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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 its thick deep-fried breading. Our 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, but tasted salty. 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, made on the premises, were both rich and creamy and not too sweet. 846 N. 4th St., Coeur d'Alene, (208) 765-2850 (LM)


If you love barbecue, the Safari Room claims one of the few smokers in our region, with a choice of baby back ribs or pulled pork, either as an entr & eacute;e or an appetizer. We tried the crispy flatbread, roasted in the Safari Room's brick oven, topped with peppery arugula, thinly sliced pears and mild bleu cheese, then drizzled with honey ($8). Our spinach salad with bacon, onions, oranges and strawberries in balsamic vinaigrette was a colorful delight. My halibut ($20) entr & eacute;e came roasted and served with fresh green beans, fingerling potatoes and cherry tomatoes -- the vibrant vegetables were the stars of the plate. The $2 desserts are a lot of fun; you can mix and match the "miniature servings." Our favorite was the simple flan, creamy and cool, with an elaborate caramelized sugar decoration. 111 S. Post St., 789-6800 (LM)


Anthony's tapas are elegantly arranged on a bed of mild chili citrus rice. Our coconut prawns ($10) were plump, lightly fried and accompanied by a vinegary-tart minted, fire-onion relish. The pan-fried oysters ($6) were topped with crispy pancetta for a hint of smoke and pepper; the seared salmon steak ($8) was melt-in-your-mouth fresh but the jalapeno guacamole topping was overpowering. The lamb chops ($3) alone were worth the trip: coated in stone-ground mustard and crushed pistachio and cooked medium-rare, these chops -- the chef calls them "Lambsicles" -- are succulent. The cr & egrave;me brulee trio (vanilla, creamy chocolate, and raspberry), served in individual espresso cups ($6), is best eaten as tiny amounts each on the same spoon, so the raspberry's piquant flavor can cut the richness of the chocolate. 315 E. Walnut Ave., Coeur d'Alene, (208) 765-7723 (CS)


An inviting atmosphere, good food and fast service make this locally owned Spokane Valley restaurant a perennial favorite. Weekend three-course dinners for two ($32) feature special dishes, like medallions of beef with cabernet wild-mushroom demi glace. The Broadway pea salad is a wonderful blend of flavors and textures. Iron-grilled salmon ($16) is tender and accompanied by garlic mashed potatoes (the real thing) and crunchy saut & eacute;ed veggies. Penne pasta with chicken and roasted garlic cream is flavorful and light. And don't forget dessert--moist carrot cake or indulgent mud pie. 10502 E. Sprague, 924-6022 (SH)

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