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Celebrating Italy 

Lasagna and more at Uva Trattoria in Coeur d'Alene

It was coincidentally National Lasagna Day when I visited, but it was no coincidence that Uva Trattoria was serving lasagna, says chef Steve Van Zeveren, who recently opened the fine dining eatery with his sister Lisa and his wife Crystal.

"It's our best seller," says Van Zeveren, whose background includes the pastry department of the Coeur d'Alene Resort and, more recently, MacKenzie River Pizza Company.

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Like most dishes at Uva Trattoria, lasagna ($12) is scratch-made, says Van Zeveren, who trained at San Francisco's California Culinary Academy, followed by several years at Napoli Pizza in Vallejo, California.

Pizza is a staple at Uva Trattoria, where you can choose various meats, veggies, cheeses and seasonings for a custom pizza in three sizes. Occasional specials include unusual combinations like the Cave Bay, with shrimp, capers and a tangy, lemony white sauce.

Conventional Italian dishes prevail, from starters to soups and salads, like à la carte meatballs in marinara ($4), tomato-and-mozzarella caprese ($9), and minestrone ($4). Standard entrées include chicken marsala ($14), a vegetarian lasagna with squash, zucchini, mushrooms and spinach ($11), and spaghetti bolognese ($10).

Lunch and dinner specials — like chicken saltimbocca ($17), a bruschetta burger on grilled ciabatta ($12) or the pesto ravioli with marinated tomatoes ($12) — vary daily.

Also look for wine-paired dinners, like the most recent one featuring Italian winemaker Fontanafredda, known for its Barolo and Barbera wines. The wine offering at Uva Trattoria — uva means "grapes" in Italian — is coordinated by Van Zeveren's sister Lisa, who worked in Napa Valley's wine country.

With its remodeled interior featuring blue-gray walls, dark wood paneling and tables, and a sleek new bar — hardly recognizable as the former Fiesta Mexicana — Uva Trattoria offers a nice place to celebrate Italian food. Or maybe just beat the heat and let someone else do the cooking. ♦

Uva Trattoria • 2605 N. 4th St., Coeur d'Alene • Open Sun-Thu 11 am-9 pm, Fri-Sat 11 am-10 pm • • 208-930-0573

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