This 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.
We 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.
That 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.
Tim 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.
What 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.
Our 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…
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.
2501 N. Fourth Street. Coeur d’Alene, ID 83814 | 208.765.2555 | closed Sunday