This year’s celebration of culinary creativity — Feb. 20-29 — showcases more than 120 locally owned restaurants across the region, each offering three-course menus for $22 or $33 per person, ranging from casual gastropub fare to elegant fine dining.
Restaurant Week is a great time to make a return to your local favorite spots, no occasion needed, and to try some of the new — both to the region and “new to you” — eateries that have come onto the scene since last year.
For a complete look at Restaurant Week 2020, make sure to pick up this week’s edition of the Inlander, which contains the 72-page event guide, including profiles, things to do before/after dinner, menus, dish highlights and more. Content from the guide is also posted online here, while online versions of the menus for all 120 restaurants can be found at InlanderRestaurantWeek.com.
As you peruse menus and plan your dining itinerary, watch for helpful dietary notations on menus: gluten-free (GF) or gluten-free available (GFA), as well as V (vegetarian) and V+ (vegan or vegan available). Options in all of these categories abound, and each year we notice more restaurants tailoring their menus to a wider spectrum of diners.
Menus are also marked to notate when reservations are recommended. Many eateries offer walk-in seating in addition to reservations (some also don’t take reservations). Regardless of how you get there, it’s a good idea to plan ahead as the next 10 days will be one of the busiest times of the year for many local restaurants.
CHEY’S PICKS FOR IRW 2020
I lose track of the number of posts I see each year asking for recommendations of where to go during Inlander Restaurant Week. As of this writing, I’ve already seen lots on Facebook and Reddit, so here are my top picks to help you discover a new favorite spot!
Gander & Ryegrass ($33)
Chef Peter Froese’s new restaurant in the former Santé spot focusing on “Italian-inspired long-course meals," is a must-try whether you go for Restaurant Week or any other time. I still can’t stop thinking about previous, exquisitely prepared meals I’ve had there since it opened in November. Froese and team’s IRW menu includes plenty of highlights from current and past menus, including handmade pasta.
My course picks: Salad, tagliatelle (lamb and beef ragout, pecorino) and white fish
Hunt / Eyvind (both $33)
Chef Tony Brown opened his two new and distinctly different eateries at the beginning of the year, just in time to join the IRW 2020 lineup. Eyvind (pronounced “eye-vind”) offers a more vegetable-forward menu in an airy and contemporary space on the street level, while the cozy, connected basement bar Hunt is themed around “elevated camp food.” Think game meats and hearty stews.
My course picks (Eyvind): Blue cheese mousse, mushroom couscous risotto, chocolate cake
My course picks (Hunt): Rabbit country pate, turkey tostada, cookie dough bonbons
COUNTER SERVICE SPOTS
Cochinito Taqueria ($22)
After some outcry last year from all sides for being left out, IRW’s directors went back to the drawing board to work in restaurants that didn’t fit into the traditional sit-down-and-order format. That meant respected chef Travis Dickinson’s Mexican/Latin spot was in this year, which is a win-win-win for everyone: them, us and you. Cochinito is walk-in only so keep that in mind — they’re going to be busy!
My course picks: Elote bowl, any three tacos, churros
De Leon’s Taco & Bar ($22)
With three locations (South Hill, North Spokane, Logan neighborhood near Gonzaga) in Spokane that have opened in the last year or so, this popular, family-owned Mexican eatery has been rapidly expanding. One thing I noticed about De Leon's IRW menu is how much tasty food you get — most of the dishes are easy to share with a group and the vibe is family friendly — for the price.
My course picks: Shareable guacamole, mahi-mahi taco plate, tres leche cake
MORE RECOMMENDATIONS / Plus, menu picks
1898 Public House (North Spokane; $33) / Ahi poke nachos, first course
Barnwood Social Kitchen & Tavern (Hillyard; $22) / The B Dub, second course
Beverly’s (Coeur d’Alene; $33) / Smoked American Wagyu beef tartare, first course
Central Food (Downtown Spokane; $33) / Cassoulet, second course
Downriver Grill (North Spokane; $33) / Braised beef pappardelle, second course
Fleur de Sel (Post Falls; $33) / Chicken truffles, second course
Midtown Bluebird (Coeur d’Alene; $33) / Duck confit, second course
North Hill on Garland (North Spokane, $22) / Rustic veggie biscuit pot pie, second course
Prohibition Gastropub (North Spokane, $33) / Al Capone burger, second course
Rüt Bar & Kitchen (South Hill; $22) / Kung pao cauliflower bowl, second course
Table 13 (Downtown Spokane; $33) / Rolo dome, third course
Three Peaks Kitchen & Bar (Airway Heights, $22) / Truffle burger, second course
Vine & Olive (Coeur d’Alene; $33) / Hamachi crudo, first course
Wild Sage Bistro (Downtown Spokane; $33) / Washington steelhead, second course