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Showing posts from July, 2008

Chaps Coffee Company

4235 S Cheney Spokane Rd
Spokane, WA 99256
(509) 624-4182

Yeehaw and kick up your heels little ladies and gens alike! Chaps is a restaurant styled in western and cowboy themes the right way. We're talking an old farmhouse redone to accomodate diners, real leather chaps hanging on the wall, cowboy hats peppered throughout - none of that faux western cowboy (aka tight Wranglers, big belt buckles and country twang). The atmosphere is great, but the experience is kicked up a notch when you see the menu. Groovy interiors and downright delicious food are only part of puzzle; the final piece clicks into place when you meet Celeste, the owner and brains and beauty behind this restaurant, who has fulfilled her life's dream by opening Chaps. Her heart is so big that 8 out of 9 customers are met with a sincere, soul-crunching hug by Celeste, who knows and cares about all the customers. What about those 1 out of 9 that don't get the hug? She just hasn't met them yet, they'll be r…

Bonsai Bistro (Cda)

101 Sherman Ave.
Coeur d'Alene, ID
(208) 765-4321
http://www.bonsaibistro.com/

Slide over, you PF Chang lettuce wraps, here comes something tastier. Bonsai Bistro, located across the street from the boat-centric Coeur d'Alene Resort, takes the lettuce wrap when it comes to Pan-Asian cuisine. Long before PF was Changing into our region, Bonsai Bistro had loyal customers flowing through the doors. The food strikes the right balance between packing a powerful punch of flavor, and not leaving you longing for a turbo pack of breath mints. It is saturated with pure flavor, a little bit of kick and fresh ingredients. A word of warning: the sweet and sour comes with a zesty dose of ginger, which you'll either love or hate. The Mu Shu Chicken is delicious and worth the trip alone. If you are really lucky, you can wash it down with a Huckleberry lemon drop while sitting on the island in the middle of the restaurant and asking PF Who?

Runway (Cda)

Runway
The Shops at the Cda Resort
Coeur d'Alene, Idaho

Freshly opened Runway, located in the Coeur d'Alene Resort Shops is a women's clothing boutique spotlighting designer fashion and accessories. Mother-daughter owners Marcia Evans and Carey Liming display unique lines, giving personal attention that create a delightful shopping experience.

(As published in Spokane Coeur d'Alene Living Magazine, Haute Couture Shopped Locally, April/May 2008 issue)
Preface:
Locally owned, designer clothing boutiques are popping up like Spring flowers in Spokane and Coeur d'Alene. check out our fresh sheet as we name drop a few, making it easy to shop local.

Tiffany Blue House of Style (Cda)

Tiffany Blue House of Style (Cda)
Sherman Avenue, Coeur d'Alene, Idaho

Owners Kelly Ogle and Jeannie Worrell made Tiffany Blue a reality by opening up exactly the shop they dreamed up. Featuring full lines of unique and top designer clothing, accessories and must have goodies, Tiffany Blue almost single-handedly prevents Coeur d'Alene residents from taking montly trips to Nordstrom and is now also a destination for Washintonians.

(As published in Spokane Coeur d'Alene Living Magazine, Haute Couture Shopped Locally, April/May 2008 issue)
Preface: Locally owned, designer clothing boutiques are popping up like Spring flowers in Spokane and Coeur d'Alene. check out our fresh sheet as we name drop a few, making it easy to shop local.

Lolo Boutique

Lolo Boutique
SODO, Spokane, WA.

Beth Hitch and Laura Kelly's Lolo Boutique is a trendy and original home, garden, and clothing shop housed in the former Cyrus O'Leary's Pie factory. This stylish boutique features up and coming designers and rare finds. Lolo boutique offers a urban escape for discriminating shoppers, complete with the side alley showing garden items.

(As published in Spokane Coeur d'Alene Living Magazine, Haute Couture Shopped Locally, April/May 2008 issue)

Preface:Locally owned, designer clothing boutiques are popping up like Spring flowers in Spokane and Coeur d'Alene. check out our fresh sheet as we name drop a few, making it easy to shop local.

