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Notable Newcomers 

Seven restaurants new to the Inland Northwest in the past year that you have to try

click to enlarge Steamed Manila clams from Park Lodge. - YOUNG KWAK
  • Young Kwak
  • Steamed Manila clams from Park Lodge.

Park Lodge

Offering spectacular views of the Spokane River gorge from Kendall Yards' west end, Park Lodge is one of the area's newest and most buzzworthy fine dining spots. Chef and owner Philip Stanton, formerly of Italia Trattoria and with a resume filled with esteemed restaurants around the U.S., opened the dinner-only eatery with the goal of taking food back to the basics, starting with fire. To that end, the bulk of Park Lodge's eclectic Northwest-focused comfort food menu is prepared on the kitchen's custom-built open hearth, a visual focal point of the minimalist-meets-rustic space. Stanton and his culinary team use the applewood-burning hearth to grill meat and some vegetables over an open flame. Beyond the flavors imparted by an open flame, Stanton has a deep reverence for cooking with regional, in-season ingredients. Diners should expect to see frequent menu changes, chef's specials and other decisions that highlight what Stanton is able to procure locally throughout the year. Open Mon-Thu 4-9 pm; Fri-Sun 4-10 pm • 411 N. Nettleton St. • Kendall Yards • parklodgerestaurant.com • 340-9347

Honey Eatery & Social Club

Spokane chef Adam Hegsted is showing no indication of slowing down, as evidenced by the opening of his ninth restaurant in spring 2018, Honey Eatery and Social Club in downtown Couer d'Alene. Located in the former home of the Cellar, also a past project of Hegsted's, Honey is split into two levels, with the Eatery on the first floor and the Social Club bar in the basement. Honey's classic comfort-food-inspired menu will feel familiar to fans of Hegsted's other eateries, and its namesake honey is definitely an element of many dishes. Items on the menu range in price point and encourage sharing, with snacks like bacon-wrapped dates and Scotch quail eggs wrapped in sausage, breaded and fried. Bowls and plates offer larger portions, like the wild rice grits with grilled shrimp or a Thai-roasted chicken salad. Hegsted is especially proud of his fried chicken, which he says took years to get just right in a restaurant setting. Open Sun-Mon 7 am-5 pm; Tue-Thu 7 am-10 pm; Fri-Sat 10 am-midnight • 317 Sherman Ave. • Coeur d'Alene •

facebook.com/honeyeateryandsocialclub • 208-930-1514

Umi Kitchen & Sushi Bar

Umi's upstairs dining room is bright and fresh, with floor-to-ceiling windows, a muted palette and fishing basket-inspired light fixtures that create a clean and contemporary seaside aethstetic. In the detached Umi Lounge downstairs, overlooking the Centennial Trail, the feeling is moody and masculine, with rich wood, dim lighting and a cozy fireplace nook furnished with leather and velvet-upholstered seating. The hotly anticipated sushi bar in Kendall Yards is owned by two local business partners who recruited well-known sushi chef Tong Liu, of Five Mile's QQ Sushi & Kitchen, to take the helm of the kitchen and sushi bar alongside Haru Wong, also a partner at Fire Artisan Pizza downtown. In addition to an expansive list of classic and specialty rolls — like the "stuffed pumpkin roll," which actually doesn't include squash; rather it's formed into the general shape of a pumpkin — Umi's sushi bar serves a standard lineup of fresh sashimi and nigiri. The kitchen also offers tempura and a variety of noodle dishes, along with poke salads, kushiyaki street food skewers and even some American-Asian fusion plates. In the downstairs lounge, customers can order Asian-inspired craft cocktails or high-end wines by the glass, served on tap, to pair with their sushi. Restaurant open Mon-Thu 11 am-9 pm; Sat 11 am-10 pm; Sun 11 am-5 pm • 1309 W. Summit Pkwy. • Kendall Yards • umispokane.com • 368-9372

click to enlarge An octopus taco at Cochinito Taqueria. - YOUNG KWAK
  • Young Kwak
  • An octopus taco at Cochinito Taqueria.

