During the days I worked for the print edition of The Spokesman-Review, I learned something - not much but something - about photography. One thing I learned was that the paper's photographers could be a cranky crew. And they never got more cranky than when someone asked them to take a photo of food.
I never understood that attitude. Until now.Look at the photo above and you'll see why. That's my shot, taken with my iPhone, of the grilled salmon served at the restaurant Vintages @ 611. It captures nothing of how good the dish tasted. Even worse, it captures nothing of the restaurant's pleasing ambience.
We'd never eaten at Vintages. I've lived in Spokane since 1980, and I remember when gourmet eateries were as uncommon as WSU football wins. That sad state of affairs has changed, making eating choices far harder (and besides, I'd rather just grab something cheap and go to the movies).
But our friends John and Roque had asked us out, and so on Saturday we went. Under new ownership (the folks who had owned the now-closed Villagio Pizza, recently purchased it), the restaurant retains the same warm atmosphere SR food editor Lorie Hutson wrote about back in May 2009. In fact, I'd argue that the warmth of Vintages - soft lighting, warm colors and acoustics that make it easy to hold intimate conversation - is better than any other spot in Spokane.
And that's even before you consider the food, which on Saturday was superb. I had the grilled salmon, my wife some old-fashioned mac and cheese. John ordered the chicken pesto, while Roque opted for a bruschetta (pronounced in Italian as broos-ketta) appetizer. It was good all around.
Think I've found a new favorite eatery. Look for the place to change its name soon, and to add some of those delicious pizzas that Villagio used to serve. What was good is bound to get even better.