by Michael Bowen
The Peacock Lounge
10 S. Post St. * 455-8888
As ornate as the Davenport's lobby is, you ain't seen nothin' till you've turned the corner and entered the impressive Peacock Lounge.
Right away you notice the blue peacock wallpaper, the two peacocks -- examples of the taxidermist's art -- above the bar, and stained glass ceiling featuring (what else?) a peacock motif. Marble countertops, gold-leaf accents, ornate sconces, the elaborate floral arrangement atop the bar island, and soft piped-in jazz complete the sybaritic picture.
But the Peacock Lounge isn't so swanky that you have to wear a tux. On a recent weekday evening, ski parkas and plaid shirts were in evidence; there was only one formally dressed couple in the entire bar. Of course, at the Peacock, they'll also pour you a snifter of Hennessy Paradis Extra cognac, Macallan 30-year malt scotch or 150-year-old Grand Marnier.
There's a long list of specialty martinis here: the Key Lime, Peacock Punch, Washington Red Apple, Pink Lemonade, Mint Chocolate Chip, White Chocolate, Chocolate Decadence -- even the Orange Creamsicle (Stoli vanilla, vanilla syrup, cream and a splash of o.j.).
Bartender Travis Moulton says: "We serve everything here from the usual rum and Coke to -- well, we sell a ton of these specialty martinis. Groups will come in and order one of each off the menu.
"I think we have the most diverse and well-stocked bar in the area," Moulton adds.
Yet as good as the drinks may be, the Peacock's elegant ambience is its real draw.
There's a nook on the far side of the bar, for example, separated only by glass from the lobby, with big armchairs and a fireplace -- cozy and secluded, but still in the heart of the Inland Northwest's swankiest spot.
515 W. Sprague * 838-6311
A century ago, the daughter of Sen. William Ridpath of Washington state married the son of Levi Ankeny, who literally owned the town of Lewiston, Idaho. Their wealth is reflected today in the gold-leaf sconces, mirrored ceilings, brass rails and leopard-print chairs at Ankeny's. While you're there, listen to jazz, nurse a drink, or dine on such delicacies as tequila-lime chicken salad and huckleberry pork chops. The views are so great, you'll feel like you really are in a big city.
Steam Plant Grill
159 S. Lincoln St. * 777-3900
After you enter the tile foyer and descend to the Steam Plant bar, you're about 75 feet below the skylights towering over all the steel beams, cables, pipes and catwalks that criss-cross the interior of this remarkable restoration.
Huge pipes have been refashioned into trickling pools of water. An entire wall of one dining area is taken up by the original steam plant's control panel. All the gizmos and exposed ductwork counterpoint the SPG's relaxed yet elegant "Industrial-Craftsman" decor.
Sherman Ave. and Second St., CdA * (208) 765-4000
Swanky? Beverly's has long been the kind of place where you can crown your meal with a huckleberry souffl & eacute;, some Louis XIII cognac (that's $160 per snifter) and a Macanudo cigar.
Not swanky enough, however, for owner Duane Hagadone. General Manager Chris Mueller reports that the soon-to-be-completed $1.3 million restoration will endow Bev's with a new marble floor, maplewood wine displays, table linens from France, an acoustical copper ceiling, New York bone china ... in other words, that Macanudo is going to smoke even better now.
621 W. Mallon Ave. * 328-5965
The "Fish, Steak and Chop House" sign hangs out in front of the Flour Mill like some 18th-century "Ye Olde Taverne" storefront advertisement, and sure enough, when you step inside the dimly lit corridors of Clinkerdagger, you know you've arrived in the land of Jonathan Swift. Dark wood, plenty of red brick, pints of ale sloshing in mugs, hearty slabs of prime rib swimming in their own juices -- this is the food and drink that Gulliver would have loved.
Others Worth Checking Out
Brix; the Clark House in Hayden; Luna; Cavallino Lounge
Publication date: 2/03/05