The hardest part about Inlander Restaurant Week is choosing where to go. Over 100 restaurants participate and every three course meal seems unbeatable...until you read the next one. That being said, we tasked the staff at Visit Spokane to make their picks. Here's what piqued our fancy:
$19 - Crafted Tap House
My job is to help visitors find fun things to do, unique places to go and amazing spots to eat. My favorite part of the job is how much I learn from the people I talk to. Last week, while at the Spokane Golf and Travel Show, I started chatting with a woman who recommended that I try Crafted. She was impressed with their food, so I thought that I would put this fairly new spot on my radar. The first course options are Smoked Salmon Croquettes, Curry and Carrot Soup (my front runner) or Chicken Liver Pate. Entrée choices are Braised Chicken and Brodo (served with butternut squash ravioli), Pork Tenderloin Spiedino and Boudin Blanc. Dessert can be the classic Warm Milk and Cookies, Chocolate Bread Pudding, or a Vanilla Panna Cotta, which is served with candied orange peel and toasted almonds. With 50 beers from around the world, finding a tasty beverage won’t be hard, although choosing will be.
$29 - Herbal Essence Café
Herbal Essence is one of those places that I drive by on a regular basis. I've looked at the menus online and have heard great things about it, but I have never stepped foot inside. Inlander Restaurant Week is the perfect opportunity to change that. Desert is not the third course at Herbal Essence, which suits me just fine, never having much of a sweet tooth. I’ve already decided on the Baked Craisin Stuffed Brie for my first course, but could have chosen Achiote Chicken or Smoked Salmon Cakes. The second course can be either a House or Caesar Salad or a bowl of herb-infused Clam Chowder. The final offering looks to be the most difficult decision, with Bacon and Date Stuffed Pork, Herbed Chicken or Braised Boneless Short Ribs. I’m leaning toward the pork, but reserve the right to make a last minute change. Herbal Essence will also feature two local breweries during the week, serving up Orlison’s Izzy’s Red and River City Brewing’s Girlfriend Golden.
Melissa Skomer-Kafton, Visitor Engagement Specialist
$29 - The Beryl
My fiancé and I are going to try The Beryl. At just $29 per person, we can enjoy what sounds like a five star menu for a very reasonable cost. Jake loves steak & seafood, so this is right up his alley. Calamari and steak bites are calling our names and I think I’ll have to go for seasonal fish as my entrée (that is what they’re known for, after all!). And for dessert? Two words: Mud Pie.
$19 - The Boiler Room
The Boiler Room is offering a $19 menu, which seems like a steal of a deal. For our first course, I’m going to try the crostini. How can you go wrong with smoked steelhead and pepper cream cheese? Answer: you can’t. I haven’t decided on my entrée yet, though, it’s just too tough! Since scratch-made, wood-fired is their specialty, I have no doubt they’re all amazing. To finish my meal off, I think I’ll imbibe in a yummy Samoa Martini. Any restaurant that serves a drink as dessert is a winner in my book!
Ashley Reese, Convention Services & Housing Manager
$19 - Piccolo
I like options, and Piccolo in Liberty Lake has a lot of options within its Restaurant Week menu. Rather than just one type of pizza or one type of pasta, you can choose from four different pizzas or 15(!) different pastas. Plus, who wouldn’t want to finish off a classic Italian meal with a scoop of salted caramel gelato?
$29 - Ambrosia Bistro and Wine Bar
My Restaurant Week strategy is to look at the entrées first, then the appetizers and dessert. The entrée list for Ambrosia sold me right away – Rack of New Zealand Lamb with Barley Risotto and Pomegranate-Port Reduction?! I’m already drooling…and that’s just ONE of the options. Ambrosia is definitely at the top of my list for restaurants to visit during Restaurant Week.
Peyton Scheller, Communications Manager
$19 - Charley's Grill & Spirits
The Ultimate Stack (five-cheese blend mac ’n cheese stacked on Parmesan toast, topped with stuffed meatloaf and sweet chili sauce) washed down with a No-Li brew. Why not? Carpe diem! Or maybe more like Beast Mode!!
$29 - Remington's at Ramada Inn
I like the Remington’s at Ramada Inn Restaurant Week menu. The plan: Sundried Tomato Bruschetta, Steak Diane Crepes and Lavender Panna Cotta with Lemon and Honey Poached Pear. Delectable! And with a view of the Spokane Airport comings and goings. It’s a date!
Maureen Dodroe, Finance Director
$19 - The Wandering Table
My eyes lit up when I saw that The Wandering Table made the $19 weight class. Throughout the years I've tried a number of their eclectic tapas and I've never met one I didn't like. On their Restaurant Week menu, I'm particularly intrigued by their Spaghetti Stuffed Meatballs. It's a mind teaser, but when you wrap your head around it, it sounds so wrong it must be right!
$29 - Chaps
I grew up on the South Hill and I love going out to eat, but I must admit I've never been to Chaps. It's not due to a lack of references. I've only heard rave reviews. This year I'm going to find out what all the buzz is about. The Lobster Rangoon and Sirloin Medallions sound delectable, but I'm equally enthused about the Rustic French Apple Tart -- a product of their heralded bakery.
Peter Dunau, Content Manager
$19 - Gilded Unicorn
The very best reason to enjoy Restaurant Week is to try out a new place. The Gilded Unicorn is a new restaurant in Spokane and I’m looking forward to trying their fare. I love dates, bacon, and almonds so the Devils on Horseback is a no brainer. The Rice-y-Roni Stroganoff sounds like a nice warm hug and when apple pie and ice cream are dangled in front of me, I lose all sense. Can’t wait and tonight is the night!
$29 - Spencer's for Steaks and Chops
This combination just keeps jumping out at me. I want them all. Good thing it's three courses! Salad with the onion fritz? Curious. Salmon? All the ingredients talk to me! Crème brûlée? Candied lavender flowers – gotta do it! Greedy…maybe. Discerning…I think so. Excited…Definitely!
Mary Rosner, Administrative Assistant
$29 - Max at Mirabeau
At the $29 level, I’m going with MAX at Mirabeau. The primary reason is found in the second course: Cherry-Ginger Roasted Duck. Four of my favorite words in one recipe. (That first-course option of Ahi Tuna is like a main in itself, if you ask me.) I would like to perform a high dive into this meal.
$19 - La Plaza De Mexico
On the $19 level, I present you with Pollo En Mole at La Plaza De Mexico. When you find a good mole, take full advantage. If there are other moles on the IRW menu, send me a food-a-gram, because I’ll hit that, too. Viva la Restaurant Week!
Tim Robinson, Senior Director of Marketing & Communications