Since 1974, Clinkerdagger has been serving gourmet eats in a structure that was built for a very different purpose: milling flour. Built in 1895?right around the time young adults began flinging flour at each other as part of the courtship ritual?the mill was designed to use the power of the Spokane River. But though the mill's location was chosen for practical reasons, Clinkerdagger took it over for aesthetic ones. Today, visitors get to soak up views of the rushing tides and city skyline while they dig into the restaurant's classic American dishes, including signature shellfish creations. The seafood etouffe, for instance, is a maritime bounty of prawns, mussels, clams, and scallops. But the menu also features plenty of beef and chicken dishes, highlighted by bacon-wrapped meatloaf served with roasted wild mushrooms, mashed yukon potatoes, and a brandy-mustard sauce.
Taxidermy buffalo and deer heads oversee GW Hunters Steakhouse's rustic wood-paneled dining room, where tables strain beneath the load of hefty steaks, seafood, and pasta. In addition to the traditional hearty steak-house fare, the chefs at the family-owned establishment dish out a wide range of unusual meats, including elk, buffalo, and alligator—each of which are personally wrestled into submission by the head chef, Rex Shank. Every Sunday, a country breakfast buffet spans the restaurant's event hall with a smorgasbord of skillets and steaks. The steak house also opens its elegant, 50-year-old banquet facility for private events, where parties of up to 50 folks can feast amid gold-stained floors, golden walls, and a sophisticated absence of chimpanzee waiters.
A curved rooftop and white-trimmed windows give The Otis Grill a quaint appearance, which aligns well with its menu of classic American comfort food. In the morning, the eatery's cooks griddle hot cakes and ladle gravy over fresh biscuits. Later in the day, they fry beer-battered shrimp, simmer chicken and dumplings, and grill thick, juicy burgers.
From its roost beside the lake of the same name, The Coeur d'Alene Resort towers over more than just water. It also dominates the skyline and presents views of the region's evergreen-coated mountains and valleys. Although the AAA Four Diamond award-winning resort?s rooms sate guests? needs for creature comforts with down pillows, cotton robes, and pillow-top mattresses, the surrounding area?s activities lure them outside. During the warm seasons, lake cruises take passengers on quick tours and kayak rentals let them see the waterways at their own paces. Guided bike tours and hikes explore the natural beauty of the mountainous surroundings, and snowshoes and snowmobiles conquer icier paths.
Nearby, the golf course, which earned the relaxation haven a spot on Golf Digest?s 2011 list of the 75 Best Golf Resorts in the United States and Canada, challenges all skill levels. After winding along the lakeshore, a forested ridge, rolling woodlands, and a revitalized trout stream, it raises eyebrows with its 14th hole. There, players have to land their shots on an island green?150 yards from the shore and only accessible by boat or catapult.
An onsite spa fuels days of relaxation with treatments that incorporate lake algae as well as the scents of cedar and spruce for distinctively local interpretations of familiar services. Numerous dining options also surround the grounds, letting guests sample everything from the Northwest-inspired fine dining of Beverly's to the family-style barbecue and fish tacos of Beachouse Bar & Grill.
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 tokens, 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 yellow, 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."