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by Inlander Staff & r & & r &


OPA


This northside restaurant offers diners a zesty taste of Greece and southern Italy. The tradition of Mediterranean hospitality is evident in Opa's cozy dining room -- blue textured walls bedecked with photos of Greece and Italy, a welcoming fireplace and infectious Greek music. 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)





LINNIE'S THAI CUISINE


At a local performance, Portland singer-songwriter Krist Krueger spent much of his between-song gab time extolling the wonders of Linnie's Thai Cuisine. When someone tells you the food at a restaurant made his insides "vibrate," you gotta look into it. Housed in the former Shack on Third Avenue, Linnie's thankfully doesn't exhibit the same cultural ambivalence in its menu as in its d & eacute;cor -- we were won over by the pad Thai, the (admittedly diminutive) chicken satay and the red curry with beef and basil leaves. We didn't necessarily vibrate, but we were damn satisfied. 1301 W. Third Ave., 838-0626 (JS)





TITO MACARONI'S


At Tito's, they make the whole family welcome. We loved halibut di Parma -- a halibut filet wrapped in prosciutto and baked. The accompanying artichoke heart and herb risotto was rich and delicious. And the amaretto cherry cr & egrave;me brulee ($5) was a delight -- even though I'm normally against any additions, enhancements or even garnishes to my cr & egrave;me brulee. The kids liked the fact that at Tito's the tablecloths are paper and there are plenty of crayons for playing Hangman and drawing pictures of superheroes -- and the ice cream sundaes that came with their $4 meals. In the Coeur d'Alene Plaza on Sherman Avenue, (208) 66-PASTA (LM)





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 combines them into simple, hearty dishes. The menu is relatively small, changing as the many locally sourced foods move in and out of season, with salads and soups offered a la carte. The Caesar ($5) 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 -- and garnished with wafer-thin crisps from the complimentary French rolls. 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 Olsen Farm potatoes. 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). The chocolate bonbons ($6) make 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)

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