The year has barely started and we're already looking ahead seven weeks for the fourth annual Inlander Restaurant Week, happening this year from February 26 through March 6.
That's a week later than last year, but pretty much all other details about the 10-day culinary showcase of the region remain the same as in previous years.
This year's event has expanded slightly from last year, which saw 97 participating eateries around the region. For 2016, that number has already surpassed 100, and as of this writing hits at 104 — becoming the biggest Restaurant Week ever.
Other newcomers — many are restaurants newly opened since last year — to the fourth IRW include: The Blackbird Tavern + Kitchen, Browne's Tavern, Crickets (CdA), Gaslamp (River Park Square), The Gilded Unicorn, Nudo, Table 13 (Davenport Grand) and Timber Gastro Pub (Post Falls).
Menu prices are still fixed for a three-course meal, at either $19 or $29/person (Yes, you're right, that's $1 more than past years. Obviously, it's still a heck of a deal.)
But we can't tell you yet what's got us drooling on the menus so far because, for one, we haven't seen them ourselves, and they're not being officially released online (at inlanderrestaurantweek.com) until February 4.
For now, start thinking about what new spots and old favorites in town you're hoping to check out, and clear out a few evenings on your calendar to get out and sample our region's blossoming culinary industry. It's really mind-boggling how much our regional food scene has grown and matured in recent years, and this year already has a lot in store.