Dine Out in Sandpoint By Joshua Nishimoto | Photo by Owen AIrd
When looking for a fantastically memorable dining experience for you and your date, there are a few places in and around Sandpoint that are sure to impress. Whether one is looking for a romantic evening for two or an intimate/special place to celebrate the milestones in one’s life with close friends and families, these local restaurants, now considered by many to be staples in the community, always bring something special to the table.
For a special night out, Baxters On Cedar really shines with a traditional upscale dining atmosphere, friendly staff, wide selection of beers and a large menu. No matter the menu item you pick, you’re in for a treat. Over the summer, I had the Chicken Meatball Primavera, a wholly unique and delicious entrée.
Located in the heart of Sandpoint, Matchwood Brewery works well as a dressed-up bar and grill. The atmosphere is classy rustic, with both indoor and outdoor seating (available with heat lamps). And with plenty of beer, wine and other drink options, paired with their fantastic menu, one really can’t go wrong. I always come back for the always tasty Buffalo Cauliflower.
Utara Brewing Company and Curry House, located where the old Lightning Lube used to be on Highway 2 and 2nd Avenue, provides tasty brew (along with other non-alcoholic drinks) and a fabulous Indian food menu.
If you’re not feeling “bar food,” for a special night out, Arlo’s Restaurant is a cozy and authentic New York-style Italian restaurant located on 2nd Avenue, which gives their guests the feeling of sitting and eating pasta in Grandma’s kitchen—if your grandmother happens to be Italian.
For beautiful views of Lake Pend Oreille, Trinity at City Beach, located on 58 Bridge Street, really can’t be beat. With big glass windows for indoor dining, not to mention the back patio for dining al fresco during the warmer months, the dining ambiance screams Sandpoint. With a fantastic and diverse menu, everyone can find at least one thing to love about Trinity at City Beach—if not more. A date night—or afternoon—here is sure to impress.
Trinity is usually busy on a Friday or Saturday night. Be sure to call ahead for reservations, especially if you want to be sure to secure a table, and if you have a desired spot to enjoy the lake views.
Trinity is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, each of which are stellar. The appetizers at Trinity are all about seafood, with the Fried Calamari truly being the star of the lineup, but if you like things a little spicy and aren’t too crazy about seafood, be sure to try the Pulled Pork Enchiladas. Also, be sure to check out their large selection of beer and wines to pair with any appetizer or entrée.
The Pend d’Oreille Winery is upscale dining (or drinks) with a hometown feel. The last time I visited the winery, a friend of mine joined me, and we took a couple seats at the bar. We ordered red wine, which was delivered promptly. The pizza made for a perfect pairing, with its thin, crisp crust and fresh toppings. If you’re looking for a wine and pizza date, this is the place.
For the Asian food lover in your life, Thai Nigiri provides a simple understated atmosphere with some of the best food in the area. For a special night out when you’re craving Thai food, Thai Nigiri is sure to please your palate. Thai Nigiri also fulfills that sushi craving in one’s life.
For a great beer, burger, fresh hand-cut fries, not to mention a spacious indoor dining room, MickDuff’s Brewing Company, now in its new location where the old school building used to be, truly can’t be beat. With a friendly and knowledgeable staff, a mini arcade and a wide array of menu options, MickDuff’s hits the sweet spot for Sandpoint date night dining and fun.
Despite its name, for upscale flavor and “worth it” prices, The Fat Pig stakes its claim as the “best for last” date night meal. The dining atmosphere is classy yet lively, with fast and friendly servers, that begs one to stay a while. There is plenty to like about The Fat Pig, including drink varieties, but the real star of the show is the food.
Sweet Lou’s in Ponderay (which also has a location in Coeur d’Alene and soon Athol) offers patrons a casual, fun, top-notch experience that’s perfect for a casual date night or a meal out with the kids. With a focus on using high-quality ingredients, meals here are home-style comfort foods, served generously, and sure to please. Great brews and plenty of TVs round out the experience that is the perfect answer for a winter meal out.
Although there are many worthwhile restaurants in Sandpoint and the surrounding area, the restaurants mentioned are just a small sampling of all the wonderful dining establishments that can be found in Sandpoint and offer a truly memorable experience—whether it be that special occasion date night or to enjoy the every day with a meal out.