Satay Bistro

Satay BistroThis little corner of the interwebs has been pretty quite lately. Tim and I have been adjusting to the adventure that is parenthood so we haven’t had much time or energy to experience much of the environs beyond our own living room. But, James is now three months old and we are beginning to see the light of day. He’s a really mellow baby and does well out and about. He makes frequent visits to Starbucks and the staff at Le Peep have basically watched him grow up.

Though we love taking our sweet little man with us virtually everywhere we go, some places are best left to experience baby free. Tim and I have had a gift card to Satay Bistro calling our names since last May. Between pregnancy nausea and post-baby exhaustion, we hadn’t been able to use that anniversary gift until now – two weeks before our second anniversary.

Last night, while James got some quality time with his aunt and uncle, Tim and I got a quality date night at Satay Bistro. And folks, just WOW! Our meal was the best we’ve eaten in Coeur d’Alene. Not only was the food top notch, the service and staff were both fantastic.

I’m so glad we had a reason (the gift card) to go to Satay or I’m not sure we would have sought out a meal at this unassuming little restaurant nestled between Taco Time and The Long Ear. The uniquely shaped exterior has a lovely patio strung with outdoor lights and a perky fire pit which would be so inviting on a warm summer evening. Cozy booths and tables are fitted nicely into the warm dinning room, creating a truly intimate place to talk and enjoy your dinner companions. There’s a quaint wine bar upstairs and a second dinning area downstairs, which allows Satay to serve more patrons than you’d think in passing.

Chicken SatayWe arrived about ten minutes early for our seven o’clock reservation. A large party was enjoying themselves in the front half of the restaurant and we contentedly listened to their banter while we waited for our table. Ten minutes turned into forty as we waited for our table to open up. This was not as problem for us since we were just happy to be on a date together, soaking up the cozy atmosphere and drooling over the food we saw being plated and delivered. The hostess was apologetic for our wait and the owner came by a couple times to check on us. He was very sincere in his distress that we were waiting so long when we had made a reservation.

Almost immediately after we settled into a high table along a neat stick room divider, the sous chef brought out Red Chili Sea Scallops on the house. He had seen us standing for awhile and wanted to apologize. We were so impressed, and a little taken aback, by how thoughtful the staff was. Sadly, Tim is allergic to shell fish, which we explained to our waitress who graciously whisked away the scallops and came back later with a Thai Peanut Chicken Satay instead.

Stuffed ChickenThat satay was the start of our delicious meal. Four juicy chicken skewers rested in a thick peanut sauce that I would have eaten smeared on anything. The plate was drizzled with the same peanut sauce and a spicy (sriracha, maybe?) variation that complimented the chicken perfectly. We sipped glasses of wine – a hearty, but pleasantly sweet Riesling for me and a smooth, robust Cabernet for Tim – anxiously awaiting our main courses.

Filet MignonTim made a quick choice of the filet mignon while I waffled between the pork chop (hard cider demi glace and goat cheese whip was a hard sell) and the stuffed chicken. Stuffed chicken won out and I was not disappointed. Every ingredient, from vegetables to beef and poultry, is locally sourced and it’s evident in the taste and craftsmanship of all Satay Bistro’s cuisine. Tim’s filet was succulent and perfectly seasoned. My chicken had a crispy skin and silky boursin filling. We both loved the presentation and taste of the Yukon Gratin – a dense wedge of creamy potato slices with bruléed cheese and rosemary sprig garnish. I’m not always a fan of cooked greens, but the swiss chard undergirding my chicken was killer – still a tad crisp, speckled with bacon and flavored with a smoked tomato sauce.

the breadWhat comes alongside all entrees is worth its own paragraph. The bread: Oh. My. Goodness. A mini loaf of freshly baked white bread, steam carrying that heavenly yeasty smell to your nostrils, is covered with melted garlic butter and chopped dill. It’s truly a culinary experience not to be missed.

