One of the benefits of Inlander Restaurant Week is the opportunity to try out the latest additions to the culinary scene. There are quite a few new kids on the restaurant block since our last Restaurant Week; we'll get you caught up with a few.
Tortilla Union is the first offshoot brand for the Spokane-based Twigs Martini Bar & Bistro chain. On the menu, you'll find items that would be at home in a Mexican restaurant, as well as many that wouldn't.
"I would call Tortilla Union Southwestern cuisine... but some people might call it Tex-Mex," says Trevor Blackwell, vice president of Twigs and its parent company, QOL Restaurant Group.
Try a Southwestern Caesar salad, smoked watermelon mélange, or Union guacamole for a first course, with ribs, barbacoa enchiladas, or a Southwestern burrito for a second. For dessert, choose between a chocolate decadence (flourless) cake infused with espresso, a draft beer, or a shot of tequila.
INLAND PACIFIC KITCHEN
According to owner Jeremy Hansen, you can expect "Flavor-forward and technique-driven food that's meant to make you think about what you're eating and experiencing, other than eating to be nourished," he says. "You're eating art, and these are small plates, but I'm not going to have five to six things on a plate — it'll be three ingredients done really well."
Choose from three types of ramen for the first course; pork, crispy soybean or catfish, all with smoked parsnip and potato and sous vide carrots on the side, for the second; and smoked vanilla, saffron, or black garlic and sesame gelato for dessert.
IRON GOAT BREWING TAPHOUSE
Last spring, this popular brewery moved downtown, near several other breweries. It was meant to be a comfortable place. "A big part of having the common tables and no TVs is that we want people to meet and talk and make friends. It's meant to be a social place and not so much just, 'I want to watch a game and be on my own,'" said Iron Goat co-owner Greg Brandt upon the pub's opening.
The menu features Neapolitan-style pizzas, meats and cheese plates, a beer cheese soup and other pub fare.
Choose from dolled-up roasted Brussels sprouts, a country-style paté, or a beet salad for the first course; beef cheeks (braised in Goatmeal Stout), vegetarian "Farrotto" or bratwurst for the second; and a beer float or lemon blackberry crème brûlée for dessert.
REMEDY TAVERN AND KITCHEN
A throwback white-tile floor denotes the 1920s pharmacy theme that owner Matt Goodwin and crew originally conceptualized (hence the name), but admit they strayed from in order to fully realize the restaurant. You'll likely find something to refresh you at this neighborhood restaurant on the South Hill.
The executive chef is Justin O'Neill, who also developed the menu at the Boiler Room and the Backyard. Choose between poke tartare, barbecue wings, or fire braised beef for the first course; crab mac, chile verde, or vegan puttanesca for the second; and "choclava," shortbread trifle, or chile chocolate cake for dessert.
SOUTH HILL GRILL
Cory Ehrgott opened his own take on a beloved spot last fall. He kept some of Maggie's most popular items on his menu — the chicken pot pie, Maggie's signature salad, the Mediterranean Benedict at breakfast — as well as a large array of gluten-free items. He added fresh steaks and a full liquor license to the mix of familiar fare, all of it made "from scratch, with fresh ingredients."
"We're not trying to do anything crazy with the menu, just good foods done right — back to the basics," Ehrgott says.
Try an appetizer sampler, tomato bisque, or a mini Maggie salad for the first course; chipotle chicken fettuccini, a Western burger (with house BBQ sauce) or a steak for the second; and a fresh chocolate chip cookie, bananas Doreen, or a chocolate flourless torte for dessert. ♦
NEW FOR 2017
• 1898 Public House
• The Bluebird
• The Fedora
• Grille From Ipanema
• Inland Pacific Kitchen
• Iron Goat Brewing Taphouse
• JJ's Tap and Smokehouse
• Prohibition Gastropub
• Red Tail Bar & Grill
• Remedy Tavern and Kitchen
• South Hill Grill
• Sweet Lou's
• Tortilla Union