With the omicron variant now rapidly spreading in our region, several restaurants have been forced to temporarily close this week due to staff members testing positive for COVID-19.
Casper Fry in South Perry announced on Jan. 5 via social media that it’ll be closed this week after a staff member tested positive. Zona Blanca Ceviche Bar downtown is also closed for the week due to a COVID case among its staff. Other COVID-caused closures include Downriver Grill in North Spokane and Magnolia American Brasserie downtown.
The omicron variant's rise has hit restaurants with a double whammy as staffing issues continue to impact the hospitality industry. This means that for many spots, when one or more staff test positive, there often aren’t enough healthy employees available to fill in, leaving many of these eateries with no other option but to close until ill staff recover.
Aside from COVID cases, last night's major snowfall has also prompted some restaurants to close for the day, Thursday, Jan. 6, in the interest of staff and guests. Here’s a list of what we’ve seen announced so far: Ambrosia Bistro and Wine Bar (Spokane Valley), DeGar’s Reef Taco (North Spokane), Rockwood Bakery (South Hill), Elliotts an Urban Kitchen (North Spokane), The Bad Seed (Northeast Spokane), Mossuto's Italian (North Spokane), Vieux Carre NOLA Kitchen (downtown), People's Waffle (downtown).
EAT LIKE A CHEF
A new partnership with Eat Good Group’s Adam Hegsted and Share Farm’s Vincent Peak wants you to eat like a chef… without all the work. In December, the duo launched a line of five meal kits: mushroom fettuccine alfredo; falafel with tahini dressing and sliced cucumber; hummus, pita chips and sliced cucumber; mac 'n' cheese with toasted breadcrumbs; and a “buddha bowl” with quinoa and lentils, hummus, sliced carrot and cucumber, garbanzo, pickled onion, Feta and creamy garlic dressing. Order online at eatlikeachef.com ($13) or look for kits in the deli area of Super One Foods ($11 each, although individual store prices may vary), starting with Hayden and Coeur d’Alene. Product placement will continue at a new Super One Foods every two weeks, expanding into Washington as well as to Rosauers Supermarkets, Peak says. Instructional videos on meal preparation can be found at eatlikeachef.com.
HOW THEY ROLL
Sushi will be rolling into Spirit Lake on Jan. 12 when guest chef Kenta Nishimori does a kitchen takeover at Sedlmayer’s Restaurant. Nishimori is a well-known name in the region, having worked at the former Momiji in Post Falls and Syringa Japanese Café & Sushi Bar in Coeur d’Alene. He also recently re-opened Takara Japanese Cuisine & Sushi, resurrecting a treasured downtown Coeur d’Alene restaurant with a venerable history. The Sedlmayer event is a six-course meal and drink pairing: appetizers, sushi rolls, sashimi, nigiri, main course and dessert, plus wines, saketini cocktails, and Japanese whisky. Cost is $90/person. This is the fourth (but definitely not the final) guest chef event for the restaurant, which reopened under new ownership in May 2021. More at sedlmayersresort.com.
The Coeur d’Alene Resort’s carb-filled celebration is back Saturday, Jan. 15, when the annual Mac & Cheese Festival returns. While competing for the coveted “Golden Noodle” Award, area chefs satisfy diners' cravings for this ultimate comfort food. Add craft beer pairings ($33 with food) for the ultimate carb-filled indulgence. Packages offered by the resort include overnight stays, special mac-themed lake cruises ($36-$60) and kid-friendly tasting options ($12) designed specially for smaller tummies. The festival runs from noon to 6 pm, with check-in options offered for lunch or dinner. More info at cdaresort.com; tickets available via Eventbrite.