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THE DON'T-MISS LIST 

A few menu items that jumped off the page at us

click to enlarge Pork tacos from No-Li Brewhouse
  • Pork tacos from No-Li Brewhouse

RICH AND SAVORY

Charley's Grill & Spirits

The Ultimate Stack

Menu says: "A creative blend... our five-cheese mac 'n' cheese stacked on Parmesan toast, topped with our stuffed meatloaf, drizzled with sweet chili sauce. Served with sautéed seasonal vegetables."

We say: There's nothing wrong with being an adult and wanting to order mac 'n' cheese at every opportunity. So go for it and try this indulgent, adult-friendly version of the dish, made even more classic with the pairings of toast and meatloaf. Wait — that says stuffed meatloaf!

The Cellar

Wild Mushroom and Pork Pie

Menu says: "Braised pork with wild mushrooms and vegetables, baked in a crock and topped with puff pastry."

We say: This is going to conjure memories of your mom's chicken pot pie, but this filling features some slow-cooked goodness we're guessing you didn't get as a kid.

No-Li Brewhouse

No-Li Chili "Frito Pie"

Menu says: "Spin Cycle tri-tip chili layered on tortilla chips with avocado salsa."

We say: No one in their right mind would, nor should, turn down this definition of overindulgent comfort/bar-food. Pair it with a No-Li beer or taster tray and your taste buds will be blown away with pleasure.

VEGETARIAN

Geno's Traditional Food & Ales

Smoked Jalapeño Corn Chowder

Menu says: "Smoked jalapeños, poblanos, corn, potatoes, onions, garlic, vegetable stock and cream, garnished with cheddar cheese."

We say: Corn chowder is normally so delicious you forget it doesn't have any clams. Hot peppers make this version even better.

Italia Trattoria

Roasted Celery Root Lasagna

Menu says: "Layered with caramelized leeks, Pecorino potatoes."

We say: This dish is bold enough to make root vegetables the star of the show. It sounds perfect for a cold winter's night.

Saranac Public House

Vegan Cannoli

Menu says: "Fried pastry dough, vegan ricotta, shaved chocolate, walnuts and candied orange rind."

We say: Now even vegans can utter the classic Godfather line: "Leave the gun, take the cannoli."

SEAFOOD

Anthony's

Wild Alaskan Silver Salmon

Menu says: "Roasted on an alder plank and finished with smoked sweet red pepper beurre blanc."

We say: Salmon cooked on a cedar plank is reason No. 397 why living in the Northwest is the bee's knees.

Bonsai Bistro and Sushi Bar

Nigiri Sushi Assortment

Menu says: "Includes maguro (tuna), sake (salmon), hamachi (bonito) and walu (escolar)."

We say: This is actually a first course at the Coeur d'Alene pan-Asian restaurant with some of the best ambiance in the region, and looks like a perfect way to kick off a night out.

Manito Tap House

Fish & Chips

Menu says: "Tempura halibut, vinegar salt fries."

We say: There are a lot of fancy seafood dishes available during Restaurant Week, but you shouldn't pass up a mainstay like fish and chips, especially from somewhere with a solid culinary reputation like Manito Tap House.

MEATY THINGS

Rio Grill Brazilian Steakhouse

Full Churrasco Dinner

Menu says: "All you can eat, made-from-scratch side items. Tableside carved skewers including New York steak, tri-tip, top sirloin, Australian lamb, chimichurri steak, Asian pork, spicy pork, garlic chicken, chimichurri chicken."

We say: Being a carnivore never seemed like a better idea.

Spencer's for Steaks and Chops

Snake River Farms American Kobe Butcher's Cut

Menu says: "Minted chimichurri, saffron crispy fingerlings, oyster mushrooms and onions."

We say: Spencer's knows a thing or two about steak, and you can't go wrong with Kobe anything.

Central Food

Beef Cheek Bourguignon

Menu says: "Five-hour, red-wine-braised Wood Ranch beef cheek, garlic mashed Olsen Farms potatoes, roasted Brussels sprouts."

We say: You have to appreciate the locally sourced ingredients here, as well as the fact that they put five hours into this hunk of deliciousness.

click to enlarge Tiramisu from Downriver Grill
  • Tiramisu from Downriver Grill

DESSERT

Boiler Room

Ice Cream Sandwich

Menu says: "Espresso almond fudge ice cream sandwiched between two housemade double-chocolate Nutella cookies. Finished with raspberry compote and chocolate-covered, fire-roasted coffee beans."

We say: A coffee lover's dream, this sandwich is nothing like the artificial vanilla treats of your childhood.

Casper Fry

Lavender Crème Brûlée

Menu says: "Rich, lavender-infused custard, caramelized sugar, fresh whipped cream (gluten-free)."

We say: It's the traditional French dessert... on spring break.

MacKenzie River Pizza

Kentucky Bourbon Bites

Menu says: "Bourbon-soaked pound cake deep-fried and dusted with powdered sugar. Served with caramel bourbon and raspberry dipping sauces."

We say: Is it possible to get a little tipsy just reading the above description? Either way, we're ready to dip away.♦

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