Food

Thursday, February 15, 2018

ENTRÉE: Spokane chef Anna Vogel a James Beard semifinalist, and more local food news

Posted By on Thu, Feb 15, 2018 at 11:33 AM

Italia Trattoria chef and co-owner Anna Vogel is a 2018 James Beard Award semifinalist. - YOUNG KWAK
  • Young Kwak
  • Italia Trattoria chef and co-owner Anna Vogel is a 2018 James Beard Award semifinalist.

ITALIA TRATTORIA CHEF ANNA VOGEL NAMED A JAMES BEARD AWARD SEMIFINALIST

For the fourth year in a row, a Spokane chef has been named as a semifinalist for the prestigious James Beard Awards, an annual honor bestowed by the NYC-based James Beard Foundation.

Chef Anna Vogel, who co-owns the Browne's Addition restaurant Italia Trattoria with Bethe Bowman, was named a semifinalist for the Beard Awards' Best Chef: Northwest category, one perennially dominated by chefs based in Portland and Seattle.

Vogel's culinary resume includes past stints in major global cities: Sydney, Boston, New York and Seattle. She opened Italia Trattoria, which offers seasonal dishes rooted in Italian cuisine and features Northwest flavors and ingredients, with Bowman back in 2010. Since then, the restaurant has established a respectable local following and a reputation as one of the best fine-dining spots in the area.

Subsequently over the past three years, Inland Northwest chefs who've been named James Beard Award semifinalists for the Best Chef: Northwest category include Jeremy Hansen, in 2015; Adam Hegsted, in 2016; and Laurent Zirotti, in 2017.

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Thursday, February 1, 2018

Inlander Restaurant Week menus are live!

Posted By on Thu, Feb 1, 2018 at 10:19 AM


Twigs Bistro & Martini Bar is serving up this shrimp-crab pineapple tower on its 2018 Restaurant Week menu. - YOUNG KWAK
  • Young Kwak
  • Twigs Bistro & Martini Bar is serving up this shrimp-crab pineapple tower on its 2018 Restaurant Week menu.
The day we’ve all been waiting for is finally here: Menus for all 107 of this year’s Inlander Restaurant Week participants are now live on the IRW website and ready to be drooled over!

This year’s event is once again bigger than ever, and North Idaho is giving those of us across the state line in Washington a run for our money with a record-breaking 28 eateries participating across Coeur d’Alene, Post Falls and Worley, Idaho.

Restaurant Week 2018 brings plenty of other newness with 12 restaurants that have never participated before, including several spots that weren’t even open last year, like Palouse Bar and Grill, Cascadia Public House and Vine & Olive.

Back this year for the sixth installment of Restaurant Week are 24 local dining mainstays that have participated every year since the event’s inception back in 2013, which featured 53 restaurants.

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Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Steam Plant's executive chef departs week following the restaurant's reopening

Posted By on Wed, Jan 31, 2018 at 1:40 PM


Chef Steve Leonard, recruited to helm the renovated and rebranded Steam Plant Kitchen + Brewery, has left his post a week after the restaurant's reopening. - YOUNG KWAK
  • Young Kwak
  • Chef Steve Leonard, recruited to helm the renovated and rebranded Steam Plant Kitchen + Brewery, has left his post a week after the restaurant's reopening.
This week's issue of the Inlander, on the street and online Thursday, includes a feature on the new look, name and menu for the Steam Plant Kitchen + Brewery, which reopened to the public last Monday following a seven-month, $4 million renovation to the historic downtown space owned by Avista.

To oversee the remodeled and rebranded kitchen, which serves "upscale casual" fare — sandwiches, stone-oven pizza, classic entrees, shareable small plates and more —  the Steam Plant recruited chef Steve Leonard, who previously served as executive chef for restaurants at Chicago's Wrigley Field.

This week, however, word is that chef Leonard has departed the Steam Plant to return to Chicago, and thus the Steam Plant is seeking a new chef to take the helm.

In response to our inquiries into Leonard's departure, Steam Plant Kitchen + Brewery General Manager John Lockhart says via email that restaurant management cannot provide any details on the nature of Leonard's departure, but that they "wish him well on his future endeavors."
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Friday, January 19, 2018

ENTRÉE: Comings and goings in Kendall Yards; plus, a Restaurant Week preview

Posted By on Fri, Jan 19, 2018 at 4:51 PM


SUPPORT SECOND HARVEST & PREVIEW INLANDER RESTAURANT WEEK

Although the sixth annual Inlander Restaurant Week doesn’t officially start until February 22 (running until March 3), local food lovers can get a sneak peak of a few featured menu items, and the menus themselves, during a special preview of the annual 10-day culinary celebration.

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First Bite, benefiting Restaurant Week’s designated charity Second Harvest Inland Northwest, is happening for the second time in 2018 on the evening of Thursday, Feb. 1, at Barrister Winery’s downtown Spokane location.

