The Inlander Staff & r & & r & OLIVE OILZ & r & & r & The d & eacute;cor at Olive Oilz doesn't scream Italian -- it's more Americana -- but the menu is all Mediterranean, from Spanish paella ($25) to several pasta dishes and a dozen enticing antipasti (appetizers). The soups are outstanding -- the creamy tomato vegetable soup with Gorgonzola and the rich creamy curried lentil alone are worth a visit. Among entr & eacute;es, the New York strip steak with wild-mushroom Gorgonzola sauce ($22) arrived in bite-size pieces, and it was almost melt-in-your-mouth tender. The pasta with large prawns ($18) -- angel hair pasta in a tomato-saffron sauce with Italian sausage and prawns -- was amazing and popular. Two breads, baked in-house, accompanied the meal. We finished with a hopped-up, piece-of-pie-shaped brownie ($6.50), moist, with a crumbly top layer, drizzled chocolate frosting and chocolate shavings. From bread to dessert, Olive Oilz is friendly, cozy and comfortable. 2812 E. 30th Ave., 535-3104 (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. 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 it's just different enough to be special. 2808 E. 29th Ave., 536-4745 (AC)
The ambience at Villaggio (Italian for village) 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 caramelized onions add a layer of texture and flavor to the Insalata Villaggio ($10), with arugula, pear slivers, walnuts, Gorgonzola and fig balsamic vinaigrette. 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. A fully stocked bar serves wine, martinis and other mixed drinks. 2013 E. 29th Ave., 532-0327 (DN)
Peering through the Beacon's floor-to-ceiling windows onto Sherman Ave. is a bit like watching television with the sound turned down. We contemplated healthy choices, like the Sunshine Salad -- shredded romaine, cotija cheese, fried plantains (OK, mostly healthy), spiced almonds, avocado and mango vinaigrette ($5) -- but opted for the lightly crispy jalape & ntilde;o-cream cheese wontons with just the right amount of pepper heat ($7.50). The moist and flaky beer-battered fish and chips is easily the most affordable in North Idaho -- $8 for three and a half large chunks of fish -- and the tartar was sweet and bold with a hint of capers. Eight draft beers, from Guinness to Bud Light to local Laughing Dog, and 22 bottled choices gave a casual beer consumer like me plenty of options. Service was excellent, and the ambience was equally pleasant, making the Beacon a hip locale for tasty pub grub that's reasonably priced. 325 Sherman Ave., Coeur d'Alene, (208) 665-7407 (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.