Panhandle Treats

A sampling of North Idaho's happy hour offerings

click to enlarge Crabby Cakes at Seasons of Coeur d' Alene.
Crabby Cakes at Seasons of Coeur d' Alene.

Happy hour in the panhandle doesn't have to mean all-fried or totally unhealthy (not that we don't love a good basket of crispy chicken strips and jo-jo's with a heaping helping of ranch dressing). Asian duck, salmon satay, hummus and veggies... for under $5? Totally doable. And once you've sampled some of what the area's restaurants have to offer, we think you'll be back for more.

OVAL OFFICE

620 N. Spokane St., Post Falls • 208-777-2102, facebook.com/OvalOfficepf

Where else do you see (Sarah) Palin's panties for fewer than 6 bucks? Oval Office, with its western-facing porch and two happy hours: 3-6 pm or late night, 9-11 pm. All martinis — like Palin's Panties with Absolut Citron and grapefruit — and most appetizers are just $5.50 (clams, mussels and tacos are $7.50). Nosh on little lamb burgers with gooey Gorgonzola ($5.50) or the surprisingly light fried calamari with zesty caper sauce ($5.50).

BARDENAY

1710 W. Riverstone Dr., Coeur d'Alene •

208-765-1540, bardenay.com

Well drinks using their proprietary brand of rum, gin or vodka are always $4 at Bardenay, but happy hour from 4-6 pm means the added bonus of fairly healthy appetizers that encourage sharing. At $2 to $4 each, you can try several satays: balsamic and soy marinated beef with wasabi sour cream sauce ($2), garlic, citrus and ginger marinated chicken breast with sesame-soy dipping sauce ($2) or teriyaki salmon with mango salsa ($4). The hummus plate with pita, olives, veggies and feta ($4) makes a light but satisfying meal on a warm summer day.

BONSAI BISTRO

101 E. Sherman Ave., Coeur d'Alene •

208-765-4321, bonsaibistro.com

You won't have to know what omakase means (it's Japanese for letting the chef decide what you'll eat) during Bonsai Bistro's happy hour, daily from 4-6 pm, but you will have to sit at the sushi bar. Have a pint of PBR ($2) or chef's choice of wine ($3) to counteract the spicy wok-fried shrimp and veggies ($5) or Vietnamese bowl with shrimp, veggies, vermicelli noodles, Thai basil and broth ($4). Try the duck quesadilla ($6) or select sushi rolls like the Bruce Lee with albacore tuna ($5).

SEASONS OF COEUR D'ALENE

209 E. Lakeside Ave., Coeur d'Alene •

208-664-8008, seasonsofcda.com

On Wednesdays, ladies get an extra hour of love at Seasons' happy hour, which is otherwise 3-6 daily. Sit near an open window, sip a margarita-tini ($6) and share a plate of mix-and-match tacos: crisp chicken or soft pork ($2). If lighter fare is more your style, try edamame with a hint of sea salt ($4). Nothing satisfies like a burger, though. We love the Kobe beef sliders ($7) on handmade buns.

CAPONE'S

751 N. 4th St., Coeur d'Alene • 208-667-4843, caponespub.com

There are plenty of ways to work up a late night appetite in North Idaho: being on the lake, hiking, attending monthly art walks. Capone's has you covered in three locations — Coeur d'Alene, Post Falls and Hayden — with a weekday happy hour from 9-11 pm. Drink specials (50¢ off draft beer, $1 off well drinks) and a $5 appetizer menu fit your style and budget in this laid-back pub. Try a 9-inch pepperoni version of their award-winning pizza, garlicky artichoke dip, or meatball sliders on a homemade bun. ♦

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