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Sink Teeth Into Beef At New Steak Houses

I’ve got just the antidote for your Thanksgiving turkey hangover - a big juicy steak.

OK, stop that groaning.

As further proof that this is meat-and-potatoes country, a couple of new steakhouses have opened recently.

Chapman’s Steak and Ale House in Coeur d’Alene bills its fare as traditional cooking. And, after reading the menu, that sounds right on target.

The place is open for lunch and dinner, so there is a variety of sandwiches (French dips and a Reuben), a daily soup, along with the heartier fare.

Among dishes sure to stir feelings of nostalgia are a chicken pot pie, made-from-scratch meatloaf and shepherd’s pie with beef hash and vegetables topped with garlic mashed potatoes and cheddar cheese.

There are several cuts of steak available ranging from an 8-ounce sirloin to a 16-ounce T-bone.

Meal prices start at $4.25 for a burger and top out at $15.95 for a T-bone. Most items are less than $7.

On the ale side of the equation, there will be a rotating selections of microbrews available on 12 taps, along with an assortment of bottled beer. Owner Steve Chapman is still tinkering with the wine list.

Chapman’s is located at 816 N. Fourth St., the home (way back when) of the original Jimmy D’s. It’s open Wednesday through Saturday. For reservations, call (208) 665-9996.

Vineyards, located at the Valley’s Doubletree Inn, takes the casually elegant approach with white linen tablecloths, soft music and select Washington wines to complement its selection of steaks and other stuff.

The menu was designed by chef Don Rey, who previously worked at the Doubletree Inn at Sea-Tac.

It includes a couple of classics - the Steak Diane and scampi Provencale - prepared tableside.

Other entrees are a 16-ounce sirloin steak, a rack of Ellensburg lamb with mint pesto, Alaskan king crab legs and a 22-ounce slab of prime rib.

Prices range from $19.95 for fettucine with Dungeness crab and Gulf prawns to $24.95 for a 24-ounce porterhouse steak.

For reservations at Vineyards Steak House, call 924-9000.

Meatless wine dinner

You can forget about those rules that call for red wine with beef and white wine with chicken or seafood during a special dinner at Mizuna on Dec. 7.

The five-course feast will be strictly vegan (meaning no animal or dairy products will be used) with wines selected to complement the cuisine.

The first course will be a pumpkin-plantain ravioli topped with a gingered yellow tomato chutney served with an Italian sparkling wine.

A roasted chestnut soup with apples and parsnips will be accompanied by a Byron chardonnay from Santa Barbara. A King Estate pinot noir from Oregon will be poured with a root vegetable salad with hazelnut-mint dressing.

The main course will be an herbed seitan (wheat gluten that mimics meat) stuffed with shallots and vegetables and then sauced with a mixture of cranberries and port. It will be served with Marietta’s Angeli cuvee, a special blend of zinfandel from that respected California producer.

Dessert - burnt orange tules with a Grand Marnier spiked butternut squash mousse - will be complemented with Hogue’s late harvest white riesling.

John Allen from Vino will be offering insights on the wine throughout the evening.

The dinner starts at 5:30 and reservations are required. The price is $50. To save a spot, call 747-2004.

Chew on this

In Craven’s holiday newsletter, there’s an interesting discussion about pairing coffee with food, much like matching particular dishes with wine.

Recommendations include serving a lighter Vienna roast with salads and an East African coffee with fish dishes such as salmon.

Of course, it’s easier when it comes to dessert. With chocolate, the darker, the better. French roasted Costa Rican or Italian roasted Sumatra works wonders with cocoa flavors.

It’s definitely food for thought.

This trend sucks

Actually, it’s the customers that doing the sucking at the flashy new oxygen bars in L.A.

Woody Harrelson (who, of course, played a bartender on “Cheers”) owns one of these oxygen bars, where patrons can munch on raw foods (another California fad) and inhale pure oxygen. A 15-minute shot of air will set you back something like $20.

With all the smog in So-Cal, I’m betting this trend is going to take off.

New on the block

Tomato Street has some new items on its menu.

Among the lunch specials, there’s a new shrimp pizza with spinach and oven-dried tomatoes, a seafood fettucine with prawns, calamari, clams and scallops and a vegetable pizza topped with summer squash, zucchini and peppers.

Additions to the list of house specialities include garlic prawns with penne, a picante chicken with peppers, zucchini and roasted garlic tossed with pasta and a blackened chicken fettucine.

Tomato Street is located at 6220 N. Division in Spokane and in Coeur d’Alene at 221 W. Appleway.

Good ink

In the November issue of Esquire, critic John Mariani names Seattle’s El Gaucho one of the country’s best new restaurants of the year.

He calls it a retro restaurant of daunting proportions, where beef rules. That said, he confesses enjoying the best baby back ribs he’s ever eaten in the Northwest.

I’ve been to this place and it is a trip down memory lane. Even if you can’t afford to splurge for dinner, stop in for a cocktail in the cool lounge and get nostalgic while a pianist pounds out old standards.

El Gaucho is located at 2505 First Ave. in Seattle.

, DataTimes MEMO: Leslie Kelly can be contacted via E-mail at or regular mail to Spokesman-Review, P.O. Box 2160, Spokane, WA 99210.

Leslie Kelly can be contacted via E-mail at or regular mail to Spokesman-Review, P.O. Box 2160, Spokane, WA 99210.

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