Pull up the hashtag #IRWRaveReviews on any of your respective social media channels — Facebook, Twitter, Instagram — and your mouth may instantly begin to water.
Food lovers of all types have been out in full force the past several days trying new dining spots and patronizing their longtime faves, all the while documenting their delicious Inlander Restaurant Week adventures online, both for posterity's sake and to help support a good cause. For each publicly visible post that includes the tag #IRWRaveReviews, Restaurant Week partner Sysco will donate five meals to Second Harvest. (As of this writing, on Feb. 27, those reviews brought in 955 meals.)
So what are diners loving so far? With 101 three-course menus to choose from, a lot of things: the olive oil carrot cake at Masselow's Steakhouse, 1898 Public House's grilled Atlantic salmon, the white barbecue chicken at Casper Fry, Table 13's wild mushroom empanada, the pistachio-crusted halibut at Dockside in Coeur d'Alene and much, much more.
Naturally, those 101 Inlander Restaurant Week participants are also loving the chance to open diners' eyes to their creative specials and menu staples, like The Fedora pub in Coeur d'Alene.
"We're up 30 percent over last week already," says Fedora's executive chef, Brad Case. "We're looking at a new customer base coming in for the first time, or people revisiting after not coming in for a while. People are really happy with it."
Case says some of the appetizer items created especially for Fedora's $19 Restaurant Week menu — pulled-pork potato skins and ahi nachos made with wonton chips — have been so popular he may just make them menu mainstays.
In North Spokane, Restaurant Week has been so unexpectedly busy at first-time participant Prohibition Gastropub that chef-owner John Leonetti closed the eatery for lunch on Monday in order to focus on dinner prep.
He acknowledges that during those first few of of Restaurant Week's 10 days, some customers have been upset upon arriving to discover a lengthy table wait time. Prohibition does, however, take reservations, Leonetti says.
"It's definitely been a learning experience knowing how busy it was, but it's definitely boosted our business," he adds.
Remedy on the South Hill is also participating in Restaurant Week for the first time this year, having debuted as a new eatery last summer. While on the smaller side and therefore unable to take reservations, the cozy gastropub's $29 menu has been a hit with customers, who've been stopping in later in the evening to get a table and sample popular dishes like Remedy's chile verde, poke tartare and crab mac 'n' cheese, says assistant manager Ashley Ching.
"We're really enjoying it and having a good time, and all the guests coming in are having a good time," Ching says. ♦
Inlander Restaurant Week 2017 continues through Sat, March 4; find all 101 menus online at InlanderRestaurantWeek.com