Cues

Cues
Downtown Spokane
707 W Main Street
(509)838-5837 http://www.cuesclothing.com/

Concept became reality when two woman came together to pursue what they loved most - fashion! Meghan Brown and Trish Thoen have brought a breath of fresh air to downtown Spokane, along with 60 styles and more than 20 designers. Our favorite is the denim bar, with an extensive and ever changing line of the trendiest jeans.

(As published in Spokane Coeur d'Alene Living Magazine, Haute Couture Shopped Locally, April/May 2008 issue)

Preface: Locally owned, designer clothing boutiques are popping up like Spring flowers in Spokane and Coeur d'Alene. check out our fresh sheet as we name drop a few, making it easy to shop local.

Jigsaw

Jigsaw
Downtown Spokane

Ahead of the trend, Susan Carmody made a statement way back in 2001 with boutique designer clothes in such exclusive quantities, you'll feel confident you have a look thats almost uniquely yours. This keep-it-special concept differs from those large retailers who order en-masse when a style sells well. Personal service and attention is premier at Jigsaw.

(As published in Spokane Coeur d'Alene Living Magazine, Haute Couture Shopped Locally, April/May 2008 issue)

Preface:Locally owned, designer clothing boutiques are popping up like Spring flowers in Spokane and Coeur d'Alene. check out our fresh sheet as we name drop a few, making it easy to shop local.

COCO

COCO
Spokane Valley

Owner Calie Conner showcases designer Women's clothing in a stylish boutique making a trip to the mall worth it. COCO has newly expanded to include children's selections. With limited and often exclusive European Lines, Coco gives world-class style without the plane fare.

(As published in Spokane Coeur d'Alene Living Magazine, Haute Couture Shopped Locally, April/May 2008 issue)

Preface:Locally owned, designer clothing boutiques are popping up like Spring flowers in Spokane and Coeur d'Alene. check out our fresh sheet as we name drop a few, making it easy to shop local.

ZOLA

22 west Main
Spokane, WA.


If boyfriends were bars, mine would be ZOLA.

Grown up but still fun, attractive yet not stuck up.
Very caring (substainable building)
Creative (recycled works of art)
Cooks for me (remarkably good bar food)
Sings to me (live music)
and likes ALL my friends.

Now if ZOLA would just help out around the house, I'd be set.

(A variation of this article I wrote was published in the December 2008 issue of Spokane Coeur d'Alene Living Magazine, Buzz section)

Latah Bistro

4241 S. Cheney Spokane Rd., Ste. C
Spokane, WA
509.838.8338 www.latahbistro.com

Chocolate and Wine go together like________________.

In the culinary world this is the dynamic duo.

Latah Bistro is fabulous restaurant with great food, but as this review is all about the chocolate.

Chocolate lovers unite!
Latah Bistro has a complete chocolate menu, with at over 17 kinds of chocolate bars from all over the world. This tasty treat is the perfect finale to you meal. And of course Latah Bistro has plenty of Washington wine to accompany the high quality chocolate.

Try the Ultimate Chocolate Sampler ($10) from which you can choose three chocolates or go for The Amedie Sampler ($18), which lets diners try a number of chocolates from a single region.

My favorite chocolate visit was when owner Dave Dupree walked our table through our tasting and recommended a few to try, as well as, help us decipher the unique flavors I had no idea went well in chocolate. You know the selection is vast, when the owner do…

Clinkerdaggers

West 621 Mallon Street (In the historic Flour Mill)
Spokane, WA 99201
(509) 328-5965 http://www.clinkerdagger.com/


New Updated Post: November 2008

Dear Clinkerdaggers (again)

Just like a no-good, yet oh-so familiar ex-boyfriend, I returned to you for one last night in a moment of weakness. I know, I know - in my last review I said I was moving on, don't call me, were through.But after returning to the scene of the crime, quite possible my last review was a tad bit harsh. Maybe an old dog doesn't need new tricks. After all this time, you still got it going on and yes, you left me more than just a little satisfied.So you had a few off nights. It could happen to anyone. Who was I too sum up our whole relationship based on a couple slips from greatness.Besides you can truly say you knew me when.

