To-Go Box: Northern Quest celebrates new Highball speakeasy + more food news

click to enlarge To-Go Box: Northern Quest celebrates new Highball speakeasy + more food news
Courtesy Northern Quest
Art deco-inspired touches are on display at Highball speakeasy.
There are lots of places inside Northern Quest Resort & Casino to get a drink but none quite like Highball, which is being billed as a modern speakeasy and located near the casino's Pavilion entrance.

Enter through an ornate iron gate salvaged from a turn-of-the-century New York City building and down a long hall of floor-to-ceiling arched mirrors, dimly lit by crystal chandeliers. The hall opens up to a large, high ceiling room and several dozen more crystal chandeliers. Everything sparkles at Highball.

Step up to any side of the central, square-shaped bar with under-lit art deco detailing and order a craft cocktail, wine, beer, etc., or a mocktail. You prefer shaken not stirred, and vodka versus gin? Order the build-your-own martini with choice of olives.

Find a seat along the perimeter of the room, which is a mashup of vintage and modern club qualities. Banquette seats and individual lights at each little round table remind of New York’s ’40s-era Stork Club, while the gently rotating projections of purple and gold lighting along the upper walls and ceiling suggest a more modern dance spot.

A large space in front of the stage is perfect for dancing. Northern Quest is finalizing the menu for Highball, which features a smattering of savory bites including charcuterie, shrimp cocktail and other finger foods. Highball opens to the public on Monday, Sept. 12. Visit

Maracas usually come in sets of two, one for each hand. And as of this week, MARACAS MEXICAN GRILL (2910 E. 57th Ave.) has a second, slightly different restaurant in addition to its South Hill spot. The new spot highlights numerous seafood dishes and is referenced on social media as Maracas on Ruby (2118 N. Ruby St.), but also Maracas & Mariscos (the Spanish word for seafood). In addition to its lunch and dinner menu, Maracas on Ruby features fresh-from-the-ocean dishes like mojarra frita ($19.95), whole fried tilapia, shrimp aguachiles ($23), and seafood soup called siete mares ($28). Visit

The Olender family recently opened LUCY & SEVENS PIZZERIA in the former short-lived home of Mangia Wood Fired Pizza (2045 W. Tea Olive Lane, Coeur d'Alene). Look for nine wood-fired pizzas with typical combinations in 12- or 16-inch pies, like the margherita ($19, $25) or chicken pesto garlic ($20, $26). Check out the panuozzo or pizza sandwich ($14) with all your basic pizza ingredients — sauce, meat protein, cheese, yummy seasonings — in a two-fisted format. Visit

Have gas prices dropped enough to entice you into a country drive? If so, put Spirit Lake, Idaho, on your roadmap and visit CEDAR’S DRIVE THRU (6074 W. Rhode Island St.). The refurbished Bob’s Big Boy statue out front (minus Bob’s signature red-and-white checkered coveralls) should give you a sense of the menu: classic road trip treats like burgers, fries and the Lumberjack breakfast burrito ($5.95) with eggs, sausage, hash browns and cheese. Find them on Facebook at Cedars Drive Thru.

While you’re in Idaho, also check out RELIC SMOKEHOUSE & PUB’S second location in Post Falls (2868 Seltice Way) next to the Putt’n Around miniature golf course. Relic opened its first spot in 2017, at 1901 E. Sherman Ave., Coeur d’Alene, and quickly became a local favorite for its uniquely smoked meats like the turkey legs ($9.75). Visit

Do you love Bare Culture Kombucha and its fruit-forward flavor, but haven’t seen it around lately? It didn’t disappear; it was just gettin’ a little love.  LOVE’S KOMBUCHA, which makes a similar, albeit fermented, probiotic tea, purchased Bare Culture Kombucha when its owners retired. Now both bubbly drinks are crafted in Love’s Moscow, Idaho, facility (926 Public Ave.) and available in select spots throughout Idaho, Washington, Oregon and Montana. Visit for a list of where to find either beverage.

To-Go Box is the Inlander’s regular dining news column, offering tasty tidbits and updates on the region’s food and drink scene. Send tips and updates to

Athol Farmers Market @ Athol Community Hall

Fridays, 2-6 p.m. Continues through Sept. 30
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About The Author

Carrie Scozzaro

Carrie Scozzaro spent nearly half of her career serving public education in various roles, and the other half in creative work: visual art, marketing communications, graphic design, and freelance writing, including for publications throughout Idaho, Washington, and Montana.