The Inlander Staff & r & & r & BARDENAY & r & & r & Moist, fragrant and meaty "Wild Turkey Bourbon" pork loin chops were served with deliciously sweet and smoky cider-glazed apples and onions, garlic mashed potatoes and chef's vegetable. Our Bardenay Club sandwich was three inches of house-roasted turkey breast, ham and thick, peppery bacon with fresh lettuce on toasted, cracked-wheat sourdough. The apricot-walnut couscous side dish was a delight of tastes and textures -- firm couscous with little chunks of apricot, golden raisin and walnut. Bardenay takes its beverage service seriously, extolling nuances like using pure fruit liqueurs, freezing its gin, and replacing dry Vermouth with Lillet Blanc, a French aperitif. I settled on a Lavender martini ($6.25), made with Hpnotiq vodka-liqueur, peach schnapps, cranberry juice and Zardetto Prosecco sparkling wine. It did indeed have a faint floral smell, promising spring. 1710 Riverstone Dr., Coeur d'Alene, (208) 765-1540 (CS)
The Hangar features airplanes over moth-eaten jerseys or pennants, and frontlines its 57 martinis (cocktails in a martini glass) over keg nights, but it's definitely a sports bar. The menu's focus is the stone-roasted pizza -- make your own or pick from the menu, with options like Margherita and Hawaiian or more adventurous ones, like El Taco. The Buffalo chicken pizza, with slices of tender chicken bathed in Frank's Red Hot atop a thin crust slice, was weird, like eating nachos on a cheeseburger. And yet... it was surprisingly delicious. The hot sauce, piquant and vinegary, balanced out nicely against the cheese and the very agreeable crust. The grinder -- that's a sub sandwich -- with sausage and sweet cherry peppers was exceptional, with sweet, yet vinegary cherry peppers paired with sweet Italian sausage and truly flavorful provolone in a soft, artisan roll. Martinis and beer pong? Zucchini and prosciutto grinders? Frat boys and highbrows? Somehow Hangar 57 pulls it off. 2911 E. 57th Ave., 448-5707 (JS)
THE SAFARI ROOM
The faux-stone walls and Palladian windows of the Davenport Tower evoke a sense of utilitarian formality -- against that somber backdrop, the safari theme offers an understated, whimsical counterpoint, with leopard print upholstery, zebra-striped pendant lights, and a border of watercolored African animals marching along the ornate crown molding. 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. 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. Service was both knowledgeable and gracious -- exactly what you'd expect at the Davenport. The Safari Room offers pleasant and relaxing dining, with food that is at once familiar and fresh. 111 S. Post St., 789-6800 (LM)
WOLF LODGE STEAKHOUSE
Some of the steakiest steaks in the Inland Northwest can be found a short drive east of Coeur d'Alene along I-90. Rubbed in seasoning, cooked over an open fire and delivered with a genuine attention to doneness, these thick slabs of beef are offered in enough combinations of cuts to meet any challenging appetite. ($19 for a top sirloin to $56 for the steak and lobster) Freshly made, home-style accompaniments are absolutely pleasing. Appetizers are mostly standard pub food except for the Rocky Mountain oysters. 11741 E. Frontage Rd., Coeur d'Alene (I-90, exit 22), (208) 664-6665 (MD) n
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.