Here is a checklist of your smooth moves:
Greeted by a cozy fireplace to set the mood. Check
Low lights, tucked away in a corner tables. Check
Attentive service without hovering. Check
Unmatched vie…

Pita Pit

(several locations in Spokane and North Idaho)
http://www.pitapit.com/


Pita Pit is our Pit Stop. It's a fresh alternative to fast food.
The choices range from the Grilled Chicken Caesar to the Dagwood to Soulvaki.
We are currently craving the Gyro with tomatos, feta, cucumber, olives and tazeki.
There are currently 168 Pita Pit locations in 37 states, with another 50+ in the works at review time. The USA headquarters are in Cda.

(Published in Spokane Coeur d'Alene Living magazine November 2008, Best Of..)

John Gasperetti's Gourmet Restaurant and G• Bar

1310 North First Street
Yakima, Washington 98901
509-248-0628
Open Tuesday thru Saturday
http://gasperettisrestaurant.com/

While visiting wineries in Central Washington, every time we asked anybody where we should eat, we were sent to Gasperetti's with a plug for the onion rings. When on unfamiliar soil, a recommendation for dinner is almost required, so a meal isn't wasted on a 2 star establishment. So we were definitely going to the place everyone raved about - Gasperetti's. But we weren't completely sold on ordering the onion rings, we were told we absolutely had to have.

Gasperetti's Gourmet Restaurant didn't disappoint on any level - amazing food, great atmosphere, and wonderful service. Classic Italian dishes and Northwest Seasonal Specialties headline Gasperetti’s gourmet menu, which reads like a family cookbook - Mario Gasperetti's famous Onion Rings (again, with the onion rings), Aunt Rose's anti-pasta plate, and John's Cheese Burger. This f…

Riverfront Park

A river runs through it. Riverfront Park is truly the heart and soul of Spokane. This is where Spokanites gather for great city events such as Bloomsday, Hoopfest, Pig out in the Park and to watch fireworks on the 4th of July.

At this wide open city park you can a whirl on historic carousel, run through the fountain, take in an IMAX movie or simply gaze from the footbridge at the spectacular Falls.
In the summer there's carnival rides which includes a fantastic a gondola ride over the falls and in the winter there's an outdoor ice skating arena complete with hot coco.

The city was built on the Falls and kudos for the city planning committee of old for this beau-T-ful park for residents and visitors to enjoy.
(Published in Spokane Coeur d'Alene Living Magazine, November 2008, best of...)

Latah Bistro

4241 S Cheney Spokane Rd
Spokane, WA 99224
(509) 838-8338


Chocolate and Wine go together like________________.

In the culinary world this is the dynamic duo.

Latah Bistro is fabulous restaurant with great food, but as this review is all about the chocolate.

Chocolate lovers unite!
Latah Bistro has a complete chocolate menu, with at over 17 kinds of chocolate bars from all over the world. This tasty treat is the perfect finale to you meal. And of course Latah Bistro has plenty of Washington wine to accompany the high quality chocolate.

Try the Ultimate Chocolate Sampler ($10) from which you can choose three chocolates or go for The Amedie Sampler ($18), which lets diners try a number of chocolates from a single region.

My favorite chocolate visit was when owner Dave Dupree walked our table through our tasting and recommended a few to try, as well as, help us decipher the unique flavors I had no idea went well in chocolate. You know the selection is vast, when the owner doubles as the ch…

Rocket Market

Hatch & 43rd (South Hill)
Spokane, WA http://www.rocketmarket.com/

I love-ah me some Rocket Market. This little oasis is nestled in suburbia atop the South hill. Great coffee, bakery bliss but oh so much more. Yummy deli style salads and s'wiches. A wonderful wine selection and knowledgeable staff and organic groceries and fresh cut flowers. Solarium and outdoor patio make me happy to hang out.
Not the cheapest, but another case of you get what you pay for.
Try the mocha with orange - dlish!

The Park Bench

1928 S Tekoa St (Manito Park)
Spokane, WA 99203
(509) 456-8066

Nothing quite says summer like a picnic in the park. And Manito Park, nestled on Spokane's South Hill might just be the perfect place for that. The Park Bench is a small cafe sells deli sandwiches, gourmet salads, and ice cream bars. For little ones - the "puppy in a sack " is a big hit. It includes a hot dog, chips, and a lollipop.

