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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 a perfectly serviceable 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 for a warm summer evening, with crisp red grape halves, crunchy candied walnuts and celery. Entr & eacute;es feature comfortable foods in appealing combinations, like the Italian meatloaf sandwich and 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. Service throughout the evening was efficient and pleasant. 2727 S. Mount Vernon St., 473-9766 (LM)





OISHII


Inventiveness is a hallmark of chef Junior Solis, who designed the hip space. The updated menu features nearly a dozen new rolls, gyoza (fried pork potstickers) and Hawaiian poke, alongside sushi staples like nigiri (rice topped with fish/seafood) and sashimi (just the raw fish/seafood). Oishii's poke ($10) starred a fresh-tasting maguro (red-meat tuna known as bluefin), firm-textured with a zesty marinade of scallion, sesame oil, sesame seeds and sea salt. Plenty to share, it would make a pleasant lunch alongside seaweed salad ($5) and soup. The Oxygen roll ($12), one of many vegetarian offerings, combines asparagus, cucumber, avocado, seaweed salad, scallion and tofu with sesame seeds and lemon soy -- well-matched and refreshing flavors. The Idaho saketini with huckleberry syrup was light and not-too-sweet, but the real taste-pleaser was the Sex on the City Beach, which included sake, peach, cranberry, orange and a squeeze of lime. 116 N. First Ave., Sandpoint, Idaho, (208) 263-1406. (CS)





WADDELL'S


There are 20 taps here, and about 50 more beers in bottles behind the bars. Waddell's serves two variations on the wood wrap: steak and chicken. The meat is spiced and marinated while nearly paper-thin pieces of wood (hickory for the former, cherry for the latter) are soaked in water. The meat is then cooked inside the wood, making it moist and permeated with wood smoke. Unfurl the thing, fork the meat and dip it into the sauces: a delicious teriyaki for the steak, a nice sesame vinaigrette for the chicken. Very impressive. We also had the Irish nachos -- basically potato skins filled with cheese, sour cream and bacon bits. They're dense, heavy in the palm. And we tried the "That's a Tasty Burger" -- one-third of a pound of beef sandwiched with jalapenos, pepper jack cheese and a hell of a lot of that mysterious Squirrelly Beaver seasoning. The flavor was explosive. The taste lingered and grew. 4318 S. Regal St., 443-6500 (JS)





BISTRO ON SPRUCE


The warm atmosphere of the Bistro took the chill off a cool spring weeknight, as did the assortment of appetizers -- we began with the Ahi-Cado, a large plate of sesame seed-seared ahi tuna with ripe avocado, wasabi aioli and pickled ginger ($9). Three juicy little New Zealand lamb chops ($19) -- perfectly seared outside with a faintly warm center -- came topped with a tangy cracked-pepper mustard sauce. The sauce had plenty of bite and was as good on the roasted baby red potatoes as the lamb, although the lamb was wonderfully tender and well-seasoned even without it. The potatoes were soft inside, lightly crispy outside and boasted a nice fragrance of rosemary. The availability of a lunch menu with goodies like the pulled-pork Cuban sandwich, Mediterranean salad, and grilled portabella with cambozola cheese are compelling reasons to return. 1710 N. Fourth St., Coeur d'Alene, (208) 664-1774 (CS)





KALICO KITCHEN


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. The "Vegi & amp; Cheese" omelet ($7) was like an edible art project, with examples of some of its components -- tomato, green pepper, onion, black olive, mushroom and yellow cheese -- on top; the olive made the dish. The French toast side order -- sprinkled with powdered sugar and topped with maple syrup -- was delish. Eggs come cooked as requested, and the bacon is thin, not too soft, not too crisp. Waffles have good flavor, 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)

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