- Carrie Scozzaro
- The Full Moon sandwich at Moondollars Restaurant.
Tito Macaroni’s is all grown up. The Italian restaurant in Coeur d’Alene has officially chopped the pasta from its name, reinventing itself as the more mature Tito's Italian Grill and Wine Shop. Gone are the white, butcher-paper table coverings, crayons and the selfserve bottle of wine reminiscent of Tomato Street. In their place are real tablecloths, candles and a wine shop with 125 labels at any given time.
Wine prices are grocery-store level. The majority of bottles are under $20, and there’s a handful under $10. But there’s a catch. Our 14 Hands Cabernet Sauvignon was $6 per glass, and only $9 per bottle, but every bottle on the menu comes from the on-premises wine shop, and so a $6 corkage fee applies. Still, figuring you get four glasses per bottle (we could have taken the rest with us), buying by the bottle still made more sense.
The new everyday menu features plenty of small plates, salads, brick-oven pizzas and a smattering of entrees that allow for varied appetites. (A seasonal menu is in the works.) Mr. Meat-and-Potatoes enjoyed Tuscan Meatloaf, served with Yukon Gold mashed potatoes, organic asparagus and mushroom Marsala demi-glace sauce ($15). The Caesar, house salad ($3) and spring pea salad with pesto prawns ($4) were optional.
Thin-crust gourmet pizzas like the veggie, topped with asparagus, mushrooms, roasted garlic and artichoke hearts ($10), or the Sherman, with red sauce and mozzarella ($9), were affordable, well-suited to sharing and ideal for leftovers. (Add $2 for gluten-free pizza, and ask about the other available gluten-free items). Pizza is available for takeout, and perfect with a bottle of wine.
Tito’s is seated next-door to the Splash nightclub, which opened Memorial Day weekend. Both are owned by Hagadone Hospitality, which has continued to innovate when it comes to Coeur d’Alene-area dining and entertainment options. And after more than a decade as Tito Macaroni’s, the more mature Tito’s Italian Grill is ripe for its time.
Tito’s Italian Grill and Wine Shop • 210 E. Sherman, Coeur d’Alene • Open Sun-Thurs 11 am-9 pm Fri-Sat 11 am-10 pm • cdaresort.com/dining_nightlife/tito_macaronis • (208) 265-8545
The Twin Lakes Village golf course is seeing red, as MoonDollars restaurant, which has operated in Post Falls since 2008, has recently taken over the clubhouse menu, serving baked goods made from local, hard red spring wheat.
The pizza, bread and buns here feature dough made from wheat grown by Walt and Valerie Meyer, whose family has farmed the Rathdrum prairie for more than 40 years. The Meyers are part-owners of the restaurant, along with husband-and-wife teams Rick and Angie Demmig, Randy and Harmony Oaks, and J.D. and Tracy Dickinson.
Rick Demmig is the baker, grinding Meyer’s wheat daily for use in sandwiches like the Full Moon, a combination of sliced turkey, avocado, cream cheese, provolone, applewood-smoked bacon and lettuce ($9.25). The panini — like the Shuttle Launch, with herbed, wild Alaskan Coho salmon — feature grilled rosemary ciabatta bread ($9). Moon- Dollars’ 14-inch pizzas are made from wheat dough and include the Blue Moon (topped with fire-roasted chicken breast, pineapple, blue cheese, $19) and the Starry Sky (red sauce, tomatoes, onions, peppers, mushrooms, olives, $16).
The Running Moon Burger’s lean buffalo meat, tangy pepper jack cheese and spicy chipotle appealed to restaurant diner Angie McDougall on her visit, while her husband Chris liked the fresh-cut fries that are a standard option with all sandwiches (sweet potato fries or onion rings are $2 extra). Dining with their large family, the McDougalls were just a few locals we recognized when we visited recently.
That’s a good sign for Twin Lakes, a member-owned, residential golf course community that’s increasingly playing up its public availability. When the greens turn white, tourists tend to fade away, too. But, with a full bar (that stays open late on weekends),
reasonable prices, a Sunday brunch and patio dining, MoonDollars hopes the locals will keep coming back through every shade of the year.
MoonDollars at