Amber Park loves to travel the world and sample its diverse and unique cuisines.
With this wanderlust in mind, paired with more than two decades in the region's food and beverage industry, Park decided to bring some of her favorite flavors to Spokane in the form of wine, cheese and cured meats.
Wanderlust Delicato opened in downtown Spokane along West Main Avenue in early summer, offering tasting flights, bottles, cheese and meat to-go, cooking classes and other events, including a weekly jazz night (Wednesday from 6-8 pm) and tapas showcase (Tuesday from 4-6 pm, $10).
"When I travel, I like to find out what is unique to the area," Park says. "So you hear a lot about terroir with wine, but it's also the culture and history and geography, and all of that combined with wine and charcuterie and cheese. I like the connection of all three being about preservation, and they all happen to go amazingly well with each other."
Park's hope for Wanderlust is that it becomes a place for locals to shop, eat and learn.
For customers looking to take something new home, the shop offers wine by the bottle from across the world (as well as Washington state) that range from $20-$40. A cold case showcases both imported and regionally made artisan cheese and cured meats — serrano jamon, prosciutto di parma, capicola — that can be ordered by the pound or on snack plates served in store.
One of Park's favorite cheeses in stock currently is the weinkäse lagrein, a German-inspired, semi-aged cheese from Northern Italy that has an earthy, umami flavor.
"These are artisan cheeses and classic imports that people don't carry in regular stores or are from small, hard-to-find locales," she notes.
A limited food menu includes cheese and charcuterie plates ($12 each), a combination of both ($18) and sides ($3 each) of olives, cornichon pickles, sliced baguette and crackers and dried or fresh fruit. Wanderlust's Globetrotter baguette sandwiches ($10 each) include a Spanish-inspired bocadillo, the French-style, ham-and-cheese jambon beurre, a caprese and one rotating special.
Platters for groups ($40) of four to six, along with snack packs ($8) or snack cones ($5) — both are premade combinations of meat, cheese and nuts — round out the menu.
Tasting flights of Wanderlust's rotating three featured wines are $10 each; each wine is also available by the glass ($10).
In the back of the store, Park has transformed a former storage room into a high-end teaching kitchen for guest chefs to share their passion with the community. During the shop's recent grand opening weekend, Spokane chef and restaurateur Chad White taught a class on lobster. A local French-born chef also taught a session.
"It's all about experiences throughout the store," Park says. "We want you to experience the stories behind [products] and the great local chefs we have." ♦
Wanderlust Delicato • 421 W. Main • Open Tue-Sat 11 am-8 pm, Sun 11 am-4 pm • wanderlustdelicato.com • 822-7087