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Movies, dining and things to do / Spokane and North Idaho

Stay away from my favorite eatery (kidding)

When you dine at one of your favorite restaurants and hardly anyone else is there, you typically have two different feelings. One is relief that you didn't have to wait in line to get a good table (or a table at all). Two involves a question: Where hell is everybody?

That reflects the feeling I had Saturday night when we ate at Vintages @ 611, which is located on the southeast corner of 29th and Grand Ave. OK, we did eat a bit early (6 p.m.). And the Zags were playing. But, really …

Whatever. The photo above is what we ate. In the foreground is an entree salad, which features blackened salad on a bed of greens (with a couple of asparagus spears) seasoned with the most subtle-but-tasty oil-and-vinegar dressing I've ever eaten. At the top of the photo is a bowl of Penne with Short Rib Bolognese, which is what my wife ordered - and devoured.

According to owner Steve Seddon, the short ribs come from the Emtman Brothers Farms. They're part of the farms' Piedmontese Beef, a herd that had its genesis in Italian beef. And, said Seddon, it's available locally only at Vintages @ 611. Regardless, it's undeniably delicious.

Our friends John and Roque ordered from the appetizer menu: assorted cheeses, bruschetta (and, folks, it's pronounced broo-SKE-tuh), crab cakes and teriyaki beef skewers. All washed down with a couple of glasses of pinot noir, it was as good a dinner as you can find in Spokane.

But don't tell anyone. I'd hate to have to wait for a table my next time out.