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by Inlander Staff & r & & r & Anthony's Midtown Bistro

Small is the new big at Coeur d'Alene's hot spot for tapas, with selections like sauteed mushrooms, grilled prawns and beef tenderloin, all 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 overpowered. 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. And there's always cheesecake served New York style -- firm, creamy, a hint of lemon -- with cr & egrave;me anglaise and raspberry puree. The menu changes seasonally, so Anthony's is a place that always offers more. 315 E. Walnut Ave., Coeur d'Alene, (208) 765-7723 (CS)


The glossy laminated menu warns, "VERY, VERY LARGE PORTIONS!" above the breakfast listings, and it's truth in advertising. The Breakfast Special ($5.45) -- two pancakes, two slices of bacon and two eggs -- sounds manageable, but these cakes are substantial, the size of hubcaps, made with a rich eggy batter. The fancy hashbrowns ($3.50), topped with smoky bacon, tangy cheddar and colorful green onion, are a delight. Omelets begin with three eggs, and the Blitz ($8.75) fills those eggs with German sausage, mushrooms, tomato and "Swiss" cheese, all topped with avocado and sour cream. This exact omelet with actual Swiss -- or lacking cheese at all -- would be damn near perfect. Nosworthy's doesn't take plastic, so be prepared to pay cash for all that food. 4045 N. Government Way, Coeur d'Alene, (208) 664-6161 (AC)


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 accent 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. 9112 E. Montgomery Ave., 928-3222 (LM)


Owner Lauren Izenberg and her staff take pride in knowing their customers and giving them great service -- not to mention scrumptious food. With daily specials like chicken pesto panini, you have to come back again to try regular lunch items. Soups of the day can include roasted Yukon Gold potato, chicken basil chili and crab red-pepper bisque. Salads run the gamut from house to Greek to the fully loaded Hopped-Up, and sandwiches from paninis to deli choices like the perfectly executed BLT on sourdough. The Riverside's turkey with cranberries on focaccia is a comforting m & eacute;lange of flavors and textures. Freshly baked scones are Izenberg's trademark, so don't leave without dessert. 120 W. Riverside Ave., 448-1281 (SH)

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