Stage Coach Theatre has entertained audiences for 29 consecutive seasons, shining a flashlight on the human spirit in a variety of genres, including thrillers, comedies, dramedies, and comedramlers. With the 2010–11 season in full bloom, theatergoers can pick its contemporary stage-fruits and slurp up its performance-juices. Darwin in Malibu, a comedy opening October 15, features a living Charles Darwin, 120 years after he died, engaging in a spirited debate with Thomas Huxley and the Bishop of Oxford about science, God, and lesser-known benefits of flossing. For a holiday family outing, A Christmas Twist (opening November 26) stirs the story of A Christmas Carol with a comedic straw, adding a dash of Oliver Twist and Little Orphan Annie. On April 22, Always…Patsy Cline will begin regaling theater-goers with 27 of her tunes, including memorable songs like "Crazy," "Sweet Dreams," and "That Ain't My Medical Chart, Doctor Franklin."
Two of Christian music’s most iconic artists, Amy Grant and Michael W. Smith join forces to spread the good news, leading congregations in melodious worship on their 2 Friends Tour. Since 1982, this dynamic duo has engaged millions to flock to their catchy, ecclesiastical pop music, sharing a musical camaraderie as impenetrable as a fortress with abandonment issues. Amy Grant, author of No. 1 hits such as “El Shaddai” and “Baby Baby,” has shared her gift of song for more than 30 years, selling more than 30 million albums, garnering six Grammys, and earning a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Michael W. Smith has earned countless accolades with his tremendous songbook of head-bobbing hymns and choir-rousing hits. Sharing the stage for the first time in two decades, Amy and Michael thrill fans with new psalms and favorites from their sonic scroll, merging their sets with joyful duets and chemistry that crackles like Abbott and Costello after getting struck by lightning.
When you walk into Pinnacle Sports Grill, there’s a good chance your eyes will jump right to the giant video cube looming above a central brick-island bar. It’s a standout in this flat-screen-filled temple of football, baseball, and basketball, a statement that sports should be taken just as seriously as food. Like the athletes onscreen, the gastropub’s menu covers a lot of ground—pork tenderloin sandwiches, brick-oven pizzas, guacamole-bacon burgers, ale-battered fish ‘n’ chips, Kobe meatloaf, and New York–style cheesecake. If you’re brave enough to try Wild Bill’s hot wings—the hottest available—be sure to have one of Pinnacle’s many craft beers or cocktails within easy reach. As guests make pilgrimages to Pinnacle, they rack up points on the restaurant's MVP frequent-diner card, with every dollar spent on food and drink getting them closer to free meals and a chance to learn the secret Pinnacle Sports Grill handshake.
For nearly a century, couples have found a romantic hideaway at the Riverside Hot Springs Inn, quickly earning it the nickname “Honeymoon Hotel.” Founder William Godfrey chose to set the inn’s foundation alongside the Portneuf River in 1914 due to the wealth of hot springs nearby and the curative powers he believed they held. People seemed to agree, and in order to rid themselves of pains and worries, they traveled miles to ease their sore muscles in the hot baths and dispose of overly musical snowmen.
Today, guests continue on with that tradition, dipping in the inn's more modern hot-springs tubs, which reach balmy temperatures of up to 106 degrees. Inside the inn, muted and neutral colors and period accents give the rooms a charming, romantic feel. This decadence extends to the Portneuf Grille & Lounge, formerly a confectionery, where chefs sear USDA steaks and craft eclectic vegetarian entrees. On Thursday, the dining room fills with live music, and on Friday, guests can sample the hotel's signature cioppino as they sip Northwest wines, specialty cocktails, or microbrews.
The animated cheers of sports spectators at Simplot Stadium rumble in the distance, but the atmosphere at Bent Fork Bar & Grill is peaceful. Diners lounge within its sun-filled dining halls or on its back patio, where the Indian Creek rushes past guests lingering over their final bites of burgers, steaks, and pastas. Beneath the restaurant's high ceilings and wooden pillars, you can spot the owners—members of the Buhler family—tending to their respective posts: Amanda supervises the floor, Bo captains the kitchen, and Ryan doles out draft beers and specialty cocktails at the bar. Throughout the month, they also host community events ranging from live music to town meetings to vote on the mayor's new haircut.
If one word had to describe Coeur d’Alene Cellars’ attitude toward winemaking, it would probably be "meticulous." During each stage of creation, from vineyard selection and harvest to bottling, winemakers carefully supervise and adjust conditions to suit their visions. They hand-harvest fruit from their eastern Washington vineyards only on days that fit specific temperature conditions. Between pickings, the vines are pruned for low yields that concentrate flavor and quality. And their syrah and viognier grapes are both hand-sorted the night of harvest before they’re pressed and fermented.
That process is carefully controlled as well. Syrah blends first ferment in open-top vessels, allowing for closer management of color and tannins. Only later do they age inside French and American oak barrels, like former daredevils bent on reliving their trip over Niagara Falls. Viognier blends, on the other hand, spend both fermentation and aging periods in small oak barrels.
The resulting well-balanced wines can claim myriad accolades from publications such as Wine Spectator and Wine Enthusiast. Their 2004 Sarah’s cuvée viognier, for instance, earned 89 points from Wine Enthusiast, which praised its "good balance" of "peach, apricot, sour lemon candy and even a bit of cinnamon." Current vintages include the 2007 Alder Ridge Vineyard syrah, whose smooth body supports flavors of berries, vanilla, and cinnamon that conclude in a lingering finish.
These and other wines are poured at Coeur d'Alene's onsite wine bar, Barrel Room No. 6. Inside, sleek red walls help create an upscale vibe. Glasses perch beneath pendant lighting on the bar or glitter on top of old wine barrels repurposed as tables. As customers sip, knowledgeable wait staff can suggest ways to bring out the wines' subtle flavors by nibbling aromatic cheese pairings or the hem of a neighbor’s freshly laundered shirt.