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.
With Rocky Mountain granite and natural logs softly lit by rustic chandeliers, Prospectors Bar & Grill has the feel of a historic miner's lodge. So when servers slide an entree onto the table, diners might feel as hungry as if they'd been swinging pickaxes all day. Guests in the dining room can admire the mining memorabilia, which includes a life-sized bear carved with a chainsaw, as chefs in the kitchen prepare aged filet mignon, sautéed-mushroom burgers, and shrimp scampi from scratch. Although they whip up traditional American comfort food, such as po' boy sandwiches and St. Louis–style barbecued pork ribs, chefs aren’t afraid to put their own progressive twists on classic dishes. For instance, they pile the cheesy Thai Pie pizza with roasted chicken, mushrooms, red pepper, and green onion, lending it some additional spice with Thai-style chili sauce and teriyaki.
Located little more than one block from the INB Performing Arts Center, Herbal Essence Cafe surrounds theater-goers and other guests in an elegant atmosphere. Inside its historical brick building, flickering candlelight offsets gourmet dinner entrees such as bacon- and date-stuffed pork chops and baked Alaskan salmon. Vegetarian-friendly options range from a hummus-and-avocado sandwich at lunch to tofu napoleon at dinner. More than 35 wines, many of which are made in the state of Washington, can also be plucked from the dark-wood racks of bottles. After their meals, patrons can wander the streets of downtown Spokane, or head to the INB Performing Arts Center and apologize to the audience before continuing their soliloquy.
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.
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."
The Copa’s hand-crafted menu explodes with down-home cooking from spaghetti and meatballs in red sauce to macaroni noodles submerged in four golden cheeses and truffle oil. The chefs also dip halibut in a microbrew batter and tempura-batter clusters of avocado, cashews, and pepper jack cheese. Pops of color in the dishes, such as red pepper alfredo slathered onto butternut squash raviolis, reflect the vibrant dining room with orange- and yellow-hued walls, blue tablecloths, and a glow from the fireplace that illuminates people roasting chestnuts from nearby couches.