I expertly timed my five 5:45 pm reservation for the gorgeous sunset overlooking the majestic — OK, more like the "technically municipal" — city of Post Falls. But the question wasn't whether any of the dishes would be good — they all were — it's which ones were the best.
I sampled from two of the three options in all three courses and then pitted them against each other, because we in the media demand conflict.
Steak tartare, in its very raw nature, can be a bit of a risk, and I was a bit unsure about the flavor. But the secret, here, is to combine the pomme gaufrette — or waffle fries, as we uncivilized Americans call them — the glaze decorating the bottom of the plate, into one glorious bite. That's the way it should be eaten, the crunch and salt of the chip, the zing of the sauce and the raw subtleties of the beef all merging into one symphony.
Figs and Blue Cheese Flatbread
WINNER: Steak tartare. The figs and flatbread tastes like damn fine quality pizza. But it's easy to get some pretty decent pizza anywhere. If you really want to feel fancy, go with the raw steak.
The smoked salmon positively melts in your mouth. It's fantastic. But, surprisingly, the best part of the dish is what lies beneath: The caramelized sauerkraut. It offers a textural counterpoint to the smooth risotto that's subtle enough not to be obtrusive, but interesting enough to give the risotto complexity.
cut, not the quality, and this dish is one of Fleur De Sel's all-time favorites. And for good reason. The creamy sauce captures the emotion of the best chicken pot pie you've ever tasted, with none of the peas weighing it down.
WINNER: This one's close. But we've got to award it to the truffle chicken. The sauce practically swaddles you in a blanket by a roaring fire.
But you also shouldn't forget the third option on the menu, the pork cheeks à la bourguignonne. That particular dish is accompanied by glazed Brussels sprouts, which taste like miraculous little vegetable candy pouches. They're one of the best renditions of a vegetable you'll find on any many in the Inland Northwest.
Consider me a Restaurant Week dessert course skeptic. Most restaurant's dessert courses are too sweet, too rich, or can't compete with a simple scoop of Chunky Monkey. But if you must do dessert, go with cheesecake, rhubarb and the gingerbread crust. The gingerbread, fruit and cheesecake all balance each other in a delightful trinity.
Sorbet and Cookies
Not to be confused with the French president, the coconut macarons had made for a perfect little cookie sandwich, with the coconuts nicely bookending the pineapple curd.
WINNER: The cheesecake. Always bet on cheesecake.
SHOCKING OVERALL WINNER: SOUP OF THE DAY