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by Inlander Staff & r & & r & Lovitt Restaurant


Dinner at Lovitt is like dinner at a friend's house, if your friend is an accomplished cook who uses only the freshest local ingredients and puts them together into simple, hearty dishes. The Caesar ($5 a la carte) features crunchy Romaine lettuce dressed with real Caesar dressing -- mild on the garlic and anchovy, but rich with the flavor and unforgettable texture of farm-fresh eggs. The Lovitt burger ($9), a patty of grass-finished beef topped with Cougar Gold cheddar, caramelized onions, tomato and lettuce, comes with crisply roasted wedges of potatoes from nearby Olsen Farm. The nightly special combined made-from-scratch tagliatelle pasta with a beef ragout: tender chunks of beef in a hearty sauce of beef broth, demi-glace, red wine and tomato ($15). Chocolate bonbons ($6) are a light dessert that's easy to share. Lovitt Restaurant delivers superb dining in a refreshing get-out-of-town setting. 149 Hwy. 395 S, Colville, Wash., (509) 684-5444. (AC)





OPA


This north-side restaurant offers diners a zesty taste of Greece and southern Italy and the tradition of Mediterranean hospitality. The Greek meze appetizer offers an array of traditional dishes from spanikopita to dolmades, while the Italian baked lasagna features a family-recipe sauce, oozy cheeses and noodles combined in a well-executed dish. The Greek kota offers chicken breast marinated in butter, lemon, fresh garlic and wine sauce served over al dente fettuccini noodles, and prawns souvlaki is a twist on a Greek favorite: large shrimp marinated in white wine and butter, cooked on a skewer and served over Greek rice with a luscious tzatziki sauce, handmade pita bread and accompanying salad. Dessert is not to be missed -- baklava, tiramisu and spumoni. 10411 N. Newport Hwy., 464-1442 (SH)





Anthony's Midtown Bistro


Small is the new big at Coeur d'Alene's hot spot for tapas. 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 medley of broccoli, red and yellow bell peppers, asparagus and onion ($6) would reheat nicely on top of the rice if we hadn't licked our plates clean. The lamb chops ($3) alone were worth the trip: coated in stone-ground mustard and crushed pistachio and cooked medium-rare, these chops 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. The menu changes seasonally, so Anthony's is a place that always offers more. 315 E. Walnut Ave., Coeur d'Alene. Call (208) 765-7723. (CS)





ISABELLA'S RESTAURANT AND GIN JOINT


Isabella's extensive menu emphasizes classic American fare, cleanly executed with simple flavors, plenty of garlic and not a lot of fuss. It's not trendy, but that's OK -- a little black dress isn't trendy either. The house salad is a highlight, with mixed greens, cucumber, bleu cheese, walnuts and pears in a lightly sweet vinaigrette. The seafood-stuffed rib-eye steak ($24) could serve two easily and is almost too rich, but the saut & eacute;ed scallops ($18) with fresh pasta are sublime. For dessert, the three-tiered chocolate mousse ($6) delights the eye as well as the taste buds. You won't find Bogie at the bar, but Isabella's is a gin joint worth walking into. 21 W. Main Ave., 624-0660 (AC)

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