowd in Moscow
A new lunch spot in downtown Moscow bursts with warmth. The light streaming through the windows and skylight masks the wintry chill as friends and co-workers linger over steaming bowls of soup in amber-colored wood booths.

Beer Notes

Whistle Punk lands a taproom spot in downtown Spokane, and some other brewing news
About a year ago, we wrote about the sneaky emergence of Whistle Punk Brewing, which began placing a few tasty IPAs on the taps at beer bars and pubs around Spokane. The hop-forward brewery owned and operated by father-son duo Matt and Craig Hanson was winning over fans, but doing it without a physical location where folks could taste the Whistle Punk beer roster.

Sip and Nosh

Bistango Martini Lounge now offers a full menu to pair with its handcrafted cocktails
Over the 11 years that Reema Shaver has owned and operated Bistango Martini Lounge, she heard one resounding request from her customers. People wanted food options, something more than the limited small-plate items her original menu carried.

Turn to Teach

Batch Bakeshop isn't closing — it's just bringing baking to the people
When Mika Maloney transitioned from a shared kitchen into her own space for Batch Bakeshop two years ago, she had a lot of ideas for using the building. "I always wanted it to be this flexible space.

Unfrozen Freshness

An effort on the Palouse is proving that our region can support farmers markets year-round
People who are accustomed to shopping at weekly farmers markets between May and October can find a bit of an oasis all winter on the Palouse. At monthly markets in Pullman and Moscow, tables are topped with fresh greens, fruit, dried or canned goods, and vegetables fit for hearty winter soups.

Blended Traditions

New Rathdrum eatery dishes up Mexican-inspired comfort food
Picture two adversaries in the typical Western, with one drawling on about how "this town ain't big enough for the both of us." At a population of around 7,000, Rathdrum certainly isn't big — Main Street is only a few blocks long — but there's definitely room for two Mexican restaurants, especially if one is kickin' up classics with dishes like the smoked brisket burrito ($9.95) and pork belly tacos ($10.95).

Changing Times

A flurry of new restaurants have popped up recently, while a few others closed
Winter in Spokane means many things — too many people at the malls, hibernation due to bad drivers, and apparently, the closings and openings of dining establishments. Here's a roundup of new spots to visit and old spots to mourn:

Tapping Its Potential

The Brown Derby retains its historic vibe through a dramatic makeover
For months, pedestrians and drivers on Garland Avenue saw the Brown Derby's windows covered, and the weathered and worn exterior giving no indication of the dramatic makeover happening inside. Eventually, there were signs of life — electricity fueling the old sign jutting from the roof, the windows offering views of a shiny new interior, a sandwich board on the sidewalk proclaiming "Beer, Pizza, Pool — The Ultimate Dream?"

Lean and Clean

Grabbagreen offers healthy fast food in Coeur d'Alene
For some, the New Year means resetting the holiday season's tendency toward gastronomical excess. But as a new diet is contemplated, one wonders about taste, fullness and variety.

Northside Noodles

A second location for Nudo Ramen House brings the trendy Japanese cuisine to North Spokane
Noodle-loving folks from North Spokane and beyond can now get their fill of Nudo's brothy bowls in the restaurant's new spot at Northpointe Plaza. After opening in late September, the second location offers the same menu, familiar to diners who've frequented the ramen house that first opened in downtown Spokane in 2014.

Progressive Shift

Chef Jeremy Hansen's two new eateries inside the Washington Cracker Co. Building offer a blend of rustic and refined dining options
A short set of stairs end inside a dimly lit, cellar-like space. Low ceilings, exposed brick-and-plaster walls, reclaimed wood and rich leather seats reveal the decidedly rustic and masculine atmosphere of the newly opened Hogwash Whiskey Den.

Mom-Approved

A desire for healthy home meals prompted Coeur d'Alene's Prana Juice Bar & Eatery
Jennifer Swope knows of at least one North Idaho restaurant where her kids can order anything off the menu: Prana Juice Bar & Eatery. One son, explains the mother of four, favors the Vibe Me smoothie — cashew milk, banana, strawberries, blueberries and hemp seeds ($6.95) — while the oldest daughter digs the black bean and avocado quesadilla ($8.25).

A Familiar Feel

Tomato Street adds a new location at River Park Square
Rock City Grill's move from River Park Square to the South Hill presented Tomato Street owner Dean Haynes with an opportunity. And he took it.

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Recent Comments

  • Re: Unfrozen Freshness

    • Soooooooo. Awesome. We need one in Spokane, too! There's plenty of empty spaces in buildings…

    • on January 5, 2017
  • Re: Tapping Its Potential

    • It's super cool! Great halibut and chips and steak bites are delicious. Try it out!!

    • on December 27, 2016
  • Re: Northside Noodles

    • Pretty busy? That's great!

    • on December 25, 2016
  • Re: Caffeinated Chemistry

    • Thank you for your support through out the years. Beautiful Grounds has now closed its…

    • on December 24, 2016
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