Pin It
Favorite

Grownup Landmark Keeps Growing 

Owners preserve Wine Cellar’s charm in new, expanded location

click to enlarge art18645.jpg

For more than 20 years, Coeur d’Alene’s Wine Cellar has been a grownup place (no children’s menu here) to enjoy fine, mostly Italian-influenced food, live blues and more than 300 wine varieties in a subterranean locale made all the more charming by flickering candles, exposed brickwork and decades of good memories.

Since 1992, when restaurateur Jim Duncan created it as a waiting-area for his other place, Jimmy D’s Cafe (the current home of Pita Pit), the Wine Cellar defined fine-dining downtown. But in 2010, when Tom and Patricia Powers took over, locals buzzed — and not from an excess of wine.

The Powers, longtime Cellar patrons, carefully preserved the restaurant’s charm with only subtle tweaks like street-side dining and a tapas menu. Business thrived, yet was limited by the Lilliputian, 300-square foot kitchen — eight burners, no broiler, no oven.

So, this summer the Powers re-opened in the huge and hugely-renovated, two-story former Brix Restaurant a few doors west on Sherman Avenue. Again with the buzz.

“Change is hard,” admits manager Naomi Boutz, the last server Duncan hired before selling to the Powers, who also own Sunshine Minting.

It was worth the risk, however. The cellar expanded to 3,000 bottles, says Boutz, who — like a stockbroker — takes guesswork out of wine for their roughly 100 wine club members. Also new is a self-serve, wine dispensing machine that allows one-, two- or six-ounces (you buy a card that tracks purchases).

The new Cellar doubled its seating, added a full bar and gained a state-of-the-art kitchen, including a wood-fired oven for rustic pizzas like the Med, with artichoke, Feta and roasted tomatoes ($12). Some recipes survived intact — baked apple Brie ($8) and lamb osso bucco ($18) — while others, like the roasted chicken marsala ($16), were updated. Newcomers include the linguine vongole, consisting of clams, mussels and spicy sausage in a creamy red sauce ($16), and biatola salad with candied roasted beets, Gorgonzola and toasted almonds ($6/$9).

Up next is a new website, a Northwest-themed menu and a focus on sustainability.

“Our goal is to work with businesses that are socially and environmentally conscious, more of a local and organic,” said Boutz. 

The Wine Cellar Bistro and Wine Bar • 313 S. Sherman Ave., Coeur d’Alene • Open Mon-Thu, 4:30-10 pm; Fri-Sat, 4:30 pm-midnight; Sun, 4:30-9 pm

Tags:

  • Pin It

Latest in Food & Drink

  • A Good Foundation
  • A Good Foundation

    An exploration of the very different kinds of pizza crust found in Spokane
    • Dec 1, 2016
  • Hops 
and Hogs
  • Hops and Hogs

    How a gearhead's love of beer resulted in V Twin Brewing Company
    • Nov 23, 2016
  • Teamwork
  • Teamwork

    Artisan cider and mead come together at Solace in Kendall Yards
    • Nov 23, 2016
  • More »

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Today | Thu | Fri | Sat | Sun | Mon | Tue
SAS Ornament & Small Works Show

SAS Ornament & Small Works Show @ Spokane Art School

Mondays-Fridays. Continues through Dec. 23

All of today's events | Staff Picks

More by Carrie Scozzaro

  • Grains of Truth
  • Grains of Truth

    Shaun Thompson Duffy goes from mill to oven
    • Nov 29, 2016
  • Taking Care of Business
  • Taking Care of Business

    Locally owned 777 offers a different approach to the cook-it-yourself pizza
    • Nov 23, 2016
  • Native Passion
  • Native Passion

    Jacob Johns is an artist and activist who does a little of everything
    • Nov 3, 2016
  • More »

Most Commented On

Readers also liked…

  • Glass of Health
  • Glass of Health

    The Wellness Tree brings fresh juices to South Perry
    • Sep 24, 2015
  • Farm Charm
  • Farm Charm

    Chomper Cafe serves lunch and all-day breakfast in a historic Hayden farmhouse
    • Apr 29, 2015

© 2016 Inlander
Website powered by Foundation