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The Inlander Staff & r & & r & CHURCHILL'S & lt;BR & & lt;BR & Churchill's aims to provide you with the best beef you've ever tasted. And these are some seriously pampered cuts of meat. Servers whisk about in tuxedoes with brocade vests, promoting the notion that dining out is serious and elegant business. All the beef is seared at 1,800 degrees to seal in juices and lock in flavor, and the first bite was swoon-worthy -- sumptuously rich and impossibly tender. But both the New York strip ($34) and the 24-ounce Cowboy steak ($49) were underdone. For $40 to $50 a plate, we should expect the meat to be cooked perfectly the first time. Plates come with snap peas and garlic mashed potatoes, but you can upgrade with additional sides for $7 each. The butter lettuce salad ($7) was pretty, with the leaves left whole, forming a bowl with shredded beets, candied walnuts and goat cheese. The servers were exceptionally knowledgeable and efficient. But a special-occasion restaurant, with prices in the big leagues, needs to offer perfection on the plate as well. 165 S. Post St., 74-PRIME (747-7463) (LM)


Several items on the expansive menu were tasty but overly enthusiastic, with flavors competing for attention. The wild mushroom bruschetta ($9) with tomatoes, baby spinach, Fontina cheese, basil and white truffle oil was a crowd favorite, though, with lots of cheese and goodies loaded on crisp, thin slices of bread. Among entr & eacute;es the rigatoni ($12) with sweet Italian sausage and pine nuts was a zesty winner, as was the halibut meuni & egrave;re with capers. Desserts are made on the premises, and we sampled the Kahlua mousse cake, a rich and creamy treat served with a crushed chocolate cookie crust. Ultimately, though, the Artisan Culinary Lounge needs to settle on an identity. 515 W. Sprague, 747-6272 (LM)


The dim interior at Angelo's is decked in nostalgic Italiana and religious iconography, and the menu features handcrafted foods, mostly organic. Starters like calamari saltate and antipasto misto sounded delicious; but the crab cake appetizer special disappointed us, with the thick deep-fried breading. The list of entr & eacute;es is impressive -- numerous selections under the headings of pasta, chicken, veal, seafood and steaks. The chicken milano alla griglia ($21) was topped with capers and diced tomato -- pleasant but salty -- accompanied by fresh green beans and a little fried mashed potato cake. More successful was my companion's lobster ravioli ($21) -- al dente pasta pillows stuffed with lobster, whose flavor sparkled. Our young companion shared his zesty spaghetti with meatball ($8 for a kid portion -- but it would have been nice to include a drink or little dessert for the price). Cr & egrave;me br & ucirc;l & eacute;e and tiramisu, made on the premises, were both rich and creamy and not too sweet. 846 N. 4th St., Coeur d'Alene. Call (208) 765-2850 (LM)


A recent remodel has spruced the place up, but the top-notch diner food hasn't changed a bit. My Joe's Special omelet ($8) -- filled with a meaty blend of ground beef, saut & eacute;ed red onions, spinach and parmesan -- came with a generous serving of hashbrowns that were crusty and browned on the outside, potatoey and tender inside, without being mushy. The cinnamon-swirl French toast ($5) was delicious, and the steak-and-egg special ($5) made even a self-proclaimed beef snob talk about his meal for the rest of the day. Lunch is a treat, too, with soups -- like chicken Diablo chowder -- made onsite and served with such diner classics as a BLT or a burger. The servers were confident, efficient and friendly without veering into perky. 425 W. Sprague, 624-3952 (AC)

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