Tim and DessertOur dessert, which we had planned on getting anyways, was compliments of the  owner. We split the Bread Pudding – a hearty square of melt-in-your-mouth vanilla infused, bready goodness. I was almost too distracted by the dark rum glaze, caramel, and whipped cream to notice the ice cream, but that was also delicious and homemade. Even the server who delivered our dessert, who we hadn’t seen before, apologized for our wait…

Bread Pudding

Tim and I couldn’t stop rhapsodizing about our meal as we took one bite after another. We can’t wait until we’ve saved up our pennies to go again.

Obviously I’m not skilled with brevity when it comes to food, so if you’ve made it this far – congratulations! I hope you stop what you’re doing (after you finish reading this post, of course) and make a reservation at Satay Bistro, ASAP.

A note on the photos: Taken with my iPhone but edited because the lighting was dim…

Here are the nitty gritties:

Our bill (with comped appetizer and dessert) – $63 and change. Will have to be a special occasion place for us, but it’s worth every dollar!

Dress Code – Yelp says casual and I guess I’d agree just because anything goes. We saw patrons in shorts and athletic shoes, a hipster track suit, and prom attire. I felt totally at ease in skinny jeans and a pretty blouse.

Best Time To Go – It was non-stop busy while we were there on a Saturday evening. I’m guessing that’s par for the course on the weekends. By 7 o’clock the kitchen was already out of salmon and the chocolate trio dessert. I’d love to go on a week day to soak up the coziness when it’s a bit quieter. That being said, the staff is attentive, we never felt rushed, and it wasn’t crazy loud for it being at max capacity.

Don’t Miss – Whether you feel the need or not, go to the bathroom while you’re there. They are beautiful and the sink is the coolest ever.

Satay Bistro

2501 N. Fourth Street. Coeur d’Alene, ID 83814 | 208.765.2555 | closed Sunday

 

 

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Jonesy’s

Maybe it’s because I’m pregnant, but I love starting the day with a well-appointed meal. You can go sweet or savory, dainty or substantial. There’s warm drinks and a satisfied feeling when you’re done noshing. Who am I kidding, I’ve always loved everything about breakfast…

So far, Tim and I have three rotating places we go for breakfast in Coeur d’Alene: The Garnet Cafe, Michael D’s Eatery, and Le Peep Cafe. We seem to get stuck on one for awhile and then move on to the next. We have been on a Michael D’s kick lately but decided to switch things up a bit this morning. We enjoyed a nice AM repast at Jonesy’s, conveniently located less than a mile from our house!

Jonesy's

We were the only patrons for five minutes or so before the only other customers (while we were there from 7:15 – 8ish) sat down. The dining area is open and roomy with no pesky tables to maneuver, just booths. A side wall near the cash register has been painted to be a chalkboard and houses highlights from their menu along with a list of Northwest sourced ingredients being used in the food.

Jonesy’s offerings are a cross between the more hipster offerings of Garnet and the standard diner food of Michael D’s. Some of their signatures include Honey Bunches of Toast (cereal encrusted french toast served with a vanilla cream sauce) and Andy’s Mix (a melange of breakfast staples topped with sausage gravy and a fried egg).

I opted for the California Omelet (bacon, cheddar, spinach, avocado, tomato) and Tim went with the Bacon Waffle (bacon pieces in a buttermilk waffle, topped with more bacon and two over easy eggs, pictured).

Bacon Waffle at Jonesy's

Now, there are two types of omelets: those with the fixings mixed into the egg with melted cheese in between and those with all the fixings in between an egg taco. This was the later variety, and though I prefer my fixings mixed into the egg, this was a good omelet. A layer of cheese, chunks of bacon and spinach (the wiltyness was a bit overwhelming for my personal pallet so I pulled most of it out) was layered inside the egg with a quarter of an avocado fanned on top and a generous sprinkling of diced tomatoes around the edge.  I ate it all sans the aforementioned spinach. My omelet came with two thick pieces of good quality wheat bread and hashbrowns. Normally I don’t enjoy restaurant hashbrowns, but these were crsipy, tender, and delicious. I also received a tiny cup of homemade raspberry jam – just enough for one bite. Not sure if that’s a regular occurrence or if it was only supposed to be a sample.

