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Inlander Restaurant Week

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2.27.14

Bistango's Chicken Satay

RESTAURANT WEEK ROLLS ON

If you have yet to delve into the culinary splendor of Inlander Restaurant Week, here is a friendly reminder that, including today, you still have four days left to do so.

In its second run, Inlander Restaurant Week (called Spokane Restaurant Week last year) expanded outside of Spokane and has 74 restaurants participating, with 16 of those in north Idaho.

Each restaurant created a special fixed-price menu for Restaurant Week with three-course dinners for either $18 or $28, depending on the restaurant.

In case you're worried about not finding something you like, most restaurants have a few options for each course. You can browse the menus posted on the Restaurant Week website. You can even search for restaurants based on neighborhood, cuisine categories or type in a food you're craving in the search bar and see if it pops up on one of the menus.

For some suggested local brews, wines and spirits to pair with your meal, you can take a peek at the Drink Local page. To see what some local public figures are dining on for Restaurant Week, The Dish page has Q&As with people like Senator Michael Baumgartner, as well as videos of local chefs visiting KHQ with their Restaurant Week dishes.

And when you head out for your own Restaurant Week meal, snap a picture of your food and use the hashtag #INRestWeek to show everyone what you got. Just be sure to book reservations before going because we're hearing that tables fill up fast.

JO MILLER

MAUI COFFEE ROASTERS COMES TO SPOKANE

The recent snow dumping might have you dreaming of tropical places far from here. And while you probably won't be able to actually get away, you can find some tropical flavors locally. Maui Coffee Roasters opened a location in Spokane Valley late last year — the company's first Mainland store. The coffee drive-through at 9611 E. Trent Ave. gets their coffee that is grown, picked and micro-roasted in Maui flown in fresh every week.

You can choose from their dark roast 100-percent Kona blend, their Maui blend or the Chocolate Mac Nut coffee. The menu also features signature drinks, like a Maui macchiato, fresh fruit smoothies and coconut bread baked in-house daily. Open Mon-Fri, 6 am-3 pm and Saturday, 7 am-3 pm.

JO MILLER


EPIC
Saranac
Rock City Grill
Manito Tap House
Inlander
Culinary Calendar
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Date Night in Tuscany

315 Martinis & Tapas | 315 Wallace Ave., CdA

A full dinner is prepared in this class led by chef/owner Kris MclLvenna, focusing on the simplicity of Tuscan cooking. | March 1 from 3-5 pm | $45 | 208-667-9660more...

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Crush Hunger

Luxe Coffeehouse | 1017 W. First Ave.

Fundraiser benefiting Northwest Harvest, featuring wine tasting, local food truck vendors and more. Featured vendors include Vino!, The Bistro Box, Coupla Chefs and David's Pizza. | March 1 at 6:30 pm | $45 | 624-5514 more...

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Loose Leaf Tea Blending

Spice Traders Mercantile | 15614 E. Sprague

Sample different types of tea, learn brewing techniques of loose leaf tea and the health benefits of herbs and spices. Students also create a blend to take home. Pre-registration required. | March 1 at 3 pm | $10/person, $15/couple | 315-4036more...

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Rest. Week
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Grumpy Monkey Coffee & Bakery

2102 N. Fourth St., CdA
208-665-5879

Caleb Duke and his wife Nicole named their coffee shop Grumpy Monkey to stand out a bit from other shops, and of course to give people something to laugh about when they came in.

"We just kind of liked the idea," Caleb says. "It's hard to say something like that without cracking a little bit of a smile."

Their toddler daughter, Lila Belle, who the couple calls their "little monkey," also inspired the name. Her name is even on one of the coffee blends. The Lila Belle blend is always on hand, along with a couple of other rotating blends, such as single origin coffees from Guatemala or Kenya, or a French roast.

When the Dukes opened Grumpy Monkey — a spacious yet cozy café — in December with the help of their family, they came up with a list of "favorites" for the drink menu to go along with the cappuccinos, lattes, mochas and other coffee shop staples (sizes: 8, 12, 16, 20-ounce). Caleb says his mother-in-law told him that she doesn't know what to order in a coffee shop if she can't see it on the menu, so they invented a few drinks that would appeal to the majority of customers.

For a little bit of a kick with your coffee, there's the cayenne mocha ($2.95-4.45), a mixture of dark chocolate and cayenne pepper. For a fruity flavor, try the Eighth Wonder of the World ($3.30-4.80), a banana and coconut mocha. Or go for the Ape Escape ($3-4.50) with white chocolate and almond.

Also made in-house, you'll find an array of baked goods. A few items like chocolate chip cookies ($2.10) and croissants ($3.25) are available daily; other items rotate, such as blueberry cream cheese crumbles, brownies, raspberry oat bars ($2.50 each) and muffins ($2.25). In the next couple of weeks they'll start serving soups and sandwiches, too, says Caleb. more...

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The Culinary Stone

2129 Main St., CdA
208-277-4166

It wasn't much of a leap from children's therapy to kitchen therapy for Sandra Gunn, co-owner of the Culinary Stone in Coeur d'Alene.

Growing up, family dinners were the norm, says Gunn, yet she sometimes noticed a difference in the troubled kids and families with whom she worked as a child therapist.

"One of the first things I assessed was how [the families] spent their time," she says.

It made her wonder about the role of the hearth in the heart of the family. She remembers spending time with her Italian grandfather, a chef, and grandmother, who infused all her own olive oils. That and her mother's encouragement to follow her passion led to Gunn's transition out of child therapy into her own culinary-based business.

First there was the Coeur d'Alene Olive Oil Company, which Gunn formed in 2003, selling standard and infused oils to farmers markets and then through a modest storefront downtown. The business recently relocated to the Culinary Stone's 5,500-square-foot Riverstone facility, where customers can sample the oils, as well as browse anything cooks might need: gadgets, cookware, even a gourmet deli and wine section.

One of the Culinary Stone's most unique features is the salt bar, which includes a salt cooking stone and several dozen flavored and finishing salts, ranging from white truffle to lemon chili lime margarita.

Gunn sees the store as more than just a place to buy things; it's a full culinary experience, she says, where sampling, asking questions and learning are welcomed. A reading area in the cookbook section encourages browsing, while the kids' kitchen invites children to play and experiment.

A teaching kitchen and dining area regularly hosts cooking classes, including courses taught by former Herbie's Deli owner Bob Black, whom Gunn talked into coming out of retirement to manage her deli counter. Black is also in charge of the Culinary Stone's new wine tastings (Mondays through Saturdays, 4:30-6 pm), one of many services Gunn and business partner Sandy Volkar plan to offer. more...

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