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The Inlander Staff & r & & r &

Hills' Restaurant and Lounge & r &

The same neighborly pub attitude and atmosphere that made Hills' first restaurant a local classic has been transported to a new, airier home across from Auntie's Books. Hills' still serves some of Spokane's most satisfying salads, including the succulent Southern Fried Chicken Salad ($9) with chunks of crunchy-breaded bird enlivened by a zingy mustard dressing. Chips made from local (Olsen Farm) potatoes can accompany any one of the ten burgers or sandwiches, but the restaurant's premium offerings are their steaks. Serving Brandt True Natural Beef, Hills' offers diners a choice of six different steak cuts ($10-$25) and 14 freshly made sauces ($1.50-$6) ranging from bistro (Gorgonzola) to cuisine (B & eacute;arnaise). The Scotch egg ($3.75) -- hard-boiled, wrapped in sausage and breaded -- is a crisp-fried wonder with which to start any meal. 401 W. Main Ave., 747-3946 (MD)


The dim interior at Angelo's is decked in nostalgic Italiana and religious iconography, and the menu features handcrafted foods, mostly organic. The 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. Lobster ravioli ($21) is al dente pasta pillows stuffed with lobster, whose flavor sparkled. Cr & egrave;me br & ucirc;l & eacute;e 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)

The Safari Room

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, a sprinkling of mild bleu cheese and drizzled with honey ($8). My halibut ($20) entr & eacute;e came roasted and served with fresh green beans, fingerling potatoes and cherry tomatoes -- the vibrantly colored vegetables were the stars of the plate. The special, arugula pesto tossed with penne pasta, shrimp and artichoke hearts ($14), was a nice, light entr & eacute;e, even more flavorful after adding just a sprinkle of salt. The $2 desserts are a lot of fun; you can mix and match the "miniature servings." 111 S. Post St., 789-6800 (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 puts them together 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. 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). 149 Hwy. 395 S, Colville, Wash., (509) 684-5444. (AC)

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