Benches are available, but I recommend spreading a blanket under the trees. We keep a picnic blanket, Frisbee and football in the car for the spontaneous picnic catered by The Park Bench, which was originally called the Peanut Shack. The historic building was built in 1923. Its original purpose was to provide snacks for zoo visitors, and peanuts for the monkeys. The zoo was a popular attraction from 1905 unit its demise in 1933. The Zoo closed permanently during the Great Depression. Other zoo residents included buffalo, elk, bobcats, cougars, bears, and deer.

Though the zoo is no …

Lindaman's

(South Hill)
1235 S Grand Blvd Spokane, WA 99202 (509) 838-3000
I like it here. Especially on the patio. Lindaman's is a casual yet elegant bistro that you order and pay for cafeteria style. I don't mind that, as you get to check out the daily specials in a chilled display case. I like that whole preview aspect. Most often I get the salad trio, where you choose any three salads. Usually I get the oriental chicken, Greek, and then try something new like to keep it interesting. Lindaman's is great take out when you forgot to plan for dinner. They recently started serving cocktails and make a decent martini. There are decadent desserts and really good coffee (DOMA) with my favorite - latte art.

Rockwood Bakery

Rockwood Bakery
(South Hill)
315 E 18th Ave
Spokane, WA 99203
(509) 747-8691 www.rockwoodbakery.com

The bakery of your dreams.
Rockwood bakery is the anti-starbucks! Tucked away on a primarily residential street just a few short blocks from Manito Park, this bakery usually has a dog or two tied up out front waiting for their owner to return and join them at a metal bistro table. European style pastries, sophisticated quiches, gourmet salads, fresh sandwiches and of course wonderful coffees are all served. Mismatched antique tables & chairs and comfy couches set a unique atmosphere for studying students, business meetings, and ladies who lunch. There is almost always a steady stream of customers in search of great coffee and bakery bliss.
It isn't the cheapest cup o joe, but in this case well worth it.



(Published in Spokane Coeur d'Alene Living Magazine, August/September 2008, First Look,the coffee buzz)

Preface:
"Okay, we don't hate Starbucks, how could we?
They are a washin…

O'Doherty's Irish Pub

(Downtown Spokane)
525 W Spokane Falls Blvd Spokane, WA 99201 (509) 747-0322
http://www.odohertyspub.com/
This is the Irish pub where you dance on the tables! Every town needs one, but you better get there early to get in, get a table and avoid a cover charge.O'Doherty's is Spokane's only true Irish Pub (Gabby's is closed) complete with Irish jam nights (very fun). They have one of my favorite patios with a great view of Riverfront Park.
The food is good, the beer is better - O'Doherty's is a Spokane tradition frequented by a diverse crowd of, college students, business people and regulars. Celtic jam nite is every Tuesday. Throw back a pint and sing along.
And finally, what would a pub scene be like without tradition? O'Doherty's has one, called "getting nailed." You, too, can get nailed by standing at the bar (or on the bar) and belting out a song – an entire song that is. Then you write your name on a dollar bill and nail it to the wall. Your fi…

Twigs Bistro & Martini Bar

(South hill)
4320 S Regal St
Spokane, WA 99223
(509) 443-8000
http://www.twigsbistro.com/

The service is just so so and sometimes even bad. Okay, there. I said it. However, I've been a big Twigs fan since there was only one location. Some tasty food (I don't need to see a menu ) and the I adore the decor. Due to the food and atmosphere (great patio) I keep giving them ONE more chance. But its really hit and miss for service.

That being said, Twigs has an excellent selection of Martini's to choose from. There are 24 signature martini menu but they'll make about anything you can come up with. The dining experience here is casual yet sophisticated and tasteful. The ambiance is very warm and inviting whether you are seated in the dining room near the large fireplace or outside on the patio listening to the water fountain splash into regal pond.
Now if they could just figure out the service.

