The beautiful thing about Inlander Restaurant Week is that there are sure to be newcomers, which keeps things fresh for diners and gives restaurants an opportunity to introduce themselves. Sometimes, it's a re-introduction, as places cycle in and out of participating, depending on what else they've got going. This year, the new participants list lets diners explore the culinary traditions of the Mediterranean and the Big Easy, get a taste of a westside superstar's take on Italian cuisine and — maybe — meet a new forever friend of the four-legged variety.
Many countries use the word "baba" as a term of endearment, especially for dad, so let's just call Adam Hegsted of Eat Good Group the home-grown father of innovative restaurants. Try his mashup of Mediterranean-inspired comfort foods like the deviled eggs served in other Hegsted locales, this time with tahini and an Egyptian spice known as dukkah.
BARK, A RESCUE PUB
It's a win-win for everyone on two legs or four at this unique pub, which allows diners to interact with dogs and cats in a separate but accessible area. "We are excited to introduce our menu and unique restaurant concept to Spokane and hopefully see a lot of animals find their forever homes," says Josh Wade, who opened Bark with partner Katie Holmes last year.
BOSCO PASTA & PANINI
Head to the Wonder Building for house-made pasta that's the heart of this charming new eatery from Seattle-based Ethan Stowell Restaurant Group. Never had gnocchi? Try that or a classic panini, a special kind of grilled sandwich that is all about the crispy exterior and ooey-gooey interior.
This Spokane Valley eatery is off the rails — literally. Dine in the vintage locomotive and enjoy their version of German sausage, pulled pork tacos or the unusual smoked chicken bowl with choice of side and Texas toast.
SOUTH PERRY LANTERN
For fans of the Perry District, there are good vibes emanating from the South Perry Lantern just based on its long history as a café and taphouse. It's great for people-watching, so park yourself near the window and try the smoked oysters and their version of a French dip using roasted duck breast. For the third course, you can go traditional — cookies and ice cream — or adult: a glass of wine or craft beer. Our kind of place!
To much fanfare, this celebrated westside eatery debuted in Spokane's Old City Hall building recently and, by a stroke of luck, during this summer's Inlander Restaurant Week diners can try a show-stopping Tavolata meal for a modest price. How about black cod with clams and caponata or scratch-made spaghetti known as tonnarelli? And you know the Italian-themed desserts are going to be heavenly.
VIEUX CARRE NOLA KITCHEN
New Orleans, aka the Big Easy, is the inspiration for this newly opened eatery, whose name translates to "old square." With Mardi Gras months away still, here's your opportunity to experience Cajun-country classics like crawfish, jambalaya and grits with bacon-wrapped shrimp. ♦