Let it never be said that Clinkerdagger skimped on its three-course menu for Restaurant Week. My dining companion and I approached a food coma well before we rolled ourselves out of the Flour Mill building Tuesday night. But neither of us had any regrets.
Neither of us could resist the grilled salmon with scallops as the main course, and it was an impressive presentation. The piece of salmon was huge compared to most restaurant portions, sitting atop creamy mashed potatoes and surrounded by roasted vegetables and tasty tiny surprises including green beans, radishes, Brussels sprouts and golden raisins. You expect perfectly cooked seafood from a place that’s been serving it nearly 50 years, and that’s just what we got with both the melt-in-your-mouth salmon and scallops.
I started with the meal with a cup of an excellent clam chowder (everyone should consider adding caramelized bacon and leeks to their creamy soups), and the dessert (completely unnecessary after the salmon dish) was perfection: a molten chocolate cake served with a raspberry puree, fresh strawberries and a whipped cream dusted with pistachios. You know that feeling when you’re completely stuffed, but the dish in front of you is good enough that you can’t stop no matter how many times you say, “This is the last bite”? It was something I had to embrace at Clinkerdagger Tuesday night. And I’d do it again in a heartbeat. (DAN NAILEN)
DURKIN'S LIQUOR BAR ($33)
415 W. Main Ave., 509-863-9501; Menu served Tue-Sat from 4 pm to close
I'd been looking forward to trying the creative dishes on Durkin's Restaurant Week menu this year, including its featured Drink Local cocktails. Since seeing and editing Restaurant Week menus over a month ago, I've wanted to try the First Variant cocktail, featuring Warrior Liquor's gin, sake, honey lime juice, fresh basil and sesame chili oil. Refreshing and light, the drops of chili oil floating on the surface offered a slight kick every sip or so, but never felt too spicy.
Our appetizer course consisted of the braised beet and Fuji apple salad, a pleasant and contrasting blend of earthy, tangy beets and crisp apple, with a hint of heat from horseradish and the crunch of candied pecans. The acorn squash arancini was rich and savory, and I could have eaten an entire plateful.
For the main course we went with the uncommon bison meatloaf, which came with a side of whipped and baked Parmesan potatoes and garlic roasted green beans. This classic meat-and-potatoes dish didn't disappoint. The other main we ordered was the crab and butternut squash pasta, which I totally misread at a glance and was thus surprised, pleasantly, by the inclusion of butternut squash spirals in place of traditional pasta noodles. The squash noodles could have been a bit softer, but veggie noodles are fickle and can become overcooked and mushy in an instant.
Our dessert course choices were equal standouts: the pot de creme au chocolat was velvety and rich, just as the menu described, but not too rich. The candied orange pieces sprinkled on top were a delightful contrast to the rich chocolate. The yuzu and blonde chocolate choux bun was delicate and sweet, with a creamy and slightly citrusy pastry filling inside. (CHEY SCOTT)
14300 W. SR-2 Hwy., 509-818-1547; Menu served Mon-Sat from 3 pm-close
Three of us went to Three Peaks, where I expected we might each order three different dishes for each of the three courses. For the first course, we followed the plan: strawberry arugula salad, avocado and bay shrimp parfait, and spinach artichoke dip. None of these little dishes elicited raves. Next course…
On the second course, however, we all opted for the pork porterhouse with scalloped potatoes and crispy Brussels sprouts, and there were smiles all around. The pork was perfectly cooked: tender and juicy. It had been grilled ever-so-gently, and the subtle char balanced the apple-sweet glaze. The scalloped potatoes were tender, perhaps too tender and they lacked the best part: the cheesy, chewy topping. And then there were the Brussels sprouts, which were well-seasoned and cooked evenly, regardless of size, and had that wonderful crispy, almost-fried quality to the outer leaves. So good.
For the three courses, I’d say “two out of three ain’t bad,” but give this meal a thumbs up overall, especially for the excellent service. (CARRIE SCOZZARO)