The Beachouse (Cda)

3204 Lake Drive
Coeur d'Alene, ID 83814
(208) 664-6464

Updated August 2008
A change won't do you good! Uh-oh, here's story of a review gone south.
After a full day of white water rafting, we arrived hungry and tired at the Beachhouse in Cda. Why did we go there? Well, we went there last year after rafting. I gave it rave reviews in my previous review. Based on that stellar past experience, it was unanimous we were making this a tradition and would be back on the deck with crab legs, mallets and bibs.
We got right in and had a great table on the deck overlooking the marina.
What this? A new menu? No Seafood Pot? Confused we asked our waiter, what gives?
He explained a few changes. New menu, new employees, new chefs. We thought about moving on, but we were hungry and ordered something new. Meh! It was just okay. At the beachhouse, all those NEW changes made us OLD customers. Its spendy, and we can do much better in Cda. Needless to say, were looking for a new tradition apres ra…

Cedars Floating Restaurant (Cda)

Cedars Floating Restaurant

(Cda Idaho)
1 Marina Dr
Coeur d'Alene, ID 83814
(208) 664-2922

Cedars Floating Restaurant - that's right, you walk down a ramp, over a dock and into the floating restaurant. The unmatched views makes the ambiance very special. This landmark restaurant is located where the Spokane River enters Lake Cda. You can come by boat and tie up on the dock. Weather permitting, we choose on the dine alfresco. Oh yeah, the food is really good as well. Aged steaks, seafood and pasta. I like the cedar plank salmon and the crusty bread they bring prior to your meal. Great wine list with nice selection of regional wines.

(Published in Spokane Coeur d'Alene Living Magazine November 2008, Best Of...Spotlight Cda)

The Tin Roof

(East of Downtown Spokane)
1727 E Sprague
Spokane, WA 99202
(509) 535-1111

Located on unassuming East Sprague, the tin roof is an urban escape to style. The inventory changes quickly and there's always something new whether your looking for furniture, accessories or a unique and tasteful gift for your BFF. Better yet its affordable and they have great sales. Owner Heather Hanley and her crew have unmatched home finesse and style they'll loan you to turn your home or condo into something pretty fabulous, yet very "you" The Tin Roof is one of those shops you wish you owned. We love the parking lot tent sales for snagging ohh la la decor on a budget. Side Note: Check out the new downtown store Concept:Home on 1st & Washington (Published in Spokane Coeur d'Alene Living Magazine, November 2008, Best of.. issue)

The Elk

(Browne's Addition)
1931 W Pacific Ave
Spokane, WA 99204
(509) 363-1973 www.wedonthaveone.com

Love love love the corn pasta salad. The recipe is on their website, however I'd rather have them make it for me. This is casual pub with good food is great to just hang at. I always end up staying longer than planned (2 hour lunch break). The Elk in the heart of browne's addition, which has been shaping up for years now to be a cool little neighborhood. Once a year, during Artfest in nearby cda park, they host Elkfest, which is a jam session with some pretty cool bands. For food, I reccomend the thai swimming angel, fish tacos or the moon burger and don't forget that corn pasta salad to go with your entree. The Elk has Mac & Jack's African Amber on tap which is the perfect pairing for almost anything on the menu. Sister establishments are Moon Time in Cda, The Porch in Hayden and newly opened 2-7 on the South Hill. The menus vary slightly, but the vibe is the same.

Auntie's Bookstore

(Downtown Spokane)
402 W Main Ave
Spokane, WA 99201
(509) 456-4609

Long live the independant bookseller!
Aunties, an oasis of books in downtown Spokane is the kind of Bookstore you can get lost in for days and if you're a book lover, you'd be totally content. It's tradition for me to grab coffee at the Liberty Cafe and meander through the stacks with no real agenda and next thing I know the afternoon is gone. Author signings and regular readings take place on a weekly basis and they have one of the best magazine selections in town. It's important we support local, independant bookstores if we want them to stay in business. After one visit you'll know Aunties is a worth investing in and you'll make a point to give them your business.

Madeleine's Cafe & Patisserie

(Downtown Spokane)
707 W Main Ave
Spokane, WA 99201
(509) 624-2253

Updated Review: November 2008
(3 1/2 out of 5 stars)

Don't give up on us baby, we're still worth one more try...I wanted this to be my favorite downtown cafe. A friend suggested Madeleine's the other day, so reluctantly I went back and gave it ONE more try. As mentioned in my previous review, there are so many things I like about this place, but a few deal breakers have kept me away.