In addition to samplings of a menu items (we've seen the list — it's good) from seven of this year's participating restaurants, along with artisan cheeses from select Dairy Farmers of Washington creameries, guests of the event will be the first to see the official list of all restaurants participating in this year’s Restaurant Week, and can browse the more than 100 three-course menus for all of those restaurants across the Spokane-Coeur d’Alene area.

Tickets ($31/person; ages 21+) for the event are on sale now, and will be limited in number, so make sure to buy yours early if you intend to go. All proceeds from the event support Second Harvest’s work to provide healthy food to families across the region. Entry include one glass of wine from Barrister; guests will also enjoy live music throughout the evening by local musician Kyle Richard.

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Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Chef Tony Brown plans new downtown Spokane eatery to open spring 2018

Posted By on Wed, Jan 17, 2018 at 4:56 PM

Concept art for Disney's Sleeping Beauty by artist Eyvind Earle, the inspiration for Brown's new restaurant project.
  • Concept art for Disney's Sleeping Beauty by artist Eyvind Earle, the inspiration for Brown's new restaurant project.

Fans of Ruins (and its merged, former sister restaurant Stella’s Cafe) can rejoice over this bit of exclusive news: Ruins’ chef-owner Tony Brown recently signed a lease for his latest culinary creation, and has given us the scoop on what he’s currently planning.

To be located in an 1,800-square-foot space at 225 W. Riverside (the first floor of the Bickett building, recently renovated for second and third floor living units; also located across the street from Garageland bar and restaraunt), Brown’s vision for the space is “a more polished version of Ruins.” That translates to frequently changing menus and a “big” weekend brunch program, he says.

Planned hours are 11 am-9 pm Monday through Friday (and maybe a little later on Friday) and from 9 am-9 pm on Saturday and Sunday.

Brown’s tentative name for the eatery is Eyvind, a nod to early Disney background artist/animator Eyvind Earle, whose elegant artistic style is perhaps most famously featured in Disney’s 1959 animated classic Sleeping Beauty.

Brown is anticipating an opening later this spring, in March or April, and construction on the space is set to begin soon.
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Thursday, January 11, 2018

ENTRÉE: A round-up of noteworthy culinary and libation events this January

Posted By on Thu, Jan 11, 2018 at 6:07 PM

Paul's Pale Ale honors the late Iron Goat Brewing Co. founder/brewer Paul Edminster, who passed away due to cancer last year.
  • Paul's Pale Ale honors the late Iron Goat Brewing Co. founder/brewer Paul Edminster, who passed away due to cancer last year.

The post-holiday lull is coming to an end, at least when it comes to food and drink-related events happening across the region, starting this week. Let’s get into it.

If you’re reading this on the day Entrée goes out (Thursdays), consider attending a special event honoring the late Iron Goat Brewing co-founder Paul Edminster. This Thursday, Jan. 11, from 5-10 pm, Iron Goat and downtown beer bar Community Pint are co-hosting a release event for Paul’s Pale Ale, the new name for Iron Goat’s Garbage Pale Ale. A portion of proceeds from the evening will be donated to the American Cancer Society. (If you missed this event, the beer is also on tap at Iron Goat's downtown Spokane brewery and tasting room, at 1302 W. Second.)

Keep some good vibes going through the weekend and head to the Lantern Tap House’s 5th Annual Winter Beer Fest, this Friday and Saturday (Jan. 12-13). The two-day event features 27 seasonal and special-release ales from Washington and Oregon, with live music each night starting at 9:30 pm. Tickets at the door ($15) include a tasting mug and five 4-oz. tasting tokens (presale tickets are $20 and includes a commemorative beanie). Beer flows both inside and out, in a heated beer garden tent with fire pits. Head to the previous link for the complete tap list and other details.

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Friday, December 22, 2017

ENTRÉE: Make your NYE dinner plans soon; plus, some last-minute, foodie gifts

Posted By on Fri, Dec 22, 2017 at 10:08 AM

If you're not heading to a party or First Night Spokane, consider the following options.
  • If you're not heading to a party or First Night Spokane, consider the following options.

WHERE TO DRINK & DINE THIS NEW YEAR’S EVE

Don’t wait until the last minute to make plans for how you’ll ring in 2018, or you’ll probably find yourself out of luck. For a few suggestions of where to start, here’s a short (and by no means comprehensive) round-up of some events around the region to close out the new year in a festive spirit.

Head to Coeur d’Alene for an intimate New Year’s Eve Dinner at the Greenbriar Inn’s 315 Martinis & Tapas. The restaurant is opening at 4:30, and suggests that guests make reservations as soon as possible to secure their preferred dining time.

Make a night of it at the Coeur d’Alene Casino and start the 1990s-themed evening with a special dinner at Chinook Steak, Pasta & Spirits. A three-course dinner for two is offered at $65, and the menu features grilled flatbread, a surf ’n’ turf entree and eggnog pie for dessert. Reservations are recommended. Other festivities throughout the evening include costume contests, giveaways and dancing to music from live DJs.

