Spokane, Washington, is marking the calendar for one of its most anticipated culinary events of the year: Inlander Restaurant Week. Now in its twelfth year, this event has become a staple for food lovers and culinary explorers across the Inland Northwest. From February 22nd to March 2nd, 2024, more than 125 of the region's top restaurants will showcase their culinary creativity with delicious three-course menus at fixed prices of $25, $35, or $45.
If you're new to Spokane, you might wonder if there's a Restaurant Week. The answer is yes, and it's incredibly popular! If you haven’t enjoyed Restaurant Week in Spokane yet, I highly recommend you give it a try. It’s a great opportunity to try out restaurants you might not otherwise have tried, since all restaurants are offering fixed-price menus with three courses per person.
Inlander Restaurant Week is not just a food festival; it's a cultural phenomenon that brings together the community, supports local businesses, and offers a platform for chefs to exhibit their finest dishes. Let's delve into why Inlander Restaurant Week is a must-experience event and what participants can look forward to.
Why Inlander Restaurant Week Matters
Inlander Restaurant Week is more than just an opportunity to enjoy excellent meals at great prices; it's a vital event for the local economy and the hospitality industry. According to Tamara McGregor, the event director, this week gives diners a compelling reason to explore every corner of the Inland Northwest and experience restaurants they've been curious about, while also bringing essential business to restaurants during a traditionally slower season.
Beverly’s crab and shrimp-stuffed Columbia River steelhead trout. Photo by Young Kwak/The Inlander
Moreover, Inlander Restaurant Week has a heart. The event proudly partners with nonprofit organizations like Big Table and CDAIDE, which serve hospitality workers in crisis. Diners can easily make donations via a QR code on every menu, knowing that this year, the Avista Foundation will match donations up to a total of $10,000, amplifying the impact of their contributions.
Organizations like Big Table have been crucial in supporting those in the hospitality industry facing hardships. Since 2009, Big Table has extended care to hospitality workers in crisis, highlighting the often-overlooked struggles of those in one of the nation's largest but lowest-paid industries. By participating in Inlander Restaurant Week, diners do more than enjoy a great meal; they contribute to a larger cause, serving hope to those who need it most.
Exploring the Menus
With the official announcement made on February 1st, 2024, all participating restaurants and their three-course menus have been revealed. Diners can now plan their culinary journey by searching for restaurants by neighborhood, cuisine, price, and for the first time, availability of the special menu at lunch in addition to dinner on InlanderRestaurantWeek.com.
Designed to showcase each restaurant's best, the three-course menus offer up to three options per course, highlighting culinary creativity and variety. This fixed-price format not only makes dining out accessible but also allows restaurants to display their culinary creativity and signature dishes. Whether you're in the mood for a hearty steak, fresh seafood, or innovative vegetarian creations, Inlander Restaurant Week has something to tantalize every palate.
Among the restaurants to look forward to during Spokane's Restaurant Week is 1898 Public House, known for its elevated dining experience. Their menu, at $45 per person, includes options like:
First Course Highlights:
- Short Rib Quesadilla: A mouthwatering blend of braised short rib and pepper jack cheese, accompanied by black bean corn salsa, chipotle crema, queso fresco, and pico de gallo.
- Ahi Tuna Crudo: A delicate arrangement of cucumber mignonette, shallots, garlic oil, wonton crisps, and watermelon radishes, offering a fresh and zesty start.
Second Course Delights:
- Mediterranean Chicken: The standout dish, featuring a pan-seared French cut chicken breast served with saffron rice, a squash medley, lemon garlic aioli, tomato-shallot relish, and a balsamic glaze. This dish is a testament to the restaurant's ability to elevate classic flavors with a sophisticated twist.
- Southwestern Sirloin and Cajun Jambalaya Pasta offer hearty and flavorful alternatives, catering to a range of tastes and preferences.
1898 Public House’s Mediterranean chicken. Photo by Young Kwak/The Inlander
Third Course Temptations:
- The dessert options, including Strawberry Bliss, Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake, or Crème Brulée, provide a sweet finish to a memorable meal, each offering a unique flavor profile to satisfy every sweet tooth.
For a more casual option, 24 Taps Burgers and Brews is offering a $25 per person menu, with options like:
First Course Options:
- Diners can start with a House or Caesar Salad, Fried Pickle Chips, or Chips and Salsa, each offering a simple yet satisfying beginning to the meal.
Second Course Choices:
- The Sliders Selection stands out, with options like PB & J, Buffalo Chicken, Pulled Pork, and Classic sliders. Each slider is thoughtfully crafted to offer a burst of flavor and texture.
- Alternatives like Mac and Cheese and a Veggie Burger ensure there's something for everyone, from the comfort food aficionado to the vegetarian diner.
The Classic Slider Selection from 24 Taps Burgers and Brews. Photo by Young Kwak/The Inlander
Third Course Delights:
- The Espresso on the Rocks or Strawberry Wafflelicious provide inventive takes on dessert, blending classic elements with playful twists. The Peanut Butter Cake is a decadent option for chocolate and peanut butter lovers.
Before You Go
For those planning to partake in Inlander Restaurant Week, here are a few tips to enhance your experience:
- Make Reservations: While not required, making dinner reservations is highly recommended to secure your spot at your restaurants of choice.
- Explore the Guide: Pick up the official event guide, available at STCU branches, participating restaurants, and Inlander racks at local grocery stores. The guide is also inserted in the February 22nd edition of the Inlander, offering a comprehensive look at the menus, chef profiles, restaurant features, and entertainment options. You can also take a look at the menus online.
- Consider Add-Ons and Upgrades: Some restaurants may offer add-ons or upgrades for an additional cost, allowing diners to customize their experience further.
- Support Through Donation: Remember, each meal comes with the opportunity to support hospitality workers in need. Consider making a donation via the QR code on the menu.
Inlander Restaurant Week is a celebration of the Spokane culinary scene, an invitation to explore, dine, and contribute to the well-being of the hospitality community. It’s one way to fully integrate into the Spokane community, too, because you can start up a conversation with anyone about Inlander Restaurant Week!
With a vast array of menus to choose from, diners have the opportunity to indulge in a variety of cuisines, discover new favorites, and revisit cherished locales. So mark your calendars, make your plans, and prepare to embark on a culinary journey that promises to delight the senses and warm the heart.
Learn more about the Spokane area below: