610 W. Hubbard St., CdA
Soul Soup and Coffee House is a feel-good kind of place, filling a cozy niche in the Coeur d'Alene dining scene. Located off of Northwest Boulevard across from one of the newer entrances to North Idaho College, Soul caters to the weekday college and business crowd.
The eatery is a collaboration between sisters Susan Coby and Sara Bigelow. It's Bigelow who handles the coffee end of the business, along with fresh-baked goods (banana bread, pumpkin muffins, scones from Spirit Lake Books &Coffee) and Cravens coffee. Coby dishes up her hearty soups, fresh salads and plenty of smiles, chatting with customers like they're old friends.
There are plenty of sandwich places in the area, explains Coby, but no soup places. "Soup is sexy!" laughs Coby, adding that it also allows her to be healthful and creative every day.
Using organic and local ingredients whenever possible — like smoked turkey from Tim's Special Cut Meats — Coby prepares two daily soups, one vegetarian, and two salads. Soup fills you up without making you feel stuffed, she says.
Coby draws on an eclectic background. As a former lawyer, she has well-developed people skills and a strong business sense, reasoning that filling a niche and starting small make sense in a tough economy. Teaching cooking classes and extensive travel to France, Italy, London, New York City and Chicago honed her palate.
Coby points to the motto painted in foot-high letters along one wall of the brightly lit eatery: "I am seeking. I am striving. I am in it with all of my heart." She wants Soul to be a place where you can feel good about what you're eating.
5620 S. Perry St.
It's been 20 years since Luna first opened its doors at the far end of the South Hill, thanks to the efforts of Marcia and William Bond, but the neighborhood fine dining establishment soldiers on.
With the holidays here, Luna is busy as ever and just unveiled its holiday menu, featuring a filet mignon even Luna regulars won't have tasted. While this is a popular spot for holiday parties, general manager Deb Haase says the restaurant never actually closes for these private events. You can enjoy the holiday décor, along with a selection from the holiday menu and champagne by the glass, up until 9 pm on Christmas Eve. They'll be closed on Christmas Day.
Chef Zach Stone has been at the helm of the kitchen for about a year; he's set to introduce a beef tartare, a meatier take on the already popular tuna tartare. Other than that, Luna is keeping with its successful formula.