Go back in time a little further to the disco decadence of the 1970s with Mirabeau Park Hotel’s themed shindig, offering a dance party, special NYE dinner in Max at Mirabeau (happy hour runs from 3-6 pm, with dinner served from 5 pm to close). Tickets to the festivities are $30/advance and $35/door, and gets you entry, party favors, raffle entries, access to a nacho bar and a champagne toast at midnight.

For a quieter, classy evening out, consider reservations at Santé Restaurant & Charcuterie. The esteemed restaurant’s chefs have created two tasting menus ($95/person) of six courses each, with a glass or wine or cocktail and a glass of champagne. Call 315-4613 to make reservations.

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Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Bitchin' Bites on a Budget: Holiday baking fails and how to cope

Posted By on Tue, Dec 19, 2017 at 11:46 AM


If you're a butcher, a baker, or a candlestick maker, chances are you've got at least one person you plan to make something for this holiday season.

The hope is that these gifts from the heart and the labor of our hands really mean something to the folks we share them with.

And we benefit in turn. Homemade gifts save us from many painful hours of shuffling between cranky, last-minute shoppers, trying to drown out the bad Christmas songs playing on repeat as we find ourselves staring for far too long at inspirational mirror art that says "You have so much to live for," and for a brief moment in that shopping purgatory think, "Do I, though?"

A good bake can save lives, people.

But sometimes, when the pressure is on, despite our best efforts, everything can go wrong.

Take macarons.

I made these notoriously difficult, crunchy egg-white meringues for the first time a few months back, and despite my dread, they turned out pretty much perfectly:

macarons.jpg

But that was when I had no plan for them.

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Friday, December 15, 2017

ENTRÉE: Two chef-owned restaurants coming in early 2018; plus a Titanic dinner

Posted By on Fri, Dec 15, 2017 at 11:17 AM

It’s time for another round-up of the latest comings, goings and happenings in the Inland Northwest’s culinary community!
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First up, we’ve caught wind of the projected opening for the latest project of one local chef who seems to never rest. Chef Adam Hegsted’s forthcoming downtown burger joint IncrediBurger & Eggs is slated to debut sometime in January, according to a post shared earlier this week on his Eat Good Group’s Facebook page.

IncrediBurger will be located in the former home of Dempsey’s Brass Rail bar on West First Avenue. The new eatery adds to Hegsted’s growing collection of regional restaurants, which includes The Wandering Table and The Yards Bruncheon in Kendall Yards, along with Gilded Unicorn in downtown Spokane, Eat Good Cafe in Liberty Lake, and two recently-opened spots in North Idaho: Republic Kitchen + Tap House in Post Falls, and Farmhouse Kitchen and Silo Bar in Ponderay.

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Clover executive chef Travis Dickinson recently announced his impending departure from the upscale Logan Neighborhood restaurant inside a converted craftsman home to open a restaurant of his own called Cochinito Taqueria, located at 10 N. Post in downtown Spokane. The taqueria is described on its Facebook page as: “Spokane’s original chef driven taqueria. Using fine dining techniques, responsibly sourced ingredients and a craft beverage program in a casual experience.”

Dickinson is joined in the project by former Clover manager Justin Curtis. The eatery is scheduled, as it stands, to open sometime in February, so make sure to give Cochinito’s Facebook page a like (see previous link) to stay up on the latest updates.

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Friday, December 8, 2017

ENTRÉE: A local brewery’s next era; plus, cheesy goodness coming to CdA

Posted By on Fri, Dec 8, 2017 at 9:26 AM

River City Brewing manager Emily Schwartz is also departing as the tasting room closes later this month. - MEGHAN KIRK
  • Meghan Kirk
  • River City Brewing manager Emily Schwartz is also departing as the tasting room closes later this month.

RIVER CITY BREWING TAP ROOM TO CLOSE

A new era for local craft beer stalwart River City Brewing will begin with the new year. The brewery recently announced it will officially close its downtown Spokane tap room at the end of the year, with the last day of operations on Saturday, Dec. 30.

The decision to do so is described by River City’s owners as an evolution, allowing them to focus more on special events and the production and bottling of its craft beer lineup.

“There are lots of places to drink River City beer throughout our region, so we feel as if the tap room has served its purpose as we introduced our beers, but now it’s time to re-focus our attention on making, kegging and bottling beer,” the brewery says about the changes.

“We will be changing up our core beers, introducing some new limited releases and collaborations, as well as continuing to produce award-winning beer.”

Until the final day of operations, visitors to the tap room at 121 S. Cedar can enjoy $2.50 pints of beer and $10 growler fills. And even though the space will no longer be open to the public on a regular schedule, River City plans to open its doors for First Friday events; this “garage party” series is set to begin in February. Beer production will continue at the brewery facility adjacent to the tasting room.

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Just Eat It: Film Screening and Panel Discussion @ Community Building

Tue., Feb. 20, 7-9 p.m.

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