Pin It
Favorite

Recently Reviewed 

The Inlander Staff & r & & r & CIAO MAMBO & r & & r & Ciao Mambo has figured out the formula for success as sort of a sexier Tomato Street. Yet they boast a wine list of nearly 40 domestic and imported red and white varieties. Part of a small chain that originates in Montana, Ciao Mambo has an Olive Garden feel that may appeal to many diners: It's got brightly colored walls, Rat Pack music in the background, and a well-rounded menu of appetizers, soup and salad, pasta, pizza, kids' portions and even dessert. The cozze (mussels) was wonderfully done, with a hearty and flavorful fish stock and perfectly al dente linguine. The fresh basil tempered the savory stock, and the mussels -- more than a dozen of them -- were nicely done. The insalata di melanzane alla parmigiana ($13) was also wonderful on an earlier visit: thick slices of eggplant, a smoky-earthy flavor and thick cheese. The lasagna is a dense dish of pasta, saut & eacute;ed spinach, meat sauce, ricotta and mozzarella -- a well-constructed dish. Pizzas are done brick-oven style and include nine combos plus the option to build your own. Ciao Mambo is definitely a socially oriented restaurant and would be a fun place to hook up with your own Rat Pack. 8166 N. Government Way, Coeur d'Alene, (208) 772-9555 (CS)





OLIVE OILZ


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 at Olive Oilz 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 orzo pasta with chicken featured tender chunks of chicken in a lemon-basil cream sauce ($18). 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. The house-made crab cakes shared a plate with a small lettuce salad ($15), both topped with sun-dried tomato pesto that was subtle enough to enhance the taste of the crab cakes, although a tad mild as a salad dressing. 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)





THE VIKING TAVERN


The Viking is a Spokane tradition, with a full menu of sandwiches, burgers, salads and appetizers -- not to mention that fabulous selection of beers. The sandwiches are big and tasty any time of day. And if they've got bacon cheeseburger chowder, go for it. Service is prompt, friendly and comfortable without being pushy. As befits the general comfort level at the Viking, we lingered long after our meals were done. 1221 N. Stevens St., 326-2942 (AC)





HILLS' RESTAURANT AND LOUNGE


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. 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 10 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. And if the day's menu includes fresh sorbets or ice creams, save room -- Hills' makes them from scratch. 401 W. Main Ave., 747-3946 (MD)





AMBROSIA


Inside the attractive dining room, with its warm, richly painted walls and shiny dark wood tables, you'll find a pleasant start with the simple hummus appetizer ($7) -- clear, clean flavors of lemon, garlic and cumin and a drizzle of olive oil accented the sensuous chickpea puree, served up with warm triangles of grilled flatbread. Our French onion soup ($6) was rich and tasty, with the croutons and cheese on top, and lots of onions in the broth. The appealingly earthy gnudi ($15), a cousin of gnocci, is made with ricotta cheese and topped with crisped prosciutto, fresh sage and mushrooms. And the butternut squash ravioli, with browned butter, cranberries and crumbled sage, captures the flavors of fall. 9112 E. Montgomery Ave., 928-3222 (LM)

  • Pin It

Latest in News

  • Won't You Be Our Neighbor?
  • Won't You Be Our Neighbor?

    The people, places and moments that defined and shaped the Inland Northwest's distinct neighborhoods
    • Jul 28, 2016
  • NORTH HILL
  • NORTH HILL

    An influx of creativity and businesses has this Northside neighborhood looking good
    • Jul 28, 2016
  • LATAH / HANGMAN VALLEY
  • LATAH / HANGMAN VALLEY

    Two names and a community bridging new and old
    • Jul 28, 2016
  • More »

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Today | Fri | Sat | Sun | Mon | Tue | Wed
KuroNekoCon

KuroNekoCon @ Spokane Convention Center

Sat., July 30, 10 a.m.-11 p.m. and Sun., July 31, 10 a.m.-10 p.m.

All of today's events | Staff Picks

More by n/a

  • Iron Upgrade
  • Iron Upgrade

    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.
    • May 12, 2010
  • Seeing Gay
  • Seeing Gay

    A festival showing GLBT from all angles
    • Nov 9, 2009
  • Get Out the Vote
  • Get Out the Vote

    With all the uncertainty in the world these days, hot wings and cold beer are two things we can get behind
    • Nov 9, 2009
  • More »

Most Commented On

  • Lane Ends Ahead

    Spokane wants to improve a mile-long section of Monroe — but that means taking away two lanes
    • Jul 7, 2016
  • Too Smart for School

    What happens when a 12-year-old prodigy tries to go to college in Spokane?
    • Jun 30, 2016
  • More »

Readers also liked…

  • Letters from Mark
  • Letters from Mark

    A mother tries to understand the suicide of a son — just as he was regaining his freedom
    • Jan 14, 2015
  • Don't Test Me
  • Don't Test Me

    The Smarter Balanced standardized test has sparked a rebellion in Western Washington — and it's spreading
    • Apr 15, 2015

© 2016 Inlander
Website powered by Foundation