Find more about this year’s 99 total participants and their menus — offered at $22, $33 or $44 per person — at InlanderRestaurantWeek.com, or grab the Feb. 24 edition of the Inlander for the printed event guide, which is also available at all STCU branches and Restaurant Week participants.
MOSSUTO’S ITALIAN ($44)
415 W. Hastings Rd., 509-413-1601 Menu served Tue-Sat from 4-7 pm
It’s not supposed to be a competition, yet I couldn’t help but feel a little smug about my Restaurant Week choices at Mossuto’s Italian. My dinner companion and I both preferred my roasted red pepper and bacon bruschetta appetizer over his soup, but we both thought the bacon tasted more like salmon. I also wanted more punch to the topping, which was chilled — versus room temperature — and served alongside tasty, toasted bread.
My entrée of pistachio pasta with roasted duck was very rich, with an almost too-thick, creamy sauce punctuated by bits of pistachio that lent both crunch and a pleasant sweet nuttiness. The artichoke in the dish was less noticeable, but the broccolini was prominent and helped cut some of this entrée’s richness. The pasta was perfectly al dente and the portions were generous.
Dessert was chocolate cookies with pistachio gelato and tiramisu, both good choices. The very-sweet cream filling in the cookie overpowered the delicately flavored cookie, but the gelato was delightful and we’d have enjoyed more of it. My 8-year-old self might have liked super-sweet frosting on a cake, but my adult self really appreciates the delicate flavors of mascarpone-type frostings. I didn’t taste any of the boozy coffee or chocolate elements tiramisu is known, for but the accompanying berries added a nice tang to each mouthful.
The atmosphere at Mossuto’s is warm and inviting. A low, black ceiling, plus earth-toned walls and twinkly lights strung floor-to-ceiling inside the entire front glass entry wall, lend a little shimmer to the place without it being pretentious. Service was good and a quick glance at the standard menu revealed numerous entrees I’d want to try on a repeat visit. (CARRIE SCOZZARO)
WILEY’S DOWNTOWN BISTRO ($44)
115 N. Washington St., 509-838-4600; Menu served daily from 4 pm-to close
If you participate in any of the local foodie Facebook pages, you already know that Michael Wiley is something of a Spokane celebrity chef, as much for his delicious dishes as for his compassionate spirit.
Need allergy or food sensitivity accommodations? They can do that. Want vegetarian options while your date wants to chow down on a hearty meat dish? That’s just fine. My guest and I didn’t ask for any of those options when we popped in for Restaurant Week Tuesday night, but for what it’s worth, the popular dinner spot’s menu highlights the dishes that have those options.
We started with the roasted beet salad — great for goat cheese fans — and the curry soup, a sweet, not spicy, perfectly-sized warmup before the main course. As I got my chicken coq au vin, served with a serrated knife just in case, my date got his braised beef short ribs without a sharper knife — a sign of confidence, he noted, in how tender and fork-ready the beef would be when he dug in.
Those tender short ribs were excellent with the powerfully flavorful red wine pan sauce and “everything” Yukon mashed potatoes. The chicken, meanwhile, had perfectly crispy skin that sealed in the tender and juicy bites on the inside. It paired very well with a pearl onion mushroom sauce and the cheesy “everything” mashed potatoes.
For dessert, the chocolate pot de creme topped with raspberry was extremely decadent, making it hard to imagine finishing the whole sweet treat. But even tastier was the mini margarita pie, which went for a perfectly subtle tartness rather than hitting you in the face with the key lime like you might expect. If you opt to go, make sure you get reservations, as Wiley’s is extremely popular, for good reason! (SAMANTHA WOHLFEIL)
113 N. Bernard, St. 509-363-1210, Menu served
The very first time I went to Italian Kitchen, it was for Inlander Restaurant Week a couple years ago, and I’ve happily been back several times since, making a visit for some traditional Italian fare a no-brainer early on in 2022. And full disclosure: Our household 18-year-old works there part-time, although rather than peppering salads and pouring water Friday night, she joined us for some grub.
The main dishes in the spotlight for Restaurant Week are a hearty lasagna, a comparatively light linguine and clams entree, and my choice: spaghetti and sausage carbonara. It’s pretty easy to go so decadent on a Friday night, and on one’s first Restaurant Week 2022 foray, and I didn’t regret it for a second. The white wine Alfredo sauce was packed with bacon, asiago cheese and plenty of garlic, and a sizable (and delicious) Italian sausage was sliced into four pieces and sat atop the spaghetti. You’ll note I don’t have a picture of said dish running with this — despite its richness, I ate it all well before remembering to get a photo, wiping up every last bit of the Alfredo sauce with some of the pre-dinner bread.
The Caesar salad and a chocolate brownie-and-ice cream dessert (The Godfather) made for fine bookends, but the entree was clearly the star of the menu for me. And Italian Kitchen has two local beers and two local red wine bottles as part of their restaurant week options (along with their usual full bar menu), and River City’s Experience Pale Ale paired nicely with the pasta. (DAN NAILEN)
4237 S. Cheney-Spokane Rd., 509-624-4182; Menu served Wed-Sat from 4:30-9 pm After pausing its Restaurant Week participation for summer’s 2021 version, Chaps is back with huge portions, comforting and hearty dishes and its signature welcoming, homey vibe.
We went out to the restaurant in a converted farmhouse just southwest of downtown for an early Saturday night dinner, hoping to beat a big rush of diners as Chaps doesn’t take reservations. While the restaurant starts serving its Restaurant Week menu at 4:30 pm, we still had to wait a while for a table for two after arriving at 5:30 pm. Chaps’ owner Celeste Shaw later explained to me that the restaurant was significantly understaffed that evening after several employees called in sick.
Once we were seated, however, our drinks and food (Pro tip: decide what you’re ordering before you arrive by browsing menus online so that you can order food at the same time as drinks!) came out in rapid succession with hardly any pause between courses. We went with the deep-fried mozzarella skewers and salmon cakes for our first course and loved both. Our second course was the osso bucco and beef Wellington — both hearty and ultra-filling dishes on an icy cold winter night, and we had enough leftovers from each to enjoy the following night.
Dessert was the old-school, Southern-style banana pudding and the brownie brown butter cheesecake. We preferred the pudding over the cheesecake, which was rich but a tad bland, and which I would have liked with some kind of fruity, acidic sauce to balance out the richness of cheesecake. In hindsight, I would have ordered the affogato with decaf espresso over the cheesecake, but I personally am also not a cheesecake’s biggest fan. (CHEY SCOTT)
Article Source: Inlander