Located in the Davenport district, in the same refurbished brick building as the Montvale Hotel, Scratch Restaurant & Lounge blends contemporary cooking with a refined atmosphere of white tablecloths and black decor. Fresh aromas waft out of the open kitchen, where, true to the restaurant's name, chefs craft inventive dishes entirely from scratch. They draw on caches of seasonal ingredients such as herbs that only grow in a groundhog's shadow in February. Their USDA prime Angus steaks soak up flavors of smoked bacon and rosemary compound butter, while flaky halibut filets grill over smokey cedar planks.
Within the dining room, servers draw Washington and California wines from the rack that lines one exposed-brick wall. To further compliment the fresh fare, bartenders can shake or stir 32 specialty martinis.
The Grille from Ipanema, which takes its name from a beach along Rio de Janeiro's picturesque coastline, also draws inspiration from the Brazilian churrasco experience. This type of dining stems from the gaucho tradition of gathering around a fire pit and roasting skewers of meat over the flames.
The eatery’s chefs re-create this experience by searing skewers of more than 18 different meats—including top sirloin, pork shoulder, and bacon-wrapped chicken—over a mesquite-filled grill. They then hand the large meat skewers off to servers, who drift throughout the dining room looking for green coasters, which signal that the diner requires more meat. After they’re called tableside, the servers carve the meat into individually sized portions with their industrial-strength laser pointers. By flipping their coasters from green to red, guests tell servers to temporarily stop the never-ending meat deliveries, buying themselves time to visit the salad bar and load plates with hot and cold side dishes.
Natural light floods in through the walls of windows, illuminating the dining room's blond-wood finishes and draped fabrics. The Pacific Northwest Inlander praised the restaurant's scenic vantage point in 2011, saying, "you won’t get a view of the Rio de Janeiro beachfront but you will get an eyeful of still-impressive Lake Coeur d’Alene."
Top This Frozen Yogurt & Treats democratizes the process of frozen yogurt ordering, affording customers the opportunity to choose toppings and flavor combinations to accent creamy dollops of probiotic, gluten-free, low-fat, or nonfat frozen yogurt. Amidst the vibrant environs, enveloped by walls dotted with glossy red and green spheres, customers may select the receptacle size before heading over to the dispensers where they can collate a myriad of velvety concoctions from 15 daily flavors such as chocolate kisses and alpine vanilla or Flatt and Scruggs. Top This offers a cadre of more than 65 different toppings, which customers can choose to accent frozen yogurt creations or arrange into miniature depictions of the raising of the American flag at Iwo Jima. Customers can take their amalgamations to the register where its weight will determine the cost ($0.40 per ounce). Cozy up with newly constructed treats near the fireplace where customers can catch some warming rays or transfigure their handiwork into a creamy soup du jour.
When most little boys were hoping to unwrap G.I. Joes or dirt bikes on Christmas morning, Michael DePasquale had his fingers crossed for a Suzy Homemaker oven. From this iconoclastic start, Michael advanced from his toy oven to a job as a dishwasher, then prep cook, then lead cook—and then honed his developing skills at the Culinary Institute of America in New York. In his spare time, he adopted a loyal pet rhode island red chicken and taught it to chase frisbees. After graduating, he honed his craft as head and executive chef at several different restaurants before launching his own eatery.
Fifteen years later, Michael is still cracking eggs and sizzling sausage for the breakfast dishes his eatery serves all day long. Omelets—which convert to scramblers upon request—can be packed with fresh jalapeños, bacon, and sour cream. For sweeter creations, he slathers honey butter onto pancakes, as well as custard-style sourdough french toast. At midday, hand-pressed burgers enter the lists and don cloaks of spicy habanero or barbecue sauce. Diners can lounge on an outdoor patio on summery afternoons, and on colder evenings, they can savor chicken marsala and roasted tri-tip steak amid the dining room’s wood-paneled walls.
The first IHOP—the dream of founders Al and Jerry Lapin—opened in 1958 in Toluca Lake, California, and was originally dubbed the International House of Pancakes. Since then, rapid expansion has led to myriad milestones across the company's colorful history, from introducing its modern IHOP acronym in 1973 to its 1,000th restaurant opening in Layton, Utah, in 2001.
Today, the company stands strong with around 1,500 locations across North and Central America, each one an enthusiastic dispenser of pancakes, french toast, and tables constructed entirely out of bacon. Though IHOP is known as a bastion of breakfast, it also stays open during the day and into the evening, delivering lunch and dinner as well.