Sharon Stone smokes ‘em. Madonna puffed on one during her infamous David Letterman appearance. And celebrity dinosaur George Burns is never without one.
Cigarettes may be all but snuffed out as a fashion accessory, but cigars have suddenly become hip.
A magazine dedicated to stogies - Cigar Aficionado - has even gone as far as to print lists of restaurants that are friendly to the smelly smoke. Most of them are on the East Coast.
However, at least one restaurant in our region throws open the humidor for puffers on special occasions.
Cafe Spudnik, a little gem of a restaurant in Moscow, is holding its second cigar smoker dinner Monday.
During the smokefest, diners will be treated to a lavish six-course feast.
The menu includes three different appetizers, a Caesar salad, a pasta course, a palate-refreshing sorbet and a pork loin roasted with figs and shallots served with a port wine sauce. Dessert will be decadent chocolate truffles served with fresh berries and creme fraiche.
The dinner is $25 and reservations are essential. To save a spot, call (208) 882-9257.
Beach House lands new chef
The new chef at The Beach House restaurant in Sandpoint has cooked up a mouthwatering new menu.
John Charuba arrived in Sandpoint several months ago with some impressive credentials. He has racked up experience at the swanky Semiahmoo Golf and Country Club near Blaine, Wash., as well as cooking at T.J.’s Bayshore in Edmonds and the Market Cafe in Seattle.
His new menu shows off a creative bent. Appetizers include crab cakes with fried leeks and pink grapefruit sauce and smoked mussel won tons served with a spicy apple and onion chutney.
Intriguing-sounding entree choices range from a halibut in a sesame seed crust served with a cilantro-spiked tomato sauce to prawns stuffed with crab and wrapped in bacon.
Even the steaks are prepared with flair. A blackened rib eye is served with fried leeks and a Louisiana-style remoulade sauce. The New York cut is accompanied by Madiera roasted shallots.
For lunch, offbeat sandwich selections include a grilled eggplant and a veggie burger with the works. There is also a selection of entreesized salads, pasta and dishes such as fish and chips.
Prices at lunch start at $5.65 and top out at $7.95. At dinner, entrees run from $9 to $16.
To check out this new lineup, call (208) 263-3194 for reservations.
Tasty armchair traveling
Last time I checked, air fare to Italy was on the order of 900 bucks. But for an “Evening in Tuscany,” diners have only to travel to the corner of Post and Sprague in downtown Spokane.
Fugazzi will be the site of an elegant five-course Italian dinner with specially selected wines from that country’s most famous wineproducing region.
The menu includes an antipasto appetizer, a linguine with sauteed calamari, Caesar salad and game hens with rosemary, garlic and lemon served with creamy polenta. Dessert will also be served.
The evening in Tuscany will benefit Miryam’s House, a residence for women recovering from abuse, addiction and poverty.
Tickets for the fund-raiser, which begins at 6 p.m. on April 23, are $75. That includes the meal, the wine, as well as tax and tip.
If that’s too spendy, there will also be a tea party, complete with all sorts of lovely goodies, that afternoon from 12:30 until 2:30 at Fugazzi. The tea is $15.
For reservations to these events, call 448-8971 or 448-8361.
Ask about their OJ special
Spokane’s sole juice bar has recently started serving a nice selection of good-for-you food.
The Catapult Juice Bar, located across from Espresso Delizioso on North Monroe, now offers a first-rate veggie sandwich (made with tofu cheese, if you please), pastry-like pockets stuffed with broccoli, veggie pot pies and tofu dogs.
Those items join a lineup of fruit and vegetable juices and wild combinations of those raw ingredients. A carrot and beet cocktail, anyone?
Prices are reasonable, with everything under $5. Because the place is small, it might be a good idea to place your order in advance, especially around the noon hour. Phone 324-8110 for details.
The Marrakesh Restaurant will soon start offering take-out at its Pizza Oasis, located in the same building on Northwest Boulevard. A sign on the business promises pizza and deli items. Look for more details in an upcoming column.
A friend recently drove from St. Maries just to eat dinner at El Toreador restaurant in downtown Spokane. He says it’s the best Mexican food in the world.
A victim of the red hot rotisserie chicken competition? O’Murphy’s has filed for Chapter 11 and the owner is looking for a buyer. In the meantime, the restaurant is still open for business.
The 1994 edition of “Hidden Pacific Northwest” guidebook recommends just three restaurants in its section on Spokane. Pathetic.