Tim’s waffle was quite tasty. The waffle itself was dense sweet with large chunks of bacon interspersed. Jonesy’s bacon is thick-cut and cooked crispy so it was nice to have bacon both inside and out of the waffle. I really enjoy fried eggs, so the over-easy topping was a great addition.  Maple syrup and butter were served alongside.

I didn’t try their decaf, but Tim’s regular coffee was super good. He didn’t even use sugar!

Prices are fair for quality and portion. Our bill came to $21 plus tip. Jonesy’s does serve lunch. You can check out their menu online.

Bottomline: We will definitely go back. The food lives up to their tagline: fresh. handcrafted. local.

Jonesy’s

website | 819 E. Sherman Ave.

Ironman CDA 2013

Ironman CDA 1

For months, and even years, athletes in peak physical condition have been training for this one day, the Coeur d’Alene Ironman Triathlon.  Tomorrow morning, 2,600 triathletes will dive into 56-degree crystal clear water, bike along scenic US-95, and run along the shore of beautiful Lake Coeur d’Alene.  It will be a day of pushing limits, as these athletes cover a total of 140.6 miles to the finish line.

Ironman CDA 2

Not only is it a big day for the athletes, it’s a great opportunity for all to dive into triathlete culture.  For any aspiring to be an Ironman competitor, interested in anything fitness, or just love the vibe of race day excitement, make sure to head over to the Ironman Expo this weekend.  It’s an opportunity to drool over expensive race equipment, try free energy bars and drinks, shop for your favorite Ironman paraphernalia, and even try to win some free stuff.

As you explore, make sure to follow @IronmanTri on Twitter and tag #IMCDAPhotoTrail for a chance to win a prize.  And don’t miss the LifeProof tent for a chance to win a free iPhone case!

Sunday is a great opportunity to cheer on the triathletes. Grab a free banner from the Expo and hit the roads with cheering, clapping, and encouraging words.  Keep an eye out for Alayna Williamson, who was diagnosed with leukemia just over a year ago.  According to KXLY.com, her and her husband, Troy, will both be competing this year.

Whether you tri or not, this weekend is a great opportunity to have fun downtown. Bring your friends and family and catch the triathlon bug.  Who knows, maybe this time next year, you’ll be one of the brave 2,600 triathletes huffing and puffing across the finish line!

Sweet Frostings Blissful Bakeshop

Sweet Frostings

Someday I will learn not to be an emotional eater. Someday… After a great week together, Tim and I dropped my parents off at the airport on Saturday. Saying goodbye always makes me a little mopey, so we decided to sweeten the sad day with cupcakes!

I love cupcakes and have been a bit disappointed with the cupcake scene in Coeur d’Alene, or complete lack thereof. Granted, we were spoiled having several delicious cupcakeries within miles of our previous hometown – a Cupcake Wars winner even. But, we had a gift card for a place that seemed promising in Spokane, so we made a pit stop on our way home from the airport drop off.

Cupcake Collage

Sweet Frostings Blissful Bakeshop did not disappoint! (How could you with a name like that…) The teal and white awning and curliqued sign looked a bit out of place amidst the grungy streets of downtown Spokane, but Sweet Frostings was an oasis for the senses inside and out.

The decor is fanciful and charming with its floral walls and large umbrella, but the main attraction is the long pastry case full of beautiful cupcakes ready to be enjoyed. The friendly saleswoman mentioned Friday and Saturday were great days to come in because they have the most flavor variety, and indeed, it seemed so with no less than 20 flavors available.

