On a budget? Want to check out some of the region's more upscale restaurants you've heard and read so much about, but thought you could never afford? This may be stating the obvious, but happy hour is the golden hour when it comes to fine dining, even if the menu is more restricted.
In the Lake City, happy hour diners can get a sampling of Beverly's award-winning food at the restaurant's Lakeview Lounge, on the seventh floor of the Coeur d'Alene Resort tower. Happy hour runs daily from 4 to 6 pm, and again from 9 to 11 pm on Friday and Saturday nights. Specialty cocktails, like Beverly's classic Idaho Huckleberry Lemon-Drop and the Salted Pear, are $3 off the regular prices of $13 each. And where else can you try escargot for $6 (regular price $12; all appetizers are half-off during happy hour)? Throw in a charcuterie or cheese board ($7 each during happy hour) for the table and everyone's eating like a king, with a stunning view of the waterfront to boot.
Tucked into an unassuming neighborhood on the upper South Hill, Luna is charming in décor and eclectic in flavor. In the warmer months, sitting on the enclosed, tent-covered patio in back is a must. There, enjoy daily happy hour from 4 to 6 pm, featuring $4 steak sliders, $6 mini pizzas and sharable frites ($7) flavored with parsley, garlic and shallots. Add a $5 glass of wine or a $2-off cocktail like the Ginger Smash, and it'll be an evening of local eating to remember.
Downtown, the Davenport Hotel Tower's Safari Room is high-class with its animal-print upholstery, palm plants and shiny marble, but its famous happy hour specials — daily from 4 to 6 pm — are more than affordable, and equally beloved by locals and tourists. The Safari Room happy hour offers half off its popular flatbreads, a menu mainstay boasting versions like spicy shrimp, Thai chicken and mushroom fontina. Drinks from the bar — beer, wine and cocktails — are also half-price.
Happy hour at Spokane Valley's swankiest hotel bar, Max at Mirabeau, is offered daily from 3 to 6 pm, then again from 9 pm to close. While the restaurant offers half-off select appetizers as a regular special — including beef satay, a savory hummus platter and a Brie plate — each day of the week offers a rotating special. At Max, it's not Taco Tuesday, but rather Tofu Tuesday, with $5 tofu sliders and $5 sake shots. Martini Friday means $2 off signature martinis and the traditional Wine Wednesday brings a half-price bottle night.
Happy hour at any upscale restaurant that typically sells cocktails for more than $10 is an ideal time to test the waters of what may be your next special-occasion dining splurge.