The last time I visited Spokane was June of 2005 so I was looking forward to checking out a few hot spots during a quick weekend away for a wedding.
Windows down, sun out, our first stop on the road was in Ellensburg at the Little Yellow Church Café. This tiny yellow church building, which barely seated 30, was charming and definitely homespun. Their claim-to-fame is the delicious Heavenly Bread (a huge side is just $3.50). The Holy Moly sandwich was an enormous freshly grilled chicken breast with homemade apple barbeque sauce, Tillamook cheddar and peppered bacon wrapped up in the flakey, buttery Heavenly bread. Accompanied by an icy cold Thomas Kemper root beer and a slice of cream cheese frosted carrot cake this road stop was totally worth it.
Upon arrival in Spokane it was cocktail time and we headed to the Ambrosia Wine Bar and Café that came highly recommended by the locals. The bartenders were crafting gorgeous cocktails so I asked for a recommendation and was thoroughly pleased with a refreshing concoction of cucumber vodka, orange liquor, sparkling water with a splash of 7-up muddled with cucumbers and limes. A perfect fit for a nearly 90 degree-day. The chocolate martini made with coconut vodka and garnished with a salted coconut rim caught my eye and is going on my list for the next visit.
Then it was off to visit old friend and Arbor Crest Wine Cellars owner Jim van Löben Sels up on the cliff. Jim brought out his soon-to-be-released van Löben Sels Cabernet Sauvignon; an incredible wine and affordable at $45. The grounds at Arbor Crest are spectacular; chock full of flowers and trees and paired with a spectacular view of the valley. An absolute must visit if you are in Spokane and a beautiful venue to hold a wedding.
Downtown Spokane afforded us two stops. First stop was Nectar Tasting Room owned by relationship marketer and social media strategist Josh Wade. This urban brick-laden tasting room features five wineries from across the state including Anelare Winery, Hard Row to Hoe, Northwest Cellars, Skylite Cellars and Terra Blanc Winery. The brilliant tasting room concept adds to the offerings of the 20 wineries located in Spokane. I could see this concept working in other regions across the state as well and I’d wager that Wade just might be planning to open up a few more down the road. Stay tuned on that.
Our next stop was Wild Sage American Bistro located just a few blocks from the Nectar Tasting Room, recommended by my foodie friends on Facebook. This lovely spot has a light urban feel, outstanding service and fresh, innovative, locally sourced food. After grazing on a basket of freshly baked brioche rolls, I simply fell in love with the perfectly grilled vegetables and their side kick of creamy Gorgonzola dip. Then I opted for a Kobe burger sans bun (remember that basket of brioche rolls?) with house made pickles paired with a refreshing Rosé.
Final stop before heading home was brunch at The Davenport Hotel Safari Room. The Davenport transports you to another era with its old-world charm and elegance that engages all your senses. Located in the newest tower of the historic hotel, The Safari Room is more modern and its safari theme did not disappoint.
What are your must see spots when visiting Spokane?