DINING & r & Panhandle Roundup & r & & r & & lt;span class= "dropcap " & N & lt;/span & orth Idaho dining has been booming lately, judging by the number of recent arrivals.
Mamasan means mother in Thai, says MAMASAN'S owner Nadja Lane, who remembers crushing peanuts for her mother's peanut sauce as a 5-year-old. Lane draws on her Asian roots for Phad Thai and pineapple fried rice ($6-$9) at this Cedar Street Bridge locale, which opened in June. Vietnamese and Thai spring rolls ($3.50 for two), Japanese sushi and a small Asian packaged-goods market reflect the East, while Jersey "boardwalk" fries ($2-$6), Philly steaks ($7.50) and potato pancakes ($4-$10) represent the West, reflecting Lane's Russian-Polish heritage. Order at the counter and eat along hightop tables in the adjacent "open area" with its million-dollar view of the water.
Down the street at the former Power House is THE CRAGGY RANGE BAR AND GRILL, recently renovated by new owners to resemble the original Craggy Range in Whitefish, Mont. The menu is meaty ($15-$24) -- smoked prime rib, dry-rubbed St. Louis ribs, rotisserie chicken. Pasta, fish -- like macadamia-encrusted tilapia -- hearty sandwiches and bar-type appetizers round out the menu. It's a festive, family-friendly place with rough-hewn log d & eacute;cor, a sports bar area on one end and a pleasant view of Sandy Creek and the marina on the other.
I remember my grandfather always stopped at the bakery before visiting family or friends. I remember a simple white box with red and white string and good things inside. That's the feel of BAKERY BY THE LAKE -- simple, with good things inside -- and not surprising since owner Frank X. Pigott hails from Queens, New York. Read the paper or browse via wi-fi while sipping Umbria coffee, tea or maybe an egg cream. Sweet treats include tarts, Italian canoli, cookies, danish, scones, muffins, brownies and cakes. And artisan breads -- Tuscan cheese, sesame Sicilian baguette and garlic ciabatta -- make a great to-go order.
-- CARRIE SCOZZARO
MaMaSan's, Cedar Street Bridge, Sandpoint, Idaho, is open Mon-Fri 11 am-6 pm, Sat 11:30 am-6 pm, Sun 11:30 am-4 pm. Call (208) 263-0103.
Craggy Range Bar and Grill, 120 East Lake Street, Sandpoint, Idaho, is open Sun-Thu 11 am-9 pm, Fri-Sat 11 am-10 pm. Call (208) 265-3551.
Bakery By The Lake, 314 N. Third Street, Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, is open Mon-Fri 7 am-6 pm, Sat-Sun 7 am-5 pm. Call (208) 209-3129.
WINE & r & Oenology 101 & r & & r &
& lt;span class= "dropcap " & I & lt;/span & f talk of fall and harvests has you thinking that you'd like to learn more about the fruit of the vine -- or at least quaff a few samples -- then read on.
ROCKET MARKET offers a wine class Friday with Lee Anderson of Bottles of Grapes wine distributors. Anderson will lead participants through samples of eight wines, served with cheese and bread from La Brea. Reservations are recommended.
VINO! offers monthly wine classes, too, but if a class sounds too formal, check out their weekly drop-in wine tastings on Friday and Saturday afternoons. Visit the tasting room, pay a nominal fee ($5-$10), and you can sample a handful of featured wines, chat with staff and other guests, and munch on cheese and crackers. It's casual, fun and a great way to learn about wines you'd otherwise never meet.
And finally, the NORTH IDAHO AIDS COALITION hosts a fund-raising wine dinner -- "A Night in the Garden of Good and Medieval" -- on Saturday, with Velma, Queen of Fun. Events include a medieval fencing tournament, they say, so you're bound to learn about more than just wine.
-- ANN M. COLFORD
Wine class with Lee Anderson at Rocket Market, 726 E. 43rd Ave., is Friday, Oct. 19, at 7 pm. Cost: $22. Call 343-2253.
Vino, at 222 S. Washington St., offers classes, wine tastings, wine dinners -- and, of course, wine. Visit www.vinowine.com or call 838-1229.
"A Night in the Garden of Good and Medieval" fund-raiser for North Idaho AIDS Coalition is Saturday, Oct. 20, from 5-8 pm. Tickets: $50. Call (208) 665-1448.