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by Inlander Staff & r & & r & ANGELO'S RISTORANTE


The dim interior at Angelo's is decked in nostalgic Italiana and religious iconography, and the menu features handcrafted foods, mostly organic. Starters like calamari saltate, antipasto misto and grilled eggplant parcels with goat cheese, basil, tomato and pine nuts in a sun-dried tomato vinaigrette sounded delicious; but the crab cake appetizer special disappointed us, with the thick deep-fried breading. The list of entr & eacute;es is impressive -- pasta, chicken, veal, seafood and steaks. The chicken milano alla griglia ($21) was beautifully plated, topped with capers and diced tomato, and accompanied by fresh green beans and a little fried mashed potato cake. This would have been a pleasant entr & eacute;e, if not for the overpowering saltiness. More successful was my companion's lobster ravioli ($21) -- al dente pasta pillows stuffed with lobster, whose flavor sparkled. The half order of the grilled polenta cake salad, with sun-dried tomato vinaigrette and a lump of creamy goat cheese was filling but yummy for $7 more. Cr & egrave;me brulee and tiramisu, both made on the premises, were rich and creamy and not too sweet. 846 N. 4th St., Coeur d'Alene. Call (208) 765-2850 (LM)





Ambrosia


Inside the attractive dining room, with its warm, richly painted walls and shiny dark wood tables, you'll find a pleasant start with the simple hummus appetizer ($7) -- clear, clean flavors of lemon, garlic and cumin and a drizzle of olive oil accented the sensuous chickpea puree, served up with warm triangles of grilled flatbread. Our French onion soup ($6) was rich and tasty, if a little messy, with the croutons and cheese on top, and lots of onions in the broth. The appealingly earthy gnudi ($15), a cousin of gnocci, is made with ricotta cheese and topped with crisped prosciutto, fresh sage and mushrooms. Service was pleasant, if a bit distracted. 9112 E. Montgomery Ave., 928-3222 (LM)





HAY J'S


Lunch at this sleekly modern, yet comfortable, space features a strong selection of sandwiches, wraps, burgers and salads plus a variety of favorite dinner entrees. Dinner ramps up to black-napkin elegance and the menu shifts toward entr & eacute;es and small plates. The Ladieu salad showcases pecans, grapes, red onions and feta cheese on a generous plate of baby greens, in a lightly sweet huckleberry vinaigrette dressing. The black bean and chicken soup of the day was a highlight, served with warm crusty asiago sourdough bread. My parmesan-crusted halibut -- a healthy cut of mild fish in a thin coating of crumbs and cheese that added crunch without overwhelming the subtle flavor of the fish -- came with a delicately roasted medley of summer squashes, a delightful treat and a feast for the senses. Our server was attentive without hovering. 21706 E. Mission Ave., Liberty Lake, Wash., 926-2310 (AC)





MICKDUFF'S


MickDuff's Sandpoint brewpub is rustic and comfortable, but with flecks of modernity. And a little kitsch. The floors are the original Douglas fir, buffed to a shine. There are massive old-wood pillars. But the walls are painted avocado green, with dark green trim over corrugated tin-roof wainscoting. Decoupaged onto the tabletops are hundreds of arcane beer labels: Acapulco Lime, Funky Monkey, Tube City, Robin Hood Ale. That's the real focus of the place: the beers. Try their half-dozen ales on their own, or as ingredients in their soups, sandwiches and burgers -- including the Brewers Burger, which for a few bucks extra you can get with the it-meat, Kobe beef. 312 N. First Ave., Sandpoint, Idaho, (208) 255-4351 (JS)

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