The Inlander Staff & r & & r & THE TWO-SEVEN PUBLIC HOUSE & r & & r & A new entrance, combined with rustic corrugated metal siding and stained wood timbers, gives the place the feel of a modern mountain lodge with an al fresco dining area. The Two-Seven features hearty, unpretentious food in a casual setting, like its siblings (the Elk in Spokane, Coeur d'Alene's Moon Time and the Porch in Hayden). The Manila clams ($13), in a fragrant beer-based broth with garlic, butter and fresh ginger, were tender and delicious, with a clean finish. The creamy curry salad was perfect salad for a warm summer evening, with crisp red grape halves, crunchy candied walnuts and celery. We tried the exotic salpicon -- shredded beef that was falling-apart tender and flavorful, with chipotle peppers, jack cheese, red onions and roasted poblano peppers, beside lightly grilled flour tortillas. Superb. The marinated grilled lamb sandwich was terrific but needed more of the flavorful tzatziki. Also on the menu are favorites like the 74th Street gumbo, the chicken Caesar soft taco and the Anasazi bean burger. The kid's cheese quesadillas were a hit with two of our young guests. For dessert, the warm fudgy brownie and two big scoops of vanilla ice cream with a drizzle of chocolate sauce was a home run with our crowd. Service throughout the evening was efficient and pleasant. 2727 S. Mount Vernon St., 473-9766 (LM)
Madeleine's is somehow light and airy and cozy simultaneously, with periwinkle walls, sun-gold trim and massive picture windows that look out on a busy street corner. The superbly balanced Doma espresso never misses a beat -- shots are pulled perfectly and the drinks are affordable. For lunch, the salad trio plate ($9) -- your choice of any three salads from the large case -- is not to be missed. The quiches ($5) rotate ingredients but are always blessed with a perfectly crisp and buttery crust. At dinner (served Thursday-Saturday), the appetizers and entr & eacute;es are basically French comfort food, and it's all affordable luxury. The Steak au Poivre ($15) served steak filets on skewers atop a mound of frites, accompanied by an intensely rich gravy that perfectly highlighted the lean but flavorful beef. Each entr & eacute;e came with a proper little side salad of organic garden greens, lightly dressed. Desserts and baked goods are unrivaled in their freshness. Madeleine's really delivers that laid-back caf & eacute; experience. 707 W. Main Ave., 624-2253 (SN)
Expect no pseudo-multinational fusion foods here -- just good upscale surf 'n' 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 proportioned, with a spicy peanut sauce that had just enough bite. The Steak Oscar ($22) tops medallions of beef with a sizeable chunk of Dungeness crab, and comes with sweet roasted julienne vegetables over a garlicky mound of mashed potatoes smothered in b & eacute;arnaise sauce. Stilos is 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)
Working folks chow down early at this homey and welcoming north-side breakfast eatery; later come the retirees and bleary-eyed college students. Everything feels spare and utilitarian except for the clock hanging on the wall by the kitchen. Service is attentive and the extensive breakfast menu has choices from egg combos to waffles to omelets, along with a few house specialties -- scrambles, breakfast burritos and even eggs benedict. Eggs come cooked as requested, and the bacon is thin, not too soft, not too crisp. Waffles are tasty and not super-sweet -- just right for soaking up a light touch of syrup. The orange juice was fresh, pulpy and especially good. 2931 N. Division, 326-7144 (AC)
PRAGO, AN ARGENTINE CAF & Eacute;
Prago is a place where spending time and conversing are the most important things. From the tapas menu, we chose bruschette with roma tomatoes, garlic and extra virgin olive oil. The chicken empanadas -- three small meat pies filled with ground chicken, green chiles, green olives, corn and raisins -- were warm and savory, accompanied by a spring greens salad. The veggie panini, diagonally cut bread with sliced tomato, red onion, mushroom, melted provolone cheese, mayo and sprouts, was soft and gooey and really a treat, washed down with a glass of sweet iced peppermint tea. If you're looking for a place where food is the centerpiece, try someplace else. If food is just part of the experience for you, this might be your place. 201 W. Riverside Ave., 443-0404 (DN)
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.