Cochinito Taqueria

Spokane chef Travis Dickinson, formerly of local fine-dining mainstay Clover, took the leap to open his first restaurant as a proprietor and chef in early 2018. Cochinito Taqueria sits on a busy corner at Riverside and Post (the former home of Niko's and a Mexican eatery after that) and offers walk-up counter ordering for its fast-casual concept and a menu featuring a variety of street tacos, small plates, sides and taco bowls. The Cochinito chef's passion for traditional Latin and Latin-fusion cooking began while working in the kitchens of several Portland-area restaurants alongside a predominantly Hispanic staff. His ties to the cuisine grew deeper when he met his wife, born in Mexico. Tacos at Cochinito are served on house-made corn tortillas and protein options include pork cheek carnitas, lamb sausage, adobo-roasted chicken, octopus, chorizo, rockfish and fried mushrooms. Starters and sides inspired by classic Mexican street food include elote, pozole, sopes and ceviche. Cochinito has a full bar, and definitely participates in Taco Tuesday, offering two tacos and a beer for just $10. Open Mon-Thu 11 am-9 pm; Fri-Sat 11 am-10 pm • 10 N. Post St. • Downtown Spokane • facebook.com/cochinitotaqueria • 474-9618

Ten/6

Step into a world giving a nod to some of Lewis Carroll's most beloved characters, including Alice, the Mad Hatter and the White Rabbit, at this eclectic and whimsical new eatery to the Lake City, serving a Cajun-influenced menu. Filled with charming decor that evokes a scene from the classic children's story, Ten/6 is outfitted with nods to the original and Disney-ified versions with teapots, red-tinged white roses, rabbit head mounts and lots of gold gilt frames. From the kitchen, chef Alex Chaffin cooks up a menu of New Orleans-inspired French Quarter eats, like beignets, beans and rice, French toast, gumbo and crawfish biscuits. The restaurant is open only for breakfast and lunch — and obviously brunch — service. Open Wed-Sun 7 am-2 pm • 726 N. Fourth St. • Coeur d'Alene • facebook.com/ten6cda • 208-930-0905

The Grain Shed

Beer and bread — two of the oldest recipes in the world — unite for South Perry's newest food spot, a bakery and brewery called the Grain Shed. The venture is a regional collaboration between a baker, a pair of brewers and a farmer, whose respective focuses sustainably and economically complement one another. A majority of the grains, which are landrace, ancient or heritage strains (grains that are pre-hybridized, primitive or were introduced before the development of plant genetics), that are baked into loaves made by Culture Breads and brewed into beer in the connected Grain Shed Brewing Co. are grown by Palouse Heritage farms, near Endicott, Washington. Culture Breads' owner Shaun Thompson Duffy mills those grains into flour on site to bake a variety of breads and other pastries inside the bakery's Old World-style, wood-fired oven that was custom built for the space. Across the room, Joel Williamson and Teddy Benson are brewing small-batch beers right in view of customers at the bar. Beyond pastries and fresh loaves to take home, the Grain Shed serves sandwiches, toast with spreads and toppings and other eat-in items. Open Mon, Wed-Sat 7 am-10 pm; Sun 10 am-5 pm • 1026 E. Newark Ave. • South Perry • thegrainshed.coop • 241-3853

click to enlarge Diver scallops at Vine & Olive. - PHOTO COURTESY OF VINE & OLIVE
  • Photo courtesy of Vine & Olive
  • Diver scallops at Vine & Olive.

Vine & Olive Eatery and Wine Bar

After years of planning, Naomi Boutz celebrated the opening of her first restaurant, Vine & Olive, in late 2017. Reception to the space since has been humbling for Boutz, but perhaps not too surprising considering the attention to detail found in every element: decor, menu, pricing and location. Her vision was specific and client-focused from the outset: European-inspired shared plates featuring local, seasonal ingredients; a chic décor with rustic accents (and no TVs), an emphasis on Northwest wines and a modest price point. The all scratch-made menu features mostly shareable dishes, a few entrees (most priced at $20 or less) and desserts. Pair crunchy chickpeas or lightly fried acorn squash with one of eight rotating beers. Sink into braised short ribs with creamy polenta or share flatbread and what Boutz calls a "superfood salad" of ancient grains: farro cooked tender in apple cider with kale, microgreens, roasted red pepper, cold-smoked apple and red wine vinaigrette that's topped with fried farro and shaved Fontina cheese. Open Mon-Thu 11:30 am-9:30 pm; Fri-Sat 11:30 am-11 pm; Sun 10 am-8 pm • 2037 N. Main St. • Coeur d'Alene • vineandolivecda.com • 208-758-770

The original print version of this article was headlined "Notable Newcomers"

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