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

Masselow’s “intermezzo” added just the right touch of class

Take a good look at that photo at the top of this post. It doesn't look like much, maybe. Just a somewhat antiseptic portrait of a bit of huckleberry sorbet set in a white dish, with accompanying spoon. Appearance aside, it's what the photo represents that's important.

And what it represents is midpoint of an 18th wedding-anniversary meal that my wife and I celebrated Sunday night at Masselow's Restaurant, the upscale eatery located in the Northern Quest Resort & Casino. It was our first visit there (my first to the resort, period), and based on all factors involved in a good evening out — service, ambience, quality of food, etc. — it won't be our last.

First, no concert was in progress. So the casino wasn't particularly busy, and the restaurant felt downright deserted. So we had no trouble moving our reservation up from 7 to 6:30. Second, our server was polite and informative without being obsequious (something that irritates me in particular). Third, the bottle of Malbec we ordered was a bit too complicated at first but settled down once our server decanted it.

Fourth, the little frybread appetizers were delicious (and appreciated by two hungry diners). As were the different typed of hot bread that followed. Fifth, we shared a dinner salad (Masselow's dinner salad) and a cup of smoked salmon & corn chowder, which was just the right amount of food to precede our main dishes.

That set us up for, sixth, the sorbet, which our server called an "intermezzo" (to which I said, "grazie"). It was the perfect way to prepare our palates for the seventh stage: a rib-eye steak (me) and braised Kurobuta pork cheeks (Mary Pat). For once, we made a serious attempt to eat slowly, savoring each bite. And we did fairly well … especially well for people who have been known to down Costco hotdogs faster than Joey "Jaws" Chestnut.

Each course came just when it should have. And after finishing our meals, and declining dessert (yeah-yeah), we were left to finish our wine at leisure.

I will dream of that evening, from the frybread through the intermezzo and main dishes. Dream until we can repeat it, which will happen long before our 19th anniversary. Believe me.