Cupcakes

After agonizing for way too long, we settled on French Toast, Chocolate Salted Caramel, Butterfinger, and Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough. We could have filled multiple other boxes with Confetti, Tiger Tail (a lovely looking raspberry and coconut concoction), Chocolate Stout, Mint Chip Oreo, etc. A tiny tule bow put the finishing touch on our teal box and I barely resisted the temptation to break into the foursome on our way home.

My family is serious about cupcake sampling. We have a method and we don’t deviate from said method. Every cupcake gets cut into equal sized pieces and every person gets a plate with a piece of each cupcake. We try them in the same order, while drinking coffee, and make our opinions known. Tim and I carried this tradition on with our Sweet Frostings cupcakes and I’ll tell ya, there wasn’t one that got a neg review.

Each cake was moist and the frostings were stellar – true buttercream that the bakers managed to pipe in a smooth dollop. Little fondant hearts topped every cupcake in the shop. Even though I don’t like the taste of fondant, they are a nice signature look.

Cupcakey

Highlights:

  • Salted Caramel frosting – could have eaten a tub of it plain. Not sure how they got frosting to taste so perfectly salty and sweet. (Tim’s favorite).
  • Bacon topping on French Toast – a great savory foil for the cinnamon infused cake and mapley frosting.
  • Homemade butterfinger – that crunchy, flaky orange filling of the classic Butterfinger candy? Well, Sweet Frostings makes their own and puts it on their Butterfinger cupcake. Mmm…
  • Chocolate buttercream (on Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cupcake) – dense, rich, buttery. Another frosting I could have eaten by the tub full.

We will be in Spokane again on Saturday (for the Color Me Rad 5K!) and I’m not sure we will make it home without another trip to Sweet Frostings.

15 South Washington | Spokane, WA | 99201 | 509 – 242 – 3845 |

Facebook | Twitter

Any other good cupcake places we need to check out? 

CYT Tall Tales

Our first experience with theater in Coeur d’Alene was Christian Community Theater’s production of Big last summer. We got to see several people from our soon-to-be church perform – most notably, Greg Washington, who played Mr. MacMillan. Not only does Greg go to our church, he’s a mighty fine realtor and just helped us buy our first house!

Greg is heavily involved in the theater scene here in Coeur d’Alene because his kids all participate in CYT (Christian Youth Theater). He is the reason we saw CYT’s Spring show, Great American Tall Tales, last weekend.

Great American Tall Tales

Honestly, after moving earlier in the week, going to a youth theater program wasn’t my idea of the perfect Saturday night; but, I am so glad we went.  Great American Tall Tales (GATT) only has 3 performances left and it is well worth seeing.

When several young kids stumble into a dusty exhibit during a museum field trip, their adventure comes to life.  Together they meet the beloved characters of American folklore like Annie Oaklee, Davy Crocket, Pecos Bill, Johnny Appleseed, Annie Christmas, John Henry and more.

Through story, dance and song, they learn that history is alive and vibrant while discovering that sometimes fact and fiction work together to create unforgettable legends.

{Show description from CYT website}

GATT has an engaging storyline carried by talented young performers. The 2 1/2 hour show was full of quality song and dance with enough unpolished charm to make for some old-fashioned entertainment.

Highlights:

  • Solos by Joy Weadick (Sally Ann Thunder), Landrie Elstad (Annie Oakley), and Avalon Robinson (Miss Peele).
  • Katie Ann Schini (Sloane) is a renaissance young woman! Beautiful, clear voice and confidence that belies her 14 years.
  • The other young field trippers did a great job – especially Devin Latreille (Derek).
  • “A Man is Just a Man” is a wonderful number that showcases Michael Dundas’ deep voice.

The Kroc Center is a nice, intimate venue without a bad seat in the house. Stage design was simple but artfully done. The CYT team infused the Western theme into intermission by offering pie by the slice near a chuck wagon photo op.

Showtimes:

  • Saturday, May 25th – 3pm & 7pm
  • Sunday, May 26th – 3pm

Tickets will be sold for “at the door” price at the Box Office Window. The Box Office Window will open one hour prior to the start of each show. Visa and Mastercard accepted.  Go to their website for pricing info.

