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Top 10 Inlander Restaurant Week Recommendations

By, Erin Peterson

Have you ever participated in Inlander's Restaurant Week? Every year, the Inland Northwest braces for the biggest city-wide food festival held in individual restaurants for patrons to discover new hotspots as well as get a fun taste of familiar favorites in the highly-anticipated Restaurant Week guide. It's jam-packed with menus, and reading them is quite the art form. I happen to be fluent in menu, and would love to give you a rundown of my list for the best spots to check out to get some bang for your buck. You need help drilling down that long list to the very best options? I got you, fam. Go ahead. Order like a foodie.

Also of note - use the hashtag #IRWRaveReviews! When you post using #IRWRaveReviews on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter, Sysco will donate five meals to Second Harvest. So tell us about your favorite first course, or a delicious Restaurant Week dessert, and raise money for Second Harvest, the region's leading hunger-relief network. Don't forget to change your post's privacy settings, though, or they won't be able to count yours, and let's face it, that would be really sad to miss out on 5 meals for families in need. While you're at it, post #spokanefood (Spokane's best food hashtag!) for the chance to be featured on our feed, too.

Salmon | Spokane Dining | Spokane Restaurans | Inlander Top 10

1. Central Food

This massively underrated treasure with a fresh global sensibility by David Blaine has one of the best locally sourced menus in town every day of the week, but for Restaurant Week specifically, this one is a total winner. This time they are offering two menu options, a $31 three course meal and a $21 three course vegetarian selection. I'm planning on the $31 option, and this is what I'm ordering:

Avocado Tartine Whipped feta, avocado, bacon jam on our country bread. 

Pan-Seared Idaho Trout  Rice flour seared boneless filet, Vietnamese garlic sauce, raw vegetable salad, ginger sauce, cilantro

Tarte Tatin French apple tart with cream cheese pastry, molasses ice cream 

If I were to go vegetarian for this one, I'd get:

Brussels Sprouts Raw chocolate spiced, honey soy glaze, walnuts

Pumpkin Pasta Brown butter sage, bucatini, roasted winter squash, Brussels sprouts, grilled red onions, garlic 

Rhubarb Sorbet Just rhubarb, orange, sugar and water

2. Fleur De Sel

Located in Post Falls, Idaho has one of the best chefs in our area, Laurent Zirotti, crafting beautifully executed French dishes to make you wonder if you are even in the Northwest. The restaurant is not just known for its exceptional food, but also for its proximity to a great local spa - The Highlands Day Spa. Play hooky and get a spa treatment before dinner for a full-on treat yo-self moment. You won't catch me judging.

Here, I'd order:

Smoked Beef Carpaccio Thin sliced of house smoked beef shoulder tender cooked sous vide rare – red cabbage and goat cheese salad with roasted shishito peppers GF

Pork cheeks ‘à la Bourguignonne’ Braised in a red wine sauce – Yukon gold cake – bacon jam and glazed Brussels sprouts GF

Brush Creek Blue Cheese A sliver of Brush Creek blue cheese from Deary, Idaho – local apple compote – house brioche (Seriously - what could be more French than a delectable cheese course?!)

3. Italia Trattoria

While we're traveling the world for a hot second, I'd go to Italy next in the form of Italia Trattoria. The women who own and operate this cozy yet gorgeous Browne's Addition eatery are the ultimate professionals, and you'll get some of the very best service and food in the city. Plus, they have one of the best tiramisus I've ever been lucky enough to consume. Gleefully. My order:

Prosciutto Bruschetta Robiola fonduta, pickled onions, arugula and peppers

Grilled Pork Tenderloin Parmesan potato fondant, pancetta Castelvetrano olive piccata sauce, grilled garlic broccoli

Italia Tiramisu Italian trifle, mascarpone, lady fingers, espresso

4. Wild Sage

For some gorgeously prepared Northwest-centric dishes with a unique flair, Wild Sage is a best-bet for some great food. Their bar program is exceptional as well, and I highly recommend the red pepper martini. Sounds weird, but changed my life a little. Ask the bartender. They'll know. This one inspired me to pick a light and lovely dinner that would be perfect as a respite from the otherwise heavy offerings I've selected so far. Apparently for February I'll never leave my treadmill. My picks here:

Wild Sage Salad Organic lettuce bouquet, huckleberry-balsamic vinaigrette, fresh goat cheese crumbles, toasted hazelnuts GF

Columbia River Steelhead Cedar roasted, sweet onion soubise, Meyer lemon glaze, tomato-caper relish, ancient grains pilaf GF * Add warm buttered dungeness crab $10

Goat Cheese Ice Cream Cajeta caramel, spiced Bartlett pear compote, biscotti GF

5. Sante Spokane

Seriously, for the love of all things, GO TO SANTE. Not only are they closing in March, but they are truly one of Spokane's very best restaurants. It's literally breaking our heart that they are reopening (though under the same ownership - yay!) to change their theme, and will soon be called "Smoke and Mirrors". This menu looks like a preview to their new restaurant concept, but I'd strongly encourage you to order the Foie Gras and the gnocchi off the regular menu if you're down for some food adventuring, but I'd suggest these for Restaurant Week:

Salmon Rillettes and Toast Capers and dill

Pork Riblets, Dry Rub and Smoke BBQ sauce

Eclair Classic

6. Satay Bistro

This funky little building that has historic significance is located in Coeur d' Alene off of 4th street, and you'll be shocked you've never been in before. Their food is freaky delicious and the ambiance is pretty rad, too.

My picks:

Ahi Tuna Wontons Ponsu infused ahi, wasabi whip, napa cabbage slaw

Mango Cocoon Tiger Prawns Phyllo, mango garlic, roasted corn risotto, caramelized almond carrots

Crème Brûlée French Toast Vanilla bean ice cream, praline caramel sauce

7. Latah Bistro

Oh my gosh, you guys - this place is super tucked-away, but well worth a little drive. First of all, it's got brand new ownership and they're really passionate about their food. Secondly, this menu is really well thought out. I'm stoked to try this old favorite again. Plus, who doesn't want to say "Osso Bucco" like Giada De Laurentis? Try these:

Italian Style Grilled Octopus Braised cannellini bean pistou, peppalilly relish GF

Pork Osso Bucco Yukon potato puree, braised red chard, garlic-cherry chutney, red wine braise GF

Cinnamon Cider Donuts Fried cider brioche, cinnamon sugar, chantilly whipped cream V

8. Durkin's