The Inlander Staff & r & & r & KLINK'S ON THE LAKE & r & & r & The journey to Klink's deck beside Williams Lake built our anticipation for the resort's weekend breakfast. Klink's serves real, heavy cream with its Cravens Coffee, so just a dab will do. The breakfast menu features the usual suspects: eggs several ways, smoked meats, chicken-fried steak, pancakes, French toast, biscuits and gravy -- and Klink's signature oatmeal, smooth and creamy with a subtle nuttiness, accompanied by Craisins and nuts. And the side order of four long bacon strips ($3) was cooked just right. The Dungeness crab and cheddar omelet ($13) is an enticing blend of earth and sea, with big pieces of briny crabmeat and oozy melted cheddar all wrapped up in a fluffy three-egg omelet. The French toast ($7) arrived with six wedges of the batter-coated egg bread topped with powdered sugar, and was pronounced "delish." Breakfast at Klink's is refreshing and relaxing -- just what a trip to the lake is supposed to be. 18617 W. Williams Lake Rd., Cheney, (800) 274-1540 (AC)
WINDOWS AT THE RED LION HOTEL
We started with bacon-wrapped prawns ($9), three good-sized crustaceans wrapped in smoky bacon with baby bok choy and a yummy, sweet-hot cilantro garlic sauce. The flavors of this dish went well together -- the sweet, smoky prawns offset by the crunchy bok choy and tangy cilantro. The forest mushroom soup ($6) was almost blindingly rich, but the meaty sliced mushrooms were allowed to shine in the creamy base, no doubt aided by the healthy drizzle of white truffle oil on top. My companion's spinach salad with Asian pear ($6) was also a real treat, perfectly dressed in a light, sesame vinaigrette that went well with the red onions and rich feta. My grilled smoked duck ($19) with a ginger-molasses glaze was a success: the skin crisp and flavorful, the inside smoky and rich. The menu is reasonably priced, with options from Asian to Italian to Northwest in style. The interior is creative and pleasantly designed. And the view is unbeatable. 303 W. North River Dr., 326-8000 (LM)
The ambience at Villaggio is upscale: a dozen dark wood tables, folded white cloth napkins, little red table candles, new age/fusion jazz background music. Pizzas from the brick wood-fired oven are the tasty highlight, like the Vegetariano ($15) -- a 12-inch, irregularly shaped platform for a thin layer of tomato sauce and a gardeners' feast of caramelized onions, mushrooms, roasted eggplant, peppers, artichoke, and millimeter-thin slices of zucchini. The Jocelina panini blends prosciutto, mozzarella, provolone, artichoke, roasted red peppers, fresh basil leaves and tomato into something yummy but best eaten with a fork. The wonderfully rich tiramisu ($7), with layers of creamy filling, coffee-saturated cake and melted chocolate, was a lovely ending to a very nice meal. If you judge pizza by the inches per dollar, Villaggio might disappoint you. But if your judgment is based more on quality than quantity, you'll find a nice experience. 2013 E. 29th Ave., 532-0327 (DN)
MAGGIE'S SOUTH HILL GRILL
The interior at Maggie's is bright and sunny, especially in the morning, with rough-hewn sunflower-yellow walls and stained-glass upper windows. The whole menu is comfort-food friendly, and brunch is a weekend treat. The crab benedict ($11) is a highlight -- two poached eggs perched on top of crab cakes, with the requisite English muffin underneath and a light topping of hollandaise. Each crab cake is generous and distinctly crabby, with a light crunchy crust yet moist and savory inside with colorful flecks of minced celery, peppers and onions. The pumpkin pancakes ($5.75), a stack of four fluffy cakes at least six inches across, entice with the aroma of pumpkin pie; they were thick but light, with subtle flavors of pumpkin and spice. Maggie's is the kind of place where you don't have to dress up to go out and get a weekend breakfast that's comfortable and familiar but just different enough to be special. 2808 E. 29th Ave., 536-4745 (AC)
At Coeur d'Alene's place to see and be seen, the moist, fragrant and meaty "Wild Turkey Bourbon" pork loin chops are served with deliciously sweet and smoky cider-glazed apples and onions, garlic mashed potatoes and chef's vegetable ($13). Other interesting entrees included rum pepper steak (the rum and gin are distilled on site, while the vodka is made at Bardenay's restaurant in Eagle, Idaho) served with green peppercorn demi-glace and topped with Roquefort cheese ($23). Sandwiches are served with a choice of fries, house greens, Caesar, spinach salad, apricot-walnut couscous, cabbage slaw, soup or garlic mashed potatoes with gravy. Bardenay takes its beverage service seriously, extolling nuances like using pure fruit liqueurs, freezing their gin, and replacing dry Vermouth with Lillet Blanc, a French aperitif. 1710 Riverstone Dr., Coeur d'Alene, (208) 765-1540 (CS)
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.