Before opening Taco Del Mar's startup location in Seattle in 1992, its founders spent years surfing California's coastline and devouring fish tacos and stuffed burritos. During this time, they developed a bottomless appetite for the local specialty?a taco with fried fish, shredded cabbage, lime juice, salsa, and a mystery white sauce?and decided to make it their signature menu item. Since then, the chain has opened locations in more than 20 U.S. states and three Canadian provinces.
The restaurant's Spokane location gives locals a taste of California-surfer cuisine and mission-style eats inspired by the Latino restaurants of San Francisco's bay area. Fresh guacamole dresses tortilla chips, and proteins such as seasoned pork and fried Alaskan cod fill tacos. Cooks roll meats such as braised chicken or ground beef into burritos or edible origami. The foodsmiths also whip up vegetarian and vegan options.
Don't be fooled my Frisco's quaint exterior?inside, the chefs are making culinary magic happen in the kitchen. On the menu, some of the kitchen favorites include wild-boar and bison sausages plated with walnut chutney and yukon-potato mash, as well as the lobster- or shrimp-topped mushroom fettuccine with truffle oil, kale, tomatoes, and mushrooms in a sherry-cream sauce. Of course, classic steak-house dishes like bacon-wrapped filet mignon, roast prime rib, and boneless rib eye are highlights here, though they can be elevated by the addition of seafood or a rich sauce, such as the sun-dried tomato and mushroom pinot grigio cream.
Every morning, Kettleman's traditionally trained bakers fire up a wood-burning oven to craft batches of Montreal-style bagels, which earned the eatery a Best Bagel accolade from Ottawa (X)press in 2006. The kitchen’s open design spotlights a marriage of Old and New World technology and allows the staff to hand-roll dough, boil it in honey water, and bake it over hardwood in front of a hungry audience. Kettleman's culinary crew works with fresh ingredients and the happiest of thought bubbles while creating each of its baked goods—whether intended for individual enjoyment or as the foundation for deli sandwiches.
A meal at L'Echelle de Jacob ferries diners through an oasis of French flavours guided by a menu abundant in traditional, elegant dishes refined over the last 35 years. Let throats swim in the deep end of the soup du jour before selecting one of six thoughtfully prepared entrees—such as the brandied duck and chicken-liver pate or the terrine of venison—to later inherit all your fortunes. Eight mains range in scope from game birds to resplendent cuts of meat, and include the filet of salmon with mango salsa and the hearty rack of lamb perched on a stage of poached apples, pears, and cranberries. Complete the four-course fete by cracking into the crème brûlée or scooping through the terrain of a snowflake lemon mousse, sealing the comforting memory away for recollection when it doing real shovelling this winter.
Les Fougères stuns astute tongues with an abundantly rich menu, award winning wine list, and seasonal views of the luscious Gatineau Park. A night of roving conversation begins with Quebec foie gras ($19), accompanied by duck and Armagnac macerated prunes nestled under a canopy of duck jelly, Cabernet Franc ice syrup, homemade grilled brioches, and toasted hazelnuts. Grilled local Venison escalope ($38) escapes gastronomic mundanity by shacking up with truffled wild rice sweet potato cake and caramelized root cellar vegetables. Diners seeking a meal sans meat find sanctuary in the vegetarian midday or dinner menus, which weave meatless pasta dishes with cheeses and fresh vegetables. Finally, a swivelled glass of pinot noir ($4.75–$12.25) complements complex plates and lubricates lips to reveal secrets or suppressed eight ball incantations.