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Fresh Sheet: Dry Fly ranked second in the nation

When it comes to vodka, Dry Fly is second best in the U.S., according to readers of USA Today.

The Spokane craft distillery won second place in the 10Best Readers’ Choice Awards for its clear spirit.

Twenty nominees were selected by a panel of expert judges, then voted on by readers.

St. Louis Distillery was the only one to best Dry Fly. There were no other winners in Washington state. But Crater Lake Spirits in Bend, Oregon, ranked No. 10.

Find a full list of winners at

Back to Beard House

A team from Sante Restaurant and Charcuterie is headed back to the famed James Beard House at the end of the month.

Before then, the restaurant is hosting two, six-course practice dinners – one Monday and another Oct. 17 – to raise funds for the trip.

The “Washington State of Mind” menu features duck liver-and-bacon pâté and fry bread tacos with buffalo – and those are just a couple of the appetizers. Look, also, for pork belly confit, cedar-smoked grouse, braised elk and more.

Featured chefs are Jeremy Hansen, who owns the eatery with his wife Kate, along with Tyler Shales and Lynette Pflueger. Sous chefs are Abby Pflueger and Cong Vang.

Diners will also get a sneak peek at the Hansens’ latest restaurant. The preview dinners take place at the not-yet-opened Inland Pacific Kitchen, 304 W. Pacific Ave.

Dinner is at 6 p.m. both nights. The cost is $100 per person, or $130 with wine pairings. The restaurant is asking for cash only. Monies raised with go toward food, air fare and hotels.

Oct. 28 marks the third time Sante staff will cook at the James Beard House in New York City. For more info about that event, visit events.

To reserve a spot for the local dinners, call or text Kate Hansen at (509) 263-4547 or send an email to mail@

Chili cook-off

The second annual Tail Waggin’ Chili Cook-Off is Saturday.

The event benefits the Kootenai Humane Society and features cash awards for the top three chilis as well as a people’s choice award.

It’s $50 to compete, with $25 of each entry fee going to the humane society and the other $25 going to the prize fund.

Admission is $10 and includes unlimited chili samples, a cider from North Idaho Cider or a beer from Mad Bomber Brewing, and water or soda. Children 12 and younger get in for $4.

The event is from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. at North Idaho Cider, 11100 N. Airport Road in Hayden. For more info, send an email to info@ or call (208) 660-8452.