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Showing posts from July, 2013

Ferrante's Marketplace Cafe - Dessert First

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Someday my prince will come.    Until then, I'll be charmed by  Ferrante's Marketplace Café  Photo Credit: Ferrante's Life is short, so let's begin with dessert.  On these warm summer days, I suggest Gelato!  As you may know, Gelato is Italian for ice cream and available at Ferrante's Marketplace Cafe atop Spokane's South Hill. The word Gelato is derived from the Latin word "gelātus." (meaning frozen). Gelato is made with milk, cream, various sugars, and flavoring such as fresh fruit and nut purees. I find it's not as creamy as traditional ice cream and that the flavors are much more intense. Although the flavors change from time to time, I happily discovered a wino bonus ;   BLUEBERRY MERLOT GELATO!   Blueberry Merlot Gelato! Photo Credit: SIP And yes, you can taste the Merlot. It's magnificent and perfect for Spokane summers. Ferrante's also carry a delicious VERY BERRY ZINFANDEL flavor.  So her

Charming CHAPS on a Summer Night.

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CHAPS garden patio (Photo Credit: SIP) I was honored to be a guest server at CHAPS last night. I had such a great time. This oh so charming event was designed for a party of ten to dine el fresco, CHAPS STYLE. The delicious evening featured a beautiful 5-course dinner paired perfectly with wine. The guests arrived to a chilled Sophia (Coppola Winery) Rose' or well-chosen micro brews that accompanied a local cheese & fruit plate. This artfully displayed dish included Beecher's flagship cheese (Seattle, WA.) as well as a creamy french cheese, seasonal fruit, Chaps candied nuts and house made fig compote. The already impressed guest were seated and served crab gazpacho followed by a creative summer salad with berries and goat cheese.  With already rave reviews for the chef, next up was a seafood small plate followed by a salmon entree that was paired with California Pinot Noir. The chef received a round of applause from the table. The grande finale was a choice of a

Now Pouring at The Bing: Liquor Laws loosen up for small theaters.

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  A Standing Ovation Ovations to enter the Spokane stage by Laurie L. Ross   If you’ve recently attended a show at the Bing Crosby Theater in downtown Spokane, you may have been surprised that they now serve alcohol. That’s right; beer and wine are available before, during and now after shows. Call it a concession stand for adults, but it’s a game changer for small cinemas. The transition occurred when Washington State liquor laws were loosened early this year, for theaters that met a certain criteria. The Bing met the small luxury theater criteria and started pouring at the lobby concession in spring of 2013. This change in law provides a unique draw for small, often independently owned theaters that compete with huge multiplex cinemas.   Photo Credit : Bing Crosby Theater The Bing Crosby Theater presents Ovations - 100' of windows, an incredible ribbon staircase and the best service in Spokane. The big news is that premiering July 2013 at The Bing is Ovati

Local Flavor: Taco Chic Salsa, it's addicting.

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Photo Credit: Taco Chic Juanita Carmack was unemployed when her thoughts turned to the raved about salsa that was always in her fridge. Everyone said she should bottle it. So she did. Juanita quickly became a popular fixture at area farmer’s markets. With her trademark Harley and infectious smile, she became known as the “salsa gal” or “taco chic.” One day a little unsure of the outcome, she loaded up the truck to try and sell it to grocery stores. After selling out with orders for more, she started to dream bigger. In 2003, Taco Chic Salsa was officially launched. Carmack moved into the a commercial building she called The Salsa Factory in Rathdrum, hired employees and expanded distribution. At The Salsa Factory, you can also get tamales, enchiladas and breakfast burritos to-go. The flagship Taco Chic Salsa and the authentic Mexican tamales recipes come from Juanita’s great-grandma’s treasured recipe book. Everything is just like grandma made it. There’s no artific

Local Flavor: Victor’s Hummus strikes (creamy) gold.

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Hummus is a Mediterranean staple and one of the oldest foods that dates back to ancient Egypt. Traditionally, hummus is a creamy blend of garbanzo beans (chick peas), tahini, garlic, olive oil, lemon and sea salt. Consumed as a dip or spread, this exotic and flavorful condiment is rapidly gaining popularity. According to market research, hummus consumption in the United States has increased by 35% over a period of 21 months, with sales reaching nearly $300 million. Victor Azar, local restauranteur and famed caterer may just be on to something. All natural, organic and hand crafted, Azar makes one of the very best hummus selections on the market. For Azar, hummus is a staple as he authentically specializes in Lebanese and Mediterranean cuisine. You’ll find Victor’s Hummus to be exotic, flavorful and deliciously habit forming. The Azar family has been in business in the Spokane area since 1973. Many retail establishments, including restaurants, have been successfully owned an

Design Matters. Everything Old Is New Again

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Whether a client’s space needs a complete revamping or just freshening up, Spokane interior designers and stylists stand ready to lend their expertise. They can masterfully mix traditional and modern elements to create memorable residential and commercial designs. Today’s consumers are more conscious about the environment, and restyling and refurbishing are more popular than ever. Incorporating some elements of current trends adds personality; incorporating retro, vintage or antique elements adds a sense of history and brings depth to the design. Spokane is fortunate to have the following businesses that help keep Spokane spaces beautiful.  1900 : The Essential Guide 2012 Gestalt Studio likes to integrate vintage pieces into its projects. Owner Debra Howard says that whether it’s a modern loft or rustic retreat, vintage items bring character, warmth and a sense of history to the space. Gestalt Studio, a commercial and residential interior design firm, is housed in a turn-of-t

Get thee to a Winery! THE local list

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  CHEERS to looking for WINE in all the right places.  Spokane Area Wineries Arbor Crest Wine Cellars & van Löbel Sels Cellars 4705 N Fruithill Road Spokane Valley, WA.   (Cliff House) Hours: Daily Noon-5pm 808 West Main Avenue Spokane, WA. (Downtown Tasting Room) Hours: Monday-Thursday 11am-9pm, Friday & Saturday 11am-10pm, Sunday Noon-5pm Established 1982, 2011 Production 20,000 cases, 250 cases Best Known for: Dionysus (Red Blend), Cabernet Sauvignon Winemaker: Kristina van Löbel Sels www.arborcrest.com www.vanlobenselswine.com Sip Tip:  This destination winery was made for events.   Especially wonderful for picnics and listening to music outdoors. Barili Cellars  608 West 2nd Avenue Spokane, WA. Hours: 1st Fridays 4pm-9pm, 2nd Saturdays Noon-5pm Established 2007 Production 500 cases Best known for Double Barrel Red (Blend) Winemakers: Russ Feist and Gary Hustad www.barilicellars.com Si