Thursday, October 12, 2017

ENTRÉE: Dry Fly celebrates 10 years, plus some fun beer events for the weekend

Posted By on Thu, Oct 12, 2017 at 2:48 PM

Dry Fly has been distilling hyper-local spirits since 2007.
  • Dry Fly has been distilling hyper-local spirits since 2007.

One of the region’s pioneers in the “drink local” movement is celebrating a full decade of bringing award-winning, ultra-local libations to bars near and far.

Dry Fly Distilling marks its big 10-year milestone officially this Friday, Oct. 13, but the party is happening all week with special events, small-batch, barrel-aged releases and discounts on purchases made at its East Spokane headquarters and tasting room, open Mon-Sat from noon-8 pm.

Lest you’ve forgotten, Dry Fly became the first distillery to open in Washington state since Prohibition (which ended in 1933) when founders Kent Fleischmann and Don Poffenroth pooled their retirement savings to open the craft distillery in 2007.

While festivities kicked off earlier this week, you can still join the celebration by stopping by the distillery’s tasting room between now and Saturday, Oct. 14. If you’re reading this information the day it’s released, Thursday, Oct. 12, you can still catch a pro bartender competition at the tasting room, taking place this evening from 6-8 pm.

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Friday, October 6, 2017

A special beer event; plus, exploring the Inland Northwest’s unique flavors

Posted By on Fri, Oct 6, 2017 at 8:58 AM


Tickets to the Blackbird Invitational, a special new beer and food showcase, may be limited, but as of this writing there are still some to be found.

Next weekend’s event, taking place on Sat, Oct. 14 from 3-7 pm, offers attendees the chance to sample rare, barrel-aged, fresh-hop and other one-off beers from some of the region’s most esteemed breweries. Small bites to pair with beer will be prepared by the Blackbird Kitchen + Tavern’s culinary team, led by Chef Molly Patrick.

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Thursday, September 28, 2017

Taste the region's culinary capability at this weekend's Restaurant Wars II

Posted By on Thu, Sep 28, 2017 at 3:01 PM

The 2017 version of Restaurant Wars features 18 restaurants from across the Inland Northwest. - COURTESY KRIS KILDUFF
  • Courtesy Kris Kilduff
  • The 2017 version of Restaurant Wars features 18 restaurants from across the Inland Northwest.

Pick a “side” during this weekend’s second annual Restaurant Wars

After it surpassed expectations during an inaugural run last year, the second inception of the local culinary competition and showcase known as Restaurant Wars is back, with more restaurants, more entertainment and more space.

Happening this Saturday, Sept. 30, on the outfield of Avista Stadium (last year’s debut event along Summit Parkway in Kendall Yards proved to be too small), the 2017 version of Restaurant Wars features 18 local restaurants (compared to last year’s eight; scroll down for a complete list) from across the Spokane area.

With those featured eateries separated into three “rations” categories — vegetarian, meat and gastropub — guests have the option to purchase tasting tickets for one, two or all three categories. Tickets ($17 each/advance; $20/gate) to each category offer six 3- to 4-ounce small plates from each category’s six restaurants.

Restaurant Wars organizer Kris Kilduff cautions that only 1,000 tickets per category are being sold, so those who plan to go to this year’s event should consider pre-purchasing online to ensure they get access to the categories of their choice. Remaining tasting tickets will be sold at the event, offering free admission and other attractions to entertain guests who choose to sample as many bites as they can, as well as people who want to enjoy a fall day outside.

The eight-hour, all-ages event includes a live music lineup, an on-site farmers/vendor market — including local food trucks, if you’re still hungry or miss tickets to one category — and a beer garden with nine local breweries and one cider maker.

The competitive nature of Restaurant Wars comes in the form of voting, both by guest judges and ticket holders, who have the option to vote for their favorite dishes in each of the three tasting categories they sample. One event-wide winner will also be chosen, Kilduff says.

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Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Aww, thanks! Food & Wine magazine sings the praises of Spokane's food and wine scene

Posted By on Wed, Sep 20, 2017 at 2:57 PM


Not that Spokane needs any validation from outsiders — really! we don't! — but it's always nice when someone from outside the region recognizes the inherent awesomeness of the Inland Northwest.

Case in point: this new feature on Food & Wine magazine's website about the wonders of our food and beer scene. The writer, David Landsel, hems and haws a bit about the city's rough reputation before getting to the good stuff and pointing out that the food and drink scene is "so much better than most visitors will be expecting."

"You'll find a great little scene in Spokane," Landsel writes. "Plenty of source-conscious, farm-to-table dining, great farmers markets, not to mention a whole slew of the sort of coffee shops, craft breweries and urban wineries you'd hope to find in this part of the world."

He goes on to name-check Steel Barrel Taproom, the Wandering Table and Barrister Winery, among other Spokane spots.

