The Inlander Staff & r & & r & STILOS & r & & r & Stilos is an architectural dream with Craftsman-style windows, wall-to-wall woodwork, a rock fireplace, and well-appointed design details like the geometric and floral motif on the ceiling. Expect no pseudo-multinational fusion foods here -- just good upscale surf and turf, expertly presented and served with panache under the direction of Chef Patrick Fechser. The sesame ginger tuna appetizer ($11) -- ahi tuna seared with sesame seeds and served with bok choy, peppers and sesame ginger cream over a mound of sticky rice -- is fragrant and abundantly apportioned, with a spicy peanut sauce that had just enough bite. Our server recommended the gorgonzola salad -- hearty, with a crunchy-creamy texture accomplished with maple pecans, tomato, cucumber, red onion and a gorgonzola cheese vinaigrette. The Steak Oscar ($22) tops medallions of beef with a sizeable chunk of Dungeness crab, alongside sweet roasted julienne vegetables over a garlicky mound of mashed potatoes smothered in b & eacute;arnaise sauce. In addition to martinis, Stilos has a healthy wine list, plus a selection of ports, domestic and imported beers, and a full bar. It's a lovely place for a special occasion when you're looking to dine out with style. 1400 N. Meadowwood Lane, Liberty Lake, Wash., 891-9192. (CS)
ARTISAN CULINARY LOUNGE
Just when you think you've seen it all, you go to a restaurant with a big bed front and center. The wild mushroom bruschetta ($9) with tomatoes, baby spinach, Fontina cheese, basil and white truffle oil was a crowd favorite, with lots of cheese and goodies loaded on crisp, thin slices of bread. Among entr & eacute;es the rigatoni ($12) with sweet Italian sausage and pine nuts was a zesty winner, as was the halibut meuni & egrave;re with capers. The seared sea scallops, served on a flavorful cassoulet of sausage, lentils and beans, was a strange combination that seemed to work, with the sweet scallops playing nicely off the earthy salty taste of the legumes. 515 W. Sprague, 747-6272 (LM)
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 gnocchi, 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)
Last year's remodel spruced the place up, but the top-notch diner food hasn't changed a bit. My Joe's Special omelet ($8) -- filled with a meaty blend of ground beef, saut & eacute;ed red onions, spinach and parmesan -- came with a generous serving of hash browns that were crusty and browned on the outside, potatoey and tender inside, without being mushy. The cinnamon-swirl French toast ($5) was delicious, and the steak-and-egg special ($5) made even a self-proclaimed beef snob talk about his meal for the rest of the day. Lunch is a treat, too, with soups -- like chicken Diablo chowder -- made onsite and served with such diner classics as a BLT or a burger. Service is confident, efficient and friendly without veering into perky. 425 W. Sprague, 624-3952 (AC)
The new one is smart and funny and action-packed, and it’s bigger and better and sleeker. And Downey does it again, this time ramping up Stark’s arrogant wisecracking, telling anyone who’ll listen (mostly women) that, via the creation of his powerful Iron Man suit, he’s brought years of uninterrupted peace to the world.