We had passed by Italian Kitchen on our way the other day when we were on our way to dine at the Sukiyaki Inn. It is next door.) The sign outside Italian Kitchen read, "family owned and operated." It smelled lovely, a little like and Italian kitchen, I might add, but since we had another destination in mind that day, yet we did consider the possibility of a return; and return we did, to Italian Kitchen 113 S. Bernard St, Spokane.
We had no idea what it would be like at all, never heard of the place before. Geo usually does the finding. I usually look up later to see if there is information on the internet of the places we have been and to see what others have to say about it, or if there is a menu I can post here in my blog.
It was a great dining atmosphere and very aromatic. Being as there are apartments (the Metropolitan Apartments) upstairs of the restaurant, I couldn't help imagine what it would be like to always have your house smelling so very good!
(I was having flashback childhood memories of great Italian spaghetti sauce and meatballs.Yum.)
We were greeted by being asked if we had made reservations.
(We didn't make reservation. oops)
We didn't need them apparently, even though the place was a little crowded, filled with happy people, eating and conversing. We were given a lovely table right away.
I was a little shocked at the high prices on the menu. An average dish was $20.00-$25.00. It was a little more than our usual fare. And of course, being as I am, of heritage, 1/2 Italiano, going out to dine on pasta just seems "unnatural." It was a great menu though and we were hungry, so we ordered. I order Gnocchi and Geo, Lasagna. They have a different menu for lunch, one with lower prices, more the usual price for the likes of us.
Our waiter, a really nice guy and fun to chat with throughout the meal, brought us basket of bread. Geo asked me, Should I ask him for butter? Then we remembered we were eating Italian, and used the oil/vinegar dipping sauce instead. (I have to say they have the most interesting oil and vinegar dispensers I have ever seen myself!)
This restaurant is a beautifully decorated place, (in my humble, little, part-Italian opinion.) One thing I like to note about restaurants is the cleanliness of the bathrooms and this one was very clean and I loved the decorating touch in here as well. The doors inside were like portals at a marina or on a boat. Maybe that is the motif for Venice or something. Having never been I do not know, but I thought it was a special touch.
Our meals, in addition to the bread, came with our choice of salad or soup. I have salad and George had the soup, which was Minestrone. Small bowls and plates and very good, I loved the peppercini, a salad pepper, (I call them mousies,) which was quite spicy. Though I cannot help to mention nor to notice that he lettuce looked just like the blend of gourmet lettuce I usually buy and use, hey, what can I say, it felt just like home!
It only felt a little like home actually as the ceiling here was really high and quite ornate. Besides I do not have little servants who offer to pepper my salad or grate my cheese as our waiter did for me there. I suppose one could grow accustom to being waited on hand and foot, but I live on a farm myself, I mean, serve my animals their dinners. Treatment like this is just a little awkward if you know what I mean. as our host for the evening was peppering my salad I asked him about the building.
He said that it used to be the Spokane Hotel, the Regis, he called it. He said it was not the original building because it had to be rebuilt after the fire in 1889, (a fire that burned down 32 buildings on 27 blocks of Spokane.) I love older buildings. I always wonder how they did it, and like the ceiling here, I love the artistry and elegance.
Our food arrived, and it was delicious! As I said, we ordered gnocchi (with sausage) and lasagna. The servings were quite large.
I asked if they made the gnocchi there, and the waiter said no, it comes from somewhere else, he told me where from but if you really want to know you will have to ask them yourself. I excuse them for not making it themselves there because it was good. (Good gnocchi, you know, homemade gnocchi, is hard to find.)
My grandmother made gnocchi! : )
We were quite stuffed and even had leftovers which allowed our son to try the gnocchi.
He is quite brave. He ate it in the dark on the way home in the car, not really knowing exactly what it was either, just that it was called, gnocchi.
He hated it.
(I guess he is not quite as Italiano as I.)