When to Go: between 3–6 p.m. for happy hour, which offers discounted small plates of nachos, deep-fried green beans, waygu beef sliders, and cheese quesadillas, along with discounted draft, well, and wine drinks.
While You’re Waiting Enjoy one of the 22 rotating on-draft microbrews, which come in sizes ranging from the small “schooner” to the pitcher.
Inside Tip Late risers can still enjoy breakfast—it’s served until 2:30 p.m.
The Story: Leon Torrey’s first experience in the restaurant business was as a dishwasher salesmen. It didn’t take long before he decided to trade in his tie for an apron and open Egg Cetra, which would become a hugely popular breakfast restaurant with three local locations. After more than 20 years of success, he decided to branch out and try his hand at classic pub staples, founding Blue Star Cafe and Pub in 1997. It wasn’t too much of a departure, though—he still kept the breakfast and lunch favorites that made Eggs Cetera such a hit. Today, his daughter Wendy carries on the torch.
Quote That Best Sums It Up “I avoid the trends and focus on offering consistent comfort food with homemade ingredients.” - Founder Leon Torrey
What was once the boiler room at the historical Montvale Hotel has turned into the Catacombs Pub, a European-style pub situated inside the building's cellar. The hotel, which is listed on the Spokane and National Registers of Historic Places, has served as everything from a hardware store to a bordello.
Today in this underground pub, a brick oven fires up made-from-scratch pizzas in the spot where coal was once shoved into the boiler. The original coal chute has been transformed into a cave-like seating area where servers deliver irish stew, bratwursts, European beers, and specialty cocktails. The pub's brick hearth and exposed stone walls, modeled after German and Viennese pubs, contribute to the its Old-World feel, along with 2,800-pound solid oak beams, which weigh as much as King Midas's cell phone.
Awash in the glow of Adriatic's flickering forno, chef Bill Trudnowski fondly recalls a youth spent watching his father, the son of a butcher, prepare fresh farm-to-table cuisine. After a stint in the army, Trudnowski started a new career as a corporate executive chef, eventually opening Adriatic Grill, his first restaurant. Distinguished by locally sourced seasonal ingredients and careful preparation, dishes range from ocean-fresh shellfish and bone-in chops to eight flavors of thin-crust pizzas crisped inside a custom-built wood-burning oven. Bill, named the Best Chef of 2012 and 2013 by South Sound Magazine, is happy to accommodate special requests, whether they involve removing the gluten, substituting items, or writing his autograph in gravy.
The Grant House serves up simple yet sophisticated fare in a beautiful, historic setting. Drop in for dinner, with the Northwest seafood cakes ($9), pan-fried and served with roasted red pepper aioli, serving as a lavishing leadoff hitter for your roster of edibles. Entrees include grilled wild Northwest salmon ($21), a four-cheese ravioli ($17), and beer-battered halibut and chips ($14)—each adequately equipped to help your shy and socially reserved stomach make some new, albeit temporary, friends. For nocturnes attempting to break free of their lifestyle habits, The Grant House also offers up a lunch menu. The peach salad ($7 half-size, $10 full-size) coyly cloaks seasonal greens and goat cheese in a saucy sherry vinaigrette, while a barbecue pork sandwich ($8) boldly flaunts a snazzy get-up of provolone and Walla Walla sweet onions in a house-made sauce.
The culinary artists at Seastar Restaurant & Raw Bar grant palates the royal treatment with their smorgasbord of fresh, regionally sourced seafood and oysters, hearty steak-house cuisine, and all-star wine list, which earned the restaurant the Best of Award of Excellence from Wine Spectator. With a storied resum? that includes manning the kitchen at the prestigious Palisade Restaurant, as well as appearances on Martha Stewart Living and Martha Stewart Presents: American Gladiators, executive chef and owner John Howie focuses his culinary aesthetic on the cuisine of the Pacific Northwest while he experiments with exotic flavors from around the globe. His menu of refined dishes and homey meals furnishes stomachs with alluring flavors from both land and sea, as tasted in the sockeye-salmon poke, dungeness-crab risotto, and fire-grilled filet mignon.
Each Seastar Restaurant & Raw Bar location surrounds guests in a cozy cocoon of blond woods and warm light?an ideal setting for polishing off plates of shellfish stews, steak and potatoes, and fresh ice cream and chocolate truffles. While admiring each restaurant?s sleek interior, diners can also enjoy the many notes found in Seastar?s 14-page wine list.
Although roughly 1,000 different entrees can be sampled at Chang's Mongolian Grill, diners won't need to peruse a menu as thick as a phone book. Instead, you get to peruse the all-you-can-eat food bar and fill a bowl with your choice of meats, vegetables, and noodles. A helpful chart recommends tried-and-true combinations, but guests are free to experiment, mixing and matching sauces as they see fit.
For the final step, the chefs take each bowl and pour its contents onto a large, circular grill in the center of the open kitchen. They shuffle and slide each order around the magma-heated grill until every last morsel is evenly seared, then sweep everything onto a waiting plate. All you'll need to do is take it back to your table and enjoy the freshly grilled meal. Additional sides of soup, rice, or crepes are also available.