September 9, 2009 in Food

Former Twigs location receives a major makeover

By The Spokesman-Review
 
CHRISTOPHER ANDERSON photo

chrisa@spokesman.com
(Full-size photo)

About The Dish

The Dish appears monthly in the Food section. Send news releases, tips and suggestions to Lorie Hutson, Features Department, The Spokesman-Review, P.O. Box 2160, Spokane, WA 99210. Call (509) 459-5446, fax to (509) 459-5098 or e-mail to lorieh@spokesman.com.

Relax.

Many of the same faces are still there. And a lot of the old favorites from the early days of Twigs and Bin 98Twenty are on the menu, says Stix Bar and Grill executive chef Dan Bower.

Owners have dressed down the former bistro with a remodel and revamp that opened the floor plan and gave it a more casual pub feel. Bower says Stix, 9820 N. Nevada St., has enjoyed resurgence in business since the makeover. Morphing from Twigs North, to high-end Bin 98Twenty and then 98Twenty Bistro and Lounge had taken a toll.

“I think the restaurant had lost some of its identity,” says Bower, who has been there 10 months. He previously served as executive sous chef at the Club on Blackrock. He also worked at Café Marron. “It was a very, very tough decision and expensive decision on the part of the owners to change format, but they’ve done it right.”

The new branch of Twigs Bistro and Martini Bar, which has locations downtown and on the South Hill, also has a new kids menu, expanded seating and more pub fare. The music is turned up, there are more televisions and food and drink specials rule during sports events.

A stone pizza oven was added during the remodel. Hand-tossed crusts are topped with tomato sauce, Italian sausage, pepperoni, mortadella, capicolla, sopressata, mozzarella, fresh tomato, red pepper and herbs for the Italian Junker ($11.95). Bower says another favorite is the Thai Chicken Pizza ($10.95) with peanut sauce, chicken breast, cilantro, basil and red onion, served with a shredded romaine salad topped with cashews.

Tempura asparagus ($5.95) is a favorite appetizer. The fish tacos ($10.95), with grilled halibut, cabbage slaw, pico de gallo, corn and black bean salsa, sell out every day, Bower says.

Stix is open Monday through Thursday 11 a.m.-11 p.m. and Friday and Saturday 11 a.m.-midnight. The restaurant recently began serving breakfast at 9 a.m. on Sundays. The restaurant closes at 9 p.m. that day.

Reach Stix at (509) 468-9820. A menu and the weekly fresh sheet are on http://www.98twenty bistro.com/

Cheney dining scene expands

Combine a Thai-inspired osso bucco, Caribbean fish tacos and Greek curry chicken and you’ve got a glimpse of the menu at the new Cheney restaurant Immix Fusion, 122 College Ave.

Chef Matt Irvin begins to list the styles and cuisines he’s merged at the new restaurant before pausing, “I’m just trying to do all the food you can do in one location,” he says.

Irvin, who was trained at the Napa Valley Culinary Institute of America, served as the first chef of the restaurant at Northern Lights Brewing Co., which is owned by his brother. Among the other restaurants on his resume is the Club at Blackrock, where he was on the opening team, and The Waterfront at the Blue Diamond Marina on Priest Lake. The first restaurant he opened in 1988 in Coeur d’Alene – King Pizza – is still going strong, he says.

Irvin graduated from high school in Cheney and his mom still lives in town. He says it’s nice to be there for her and he saw a niche for the fusion restaurant. “There are a bunch of Mexican restaurants and they’re all killer, and a great Italian place… but other than that there’s really not much out here,” Irvin says.

The Thai Osso Bucco appetizer ($9.95) features small pork shanks in spicy Thai sauce with cold Asian noodles. Irvin says the Greek Curry Chicken entrée ($14.95) is proving popular, as is the Immix Steak Deville ($17.95), a 12-ounce rib-eye topped with sautéed mushrooms, smoked gorgonzola with a horseradish port demi glaze. Other entrees include Cedar Plank Salmon ($15.95) and Applewood Smoked Prime Rib ($15.95/10 ounce, $18.95/12 ounce or $21.95/16 ounce).

Lunch options range from soup, salad and bread ($6.95) to the Immix Dip prime rib sandwich topped with caramelized onion, roasted red pepper and white horseradish cheddar cheese and rosemary au jus for $8.95. The Caribbean Fish Tacos are $7.95.

