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Fresh & amp;amp; Tasty 

by Susan Hamilton and Ann M. Colford & r & & r & CASUAL Flight 57





NEWS More Time to Eat


Sunday and Monday evenings have been traditionally dead times on the local dining scene, but that seems to be changing -- downtown diners gained a couple more options in the past month.





MOXIE recently began opening for dinner on Monday evenings, and business has been building as word spreads. The restaurant was open on Mondays for lunch only, but with so many business travelers and others staying in nearby hotels, demand was growing.





Just a few blocks east and north, MIZUNA is now open on Sunday nights for dinner. With the arrival of warm weather, that means diners may now enjoy the patio seven balmy evenings a week.


-- ANN M. COLFORD





Moxie, 816 W. Sprague, is open for lunch Mon-Fri 11 am-2 pm and for dinner Mon-Thu 5-9:30 pm, Fri-Sat 5-10 pm. Call 456-3594.





Mizuna, 214 N. Howard St., is open for lunch Mon-Fri 11 am-2 pm and for dinner seven nights a week, 5-10 pm, later on weekends. Call 747-2004.





KUDOS Outstanding


in The Field


& lt;span class= "dropcap " & A & lt;/span & fter just one year in business, VIN ROUGE was named the full service restaurant of the year by the Inland Northwest chapter of the Washington Restaurant Association, a trade group of restaurateurs and suppliers. Partners Jeff Jenkins, Carrie Davis and Tim Hartman were thrilled to be recognized by their peers in the industry. "It really meant a lot to us to receive something like that in our first year," says Jenkins. Hartman adds, "Our employees -- we have like a little family, and we love them all. [The award] makes us feel very good. It's humbling, it really is."


-- ANN M. COLFORD





Vin Rouge, 3029 E. 29th Ave., is open Mon-Fri 11 am-10 pm, Sat 9 am-midnight, Sun 9 am-10 pm. Call 535-8800.





SHOPS Healthy Chic


& lt;span class= "dropcap " & T & lt;/span & he benefits of olive oil have been touted since a study in the 1960s of more than 12,000 men in seven countries revealed that Mediterranean people were the least likely to develop coronary heart disease. Greek men also enjoy the longest life expectancy in the world. Their secret for a long and healthy life is found in their diet, which includes plenty of olive oil.





Low in cholesterol and saturated fat and rich in vitamin E, olive oil doesn't require chemical processing. This flavor-enhancing oil is a healthy replacement for butter and margarine, perfect for cooking or as a dip for bread.


A new shop in downtown Spokane offers the best in olive oil -- the COEUR D'ALENE OLIVE OIL COMPANY has branched out from its home in the Lake City to offer Spokane gourmands a place to buy its olive oil, infused vinegars, hand-stuffed olives and bath products.





"We have lots of customers in Spokane," explains co-owner Brad Gunn. "With the other specialty shops downtown, our store is the perfect fit."


The company's olives are harvested on family-owned and -operated groves in California. Careful selection and maintenance of each harvest is ensured.


"We guarantee our olive oils are 100 percent California fruit, extra virgin, first cold press, all natural, cholesterol- and chemical-free," Gunn says. "They're also limited production and harvest dated."





The sun-dried tomato tapenade I tasted in the newly opened, cosmopolitan Spokane shop last week was savory and spicy. The Gunns make their tapenades in the New Orleans Muffuletta tradition, blending black, green and Greek olives with vegetables, Italian spices and extra-virgin olive oil. They recommend it in pasta, on sandwiches and meatloaf or a spread for bread.


Extra-virgin olive oils include a buttery, light Mission reserve, house blend (Ascolano, Sevillano and Mission) and gourmet dipping blend (balsamic vinegar, roasted garlic, Mission olive oil and spices), ranging from $15 to $23. Infused vinegars from pear-chardonnay to balsamic are hand crafted in the traditional Orleans method. Hand-stuffed olives include blue cheese and jalapeno. The bath line features handmade soaps, lotions and olive-oil salt scrubs.


-- SUSAN HAMILTON





Coeur d'Alene Olive Oil Company, 827 W. First Ave. (at Lincoln, in Spokane), is open Mon-Sat 11 am-6 pm. Call 747-6343.

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