Well, it was sooooo much better. Granted they weren't very busy and they didn't have an orange wedge for my Blue Moon beer. But it was really nice and it is such a delightful french cafe. It wooed me. I'll be back.Previous Review: dated June 2008
(2 out of 5 stars)

While I waited for a friend over a cup of coffee at this quaint french inspired cafe, the pastry chef asked if I wanted to try some freshly baked brioche - her treat. It was BLISS with butter and jam. Madeline's was new in town and they had me at the brioche. …

The Service Station

(North Spokane)
3515 N Nevada St
Spokane, WA 99218
(509) 466-1696

No, this is not a gas station! Not even close.It's a coffee shop, meeting place, 300 seat music venue but the only thing available unleaded is the coffee. Organic coffee that is, which is so tasty it'll have you swear off CHarbucks 4-EVER. Comfy leather furniture around the fireplace, a plethora of tables and chairs, with ...ready for it... many conveniently scattered on-the-floor outlets for your laptop. There's 2 hour complementary wi-fi with any purchase. The yummy paninis, savory salads and homemade baked goods makes me wish I lived closer....maybe even upstairs. It's always buzzing in here, telling me I'm not the only one who appreciates this very spacious yet still intimate hot spot. As the story goes, a former pastor opened this non profit gathering place as a service to the community. Get it? The service station. Check out the website for more details and for a calender of events. I highly hi…

Cafe Dolce

Cafe Dolce (Downtown Spokane)
221 N Division St
Spokane, WA 99202 (509) 747-5634
Cafe Dolce, a new indy cafe in downtown Spokaloo. Sure, there are several Starbucks close by but the lure of this refurbished historic building with exposed brick walls, uneven hard wood floors and handcrafted espresso drinks is just too much of a lure for this ad exec and freelance writer. Did I mention the free WI-FI? As I drove by, it called to me like a siren, and though this is my first time here, sbux stockholder or not, I really like it. It reminds me a little bit of my first Starbucks. Besides the usual coffee house pastries, Cafe Dolce serves breakfast and lunch. I was very happy having oatmeal, with all the fixings and toast. Rumor has it Cafe Dolce is still serving up coffee after dark.

(Published in Spokane Coeur d'Alene Living Magazine, August/September 2008, First Look,the coffee buzz)

Preface:
"Okay, we don't hate Starbucks, how could we?
They are a Washington company and convenientl…

Java on Sherman (Cda)

324 E Sherman Ave
Coeur d’Alene, ID 83814 (208) 667-0010

I’m a fan of the indy coffee shop complete with mismatched furniture and a barista with dreadlocks and possibly random piercing. I like that slightly bohemian feel to my cafes. You know, where locals hang out and you feel like a poetry reading may break out. However, there is one major requirement - this anti-starbucks needs to have GREAT coffee. Java on Sherman may be this place. Besides being awarded best coffee in North Idaho, they serve a pretty darn good breakfast.

(Published in Spokane Coeur d'Alene Living Magazine, August/September 2008, First Look,the coffee buzz)

Preface:
"Okay, we don't hate Starbucks, how could we?
They are a Washington company and conveniently scattered all over town, so we are semi-regular customers. We do appreciate a Starbucks alternative, though; therefore, here is a list of a few of our favorite local "indy" coffee houses we suggest you try."

Bittersweet Bistro & Bistro

UPDATE: CLOSED :(
BUT opening soon is CAKE at CHAPS. Same owner.
(Spokane South Hill)
1220 S Grand Blvd
Spokane, WA 99202 (509) 455-8658

I'm in love....mad, passionate, screaming obsessed , wake up craving it in the night kind of love. Okay, it could be lust. I may even be a stalker, but I think I've found "it"
No, Mom sorry....this is about a bakery.
Bittersweet Bakery & Bistro nestled on the South Hill is a short stroll from Manito Park and in a word - scrum d alicous. French influenced food, Bittersweet is a creperie. Translation if you have not discovered the french bliss called crepe - incredibly yummy.In addition to sweet and savory crepes to cure your French food cravings, the Bistro offers muffins, scones, brioche, cookies and bourbon-pecan brownies that are to die for. The desserts include options such as, lemon chiffon cake, chocolate mousse cake, Key Lime pie, tiramisu, caramel nut tart to name drop a few. Okay, like most people I have to watch my waistli…