The restaurant opened July 31 and seats 50 people. Irvin is expecting beer and wine license approval any day. They’ll offer Northern Lights Brewing Co. beer along with wines that range from local offerings to French and Italian imports.

Lunch is served 11:30 a.m.-2 p.m. Monday through Friday. Dinner is 5-9:30 p.m. Monday through Saturday.

Reach the restaurant at (509) 235-6001.

Agave Latin Bistro opens

The collaboration between Moxie chef Ian Wingate and Sergio De Leon of De Leon Mexican Grocery and Deli is open.

Agave Latin Bistro and Tequila Bar, 820 W. Sprague Ave., is serving gourmet Latin fare, late-night tapas and an extensive menu of top-shelf tequila and liquor. The bistro is open Tuesday through Saturday, 4 p.m.-midnight.

Among the offerings: Wild Boar Ribs ($10) in Moxie’s chipotle barbecue sauce with Napa Valley slaw, lime and cilantro; Grilled Chipotle Mahi Mahi ($16) served with De Leon tortillas and rustic rice; Peruvian Seafood Cioppino ($18) packed with clams, octopus, tuna, calamari, sea bass, lobster, Bermuda sweet onions, purple potato, aji pepper and fennel in tomato saffron broth; and Agave Grilled Carne Asada ($18)

Check out the full menu online at www.agavebistro.com. Call the restaurant at (509) 473-9180.

Here’s to your Good Wealth

Fu Gui Gardens is open in the Spokane Valley.

Tiffany Lockwood, a friend of owner Wan Eng, says the name of the restaurant means “good wealth” in Chinese. Eng and cook Peter Li pride themselves on using the highest quality ingredients and cooking everything from scratch, Lockwood says.

Li has more than 25 years experience as a cook and owner Eng worked at other Chinese restaurants, but this is the first restaurant she’s owned. Fu Gui Gardens is open 11 a.m.-9:30 p.m. each day.

In addition to the extensive menu – dishes are served family style – the restaurant has a lunch and dinner buffet ($6.99 lunch, $9.99 dinner). The buffet includes standards such as steamed and fried rice, soups, salad and fruit, along with a rotating array of dishes that may include Kung Pao Chicken, Broccoli Beef, General Tso’s Chicken, Peppered Shrimp, and homemade Cheese Wontons.

Fu Gui Gardens is at 14720 E. Sprague Ave., near Sprague Avenue and Adams Road.

Small bites

• My colleagues have been raving about the “dork” burgers from Hills’ Restaurant and Lounge, 401 W. Main Ave.

Chef Dave Hill says the burgers are equal parts duck and pork. They’ve proven popular and they’re considering making them a regular offering during an upcoming menu update. He found the idea online and “just kind of flew with it.”

“It’s a great alternative to beef or chicken. It’s got a great flavor,” he says.

He’s offered the burgers topped with barbecue sauce and Swiss cheese and with grilled onions and gorgonzola. He jokes that he briefly considered dubbing them “puck” burgers.

Find Hills’ menu and details about an upcoming brewer’s dinner on the Web site www.hillsrestaurant andlounge.com/.

• The Flatbread Pizza Co.’s distinctive Italian pizza-oven-on-a-trailer will be making some fall stops around town.

Owner Daniel Lewis says they’ll be at The Scoop, 1001 W. 25th Ave., 6-9 p.m. on Friday and again Sept. 25. Lewis serves gourmet flatbread pizzas from an imported Forno Bravo wood oven mounted on a custom-built trailer.

The freeform pizzas take just two to three minutes to cook in the oven, which hits a smoking 600 to 800 degrees. They burn applewood to give the pizzas the distinctive flavor. The 10-inch personal pizzas are $6 to $8 each depending on the toppings.

They’ll also fire up the oven for the annual harvest party at Pend Oreille Winery in Sandpoint on Saturday. (The harvest party at the winery runs Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Details are on the Web site at www.powine.com.)

The Flatbread Pizza Co. also starts a six-week fall engagement at Siemers Farm on Greenbluff. They’ll be at the farm, on Day-Mount Spokane Road, each Saturday starting Sept. 19.

For more information, go to www.theflatbread pizzaco.com. You can also follow them on Twitter.


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