Great American Tall Tales is worth fitting into your Memorial Day weekend plans.

 

Buying and Selling Online

Shop and Swap

I am a garage sale fan – both having them and shopping them. However, I know many people are not so enthusiastic. Tim and I bought a house so we have been packing up a storm the past couple weeks. In the process, we’ve culled some things we don’t need to move to the new place.

So, what do you do when you want to earn a few extra bucks but don’t necessarily have enough items to have a garage sale?

Shop and Swap!

Whoever came up with this concept was a genius. They have combined people’s desire to buy and sell with a social media platform. Shop and Swap CDA is an open group on Facebook that operates as a virtual marketplace. People post photos of items they want to sell in a myriad of categories. Interested parties respond via comment. I sold 4 items in an hour.

Example Categories

Read through some rules and instructions before you begin and then start listing your items – It’s that simple. Shop and Swap is a great venue to sell some extra stuff and shop for low-priced things you may need.

Click on the link {above} for Shop and Swap. Click on Join Group in the right hand corner. Wait to be added by the Shop and Swap administrator and then start listing your stuff!

The Donut House

It’s Saturday which means it’s donut day for Tim and I. We celebrate the weekend with sweet treats from The Donut House in Hayden. It took us a couple months to land on the perfect place for our Saturday treat, but Donut House was the clear winner.

The Donut ManI (Emily) worked at The Donut Man, a world-famous donut shop, for several years and Tim was a most willing donut consumer and even appeared in The Donut Man’s stint on The Cooking Channel. So, we aren’t without donut judging credentials!

Our friends, Zach and Lauren, introduced us to The Donut House via their amazing Maple Butterbars. Who can resist a fluffy, moist donut with a thick layer of sweet maple icing? We couldn’t and that became my regular donut choice as we started making Donut House a Saturday tradition.

The Donut House

Our favorites have evolved over the weeks as we’ve tried different donuts. Tim started getting the Chocolate Old Fashioned and I discovered I could get the perfect icing to donut  ratio by getting a Maple Old Fashioned {my current favorite}. I love eating the irregular prongs off of old fashioned donuts first and then eating the inner ring. Donut House is generous with their icing which is a huge plus.

Some of our other favorites:

  • Crumb – a delightful blend of crushed cake, cinnamon, and sugar clings to fluffy raised or traditional white cake donuts.
  • Strawberry Chocolate Chip Fritter – Oh man, these are incredible! Real strawberries and large chocolate chunks riddle the tender raised dough creating a beautifully colored and incredibly tasty donut. Apple and blueberry fritters are also good.
  • Chocolate Peanut Butter – Not for the faint of heart. A thick layer of creamy peanut butter is housed in a rectangle of raised donut with a drizzle of chocolate frosting on top.
  • Sugar – I (Em) tend to like sugar raised better than glazed raised. Donut House has delicious versions of both, but is generous with their sugar, which creates a perfectly sweet crust over the tender raised donuts.

Strawberry Chocolate Chip FritterSome other things we love about Donut House:

  • They are open “almost 24 hours” a day. We have yet to figure out what hours make the almost in that statement.
  • A recently redone eating area includes new red couches which makes for a homey, modern touch.
  • The owners always decorate for the current holiday or season.
  • A few games, including Scrabble – a Gardner favorite, are available to play while you’re eating.
  • They now accept credit cards, though there’s a $5 limit.
  • Donuts are really well priced and high quality!

Bakers DozenDonut House offers a good variety of drinks including coffee, hot chocolate, juice, and bottled water. There’s a separated room from the main eating area that would be perfect for a business meeting. They also have a drive-thru.

Keeping with the time, Donut House now has a website with all the essential information plus some tantalizing photos of their donuts. You can find them on Facebook and Twitter, too!

the Donut House website

The Donut House 8761 North Government Way | Hayden | 83835