You can read the entire piece here.
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Friday, September 1, 2017

A new head chef takes the reins at the Davenport Grand

Posted By on Fri, Sep 1, 2017 at 2:54 PM

Chef Ian Wingate leaves big shoes to fill. - YOUNG KWAK
  • Young Kwak
  • Chef Ian Wingate leaves big shoes to fill.

Ian Wingate, one of the region’s most respected chefs who developed the Davenport Grand’s Table 13, has left the hotel and moved to the west side of the state to start a new restaurant venture there.

Taking the helm is Evan Tewel, who had worked side by side with Wingate as his sous-chef when launching Table 13, according to Matt Jensen, director of sales and marketing for Davenport Hotels. Most recently, Tewel worked at the Historic Davenport Hotel, running its Palm Court Grill.

Wingate did not return phone messages seeking comment, but Jensen wished him well: “He’ll certainly be missed. He’s a very creative guy and is absolutely in his element in the kitchen, and it showed in the product he produced.”
Evan Tewel
  • Evan Tewel

Wingate had previously made a name for himself having opened several local restaurants, including Moxie, Agave Bistro, Blue Fish and the Inn at Sand Creek in Sandpoint. The Inlander last featured him in a story in 2015, under the headline "Comeback Chef," detailing his revival at the Davenport after having been sidelined with health issues.

Like Wingate, Tewel brings a passion for fresh and local foods to the position, which oversees both Table 13 and the hotel’s Grand Restaurant, Jensen says. “He certainly knows the lay of the land there,” he says of Tewel, “and we’re excited to see what he does in the future.”
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Thursday, August 31, 2017

One Tree to open cider house on Sept. 8

Posted By on Thu, Aug 31, 2017 at 10:10 AM

One Tree Hard Cider's Neal Hennessy - YOUNG KWAK
  • Young Kwak
  • One Tree Hard Cider's Neal Hennessy

Mark your calendars: One Tree Hard Cider just announced the grand opening of its downtown Spokane cider house next Friday, Sept. 8, at 2 pm.

One Tree has spent the better part of the summer rehabbing its new location at 111 S. Madison St. The rapidly growing cidery — with distribution across Washington, Idaho and Montana — had renovated its Spokane Valley tasting room last year, only to close this summer to make more room for its production needs.

The new downtown location — which will feature some 20 taps of ciders from around the country — puts One Tree in the heart of what's quickly becoming Spokane's brewery (and now cidery) district. Earlier this month, for our Drink Local issue, we mapped out the west end of downtown, showing six brewery destinations within three-quarters of a mile. We've updated that map here:


1. River City Brewing

2. Iron Goat Brewing

3. The Steel Barrel Taproom (technically home to three separate breweries: Little Spokane, Young Buck and, most recently, TT's Old Iron Brewery)

4. Orlison Brewing Taproom

5. Whistle Punk Brewing

6. Steam Plant Brewing (Temporarily closed for renovations; expected to reopen later this fall)

CLARIFICATION: An earlier version of this story incorrectly called the new location a tasting room, rather than a full cider house offering other cider and beer products.
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Wednesday, August 30, 2017

No-Li's second FrostFest is Dec. 9; tickets on sale now

Posted By on Wed, Aug 30, 2017 at 4:08 PM

Hey, beer dorks!

Yes, that means you. And me. And most of the Inland Northwest, from what I can surmise. While the summer brew festivals are soon to be in the past, there's no reason you can't look ahead to the fall, when you can spend some time at the ol' ballpark for the Inland Northwest Craft Beer Festival in September. And No-Li Brewhouse just announced its second No-Li FrostFest on Saturday, Dec. 9.

This year's FrostFest moves to the Spokane Veterans Arena, which makes sense, given that all proceeds from the event go toward the upkeep of the Fallen Heroes memorial sculpture. The event runs from 2 to 6 pm and features a dozen one-off beers crafted by the No-Li crew. They announced the first two beers this week: a 'Tis The Saison and Tritamorphasis Barley Wine, coming in at 12 percent ABV. Pace yourselves, people!

Tickets for FrostFest are $30 through TicketsWest outlets and include a T-shirt, tasting glass and five 4-ounce pours. There will be tunes, food and a costume contest that could land you a free membership in No-Li's mug club. And you can add a ticket to the evening's Spokane Chiefs game for just $10 if you want to hang around (and haven't had too many of those barley wines). Another bonus: If you buy your tickets before Friday, you'll get a bonus Born & Raised T-shirt at the pub, too.
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Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Spokane Brewers Festival this weekend won't allow all ages, after all

Posted By on Wed, Aug 2, 2017 at 3:39 PM

In a last-minute change before it kicks off Friday afternoon, the second annual Spokane Brewers Festival at the Spokane Arena on Aug. 4 and 5 will not be open to attendees under the age of 21.

The decision comes not from festival organizers, but from the Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board, which ruled that the event didn't offer enough in the form of activities and attractions for those under the legal drinking age.

Though the board sped up an appeal request from the Arena, the decision stands, and according to Spokane Arena assistant manager Becca Watters, the WSLCB is taking a closer look at all other all-ages beer festivals across the state. (The Washington Beer Commission's annual Inland NW Craft Beer Festival in Spokane, on Sept. 22-23, is all-ages on Saturday, featuring a special kids' area, but remains 21+ only on Friday.)

"We’ve looked at every possible scenario to try and get kids into the festival, but every idea seemed to take the spirit out of what we’re trying to do," Watters told the Inlander via email.

For those affected by the last-minute change, the Spokane Arena is offering ticket refunds; call the box office at 279-7455.

The arena says it'll continue to work with the WSLCB so as to allow minors at future events.

Also, to keep festival guests comfortable during the weekend's temperatures, forecast to be in the mid-90s, the Arena is setting up plenty of misters, fans and water coolers for extra hydration.

The second annual Spokane Brewers Fest features more than 30 breweries from the Inland Northwest and across Washington state, and takes place this Friday, Aug. 4, from 4-8 pm and on Saturday, Aug. 5, from 11 am-8 pm. Tickets are $25 if purchased before Thursday, Aug. 3, and are $30 at the gate. Entry includes a commemorative tasting glass and 13 tokens to redeem for 2-ounce pours. Additional tokens can be purchased on site for $1 each.
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Thursday, July 6, 2017

The Spokane Public Market is returning next week; plus, local food news

Posted By on Thu, Jul 6, 2017 at 11:36 AM

When the year-round, indoor Spokane Public Market closed due to lagging traffic and sales back in 2014, the city’s downtown core was left with one fewer option for residents to shop from local produce and food vendors and artisan makers. The building near the corner of Second and Browne has since been razed, but the Spokane Public Market is being reborn this summer, in a new location and with a new weekly format.

Starting next Tuesday, July 11, and through the end of September, the Spokane Public Market will be open weekly on Tuesdays, from 4-7 pm, in the Parkade Plaza at 110 N. Howard, between Main and Riverside.

The market’s rebirth has been spearheaded by a five-year resident of downtown Spokane, Arhen Resleff, who says he wanted to establish a local market for the growing number of downtown dwellers like himself.

“It’s something Spokane needed downtown, and we’re right downtown, so it’s geared toward residents already living downtown, and new residents in the M building and the Ridpath; those are within a block of the Parkade Plaza,” Resleff says.

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Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Eat less meat: Local chefs participate in James Beard "Blended Burger Project"

Posted By on Wed, Jun 14, 2017 at 11:08 AM

A lot of people tend to mistake me for a vegetarian, which is understandable because I eat a fair amount of veggie burgers and meat alternatives, like tofu. I'm not a vegetarian, but I do consciously try to limit my intake of meat for many reasons.

This confession, however, doesn't mean I don't enjoy a juicy burger — which are not hard to find in this town — every now and then. But my own and America's collective love of ground beef patties comes with a cost, to our health (everything in moderation, folks) and to the environment. These concerns are paramount in the James Beard Foundation's annual Blended Burger Project, going on now, which challenges chefs across the country to blend ground meat with chopped mushrooms to make a "an incredibly delicious patty that's healthier for your guests and more sustainable for the planet."

Sample Prohibition's mushroom-blended burger through July 31.
  • Sample Prohibition's mushroom-blended burger through July 31.
The competition started on May 29, and runs through July 31. To qualify for the program, chefs must swap at least 25 percent of their burgers' animal protein with mushrooms.

Of the nearly 350 chefs across the nation who've signed up to participate in this year's Blended Burger Project, three Spokane eateries are on the list: Prohibition Gastropub in North Spokane and Remedy Kitchen and Tavern on the South Hill. Allie's Vegan Pizzeria & Cafe was a late entrant to the competition, and is offering an all-vegan burger with tempeh bacon, cashew cheese and barbecue mayo.

At Prohibition, find Chef John Leonetti's "Voot Burger," which contains a blend of shiitake, oyster and cremini mushrooms with his signature coffee-grounds-infused beef. The Voot comes with greens, feta, diced onion, tomatoes and a fontina cream sauce, and is served atop a pretzel bun.

Adding finely chopped mushrooms to a ground meat blend — whether beef, turkey, lamb, pork or something else — can heighten the rich and savory characteristics, called umami, of both the meat and the mushrooms. Subbing mushrooms for ground meats also reduces sodium, calories and fat without a major sacrifice in flavor, according to information from the national nonprofit Mushroom Council, a partner in the Blended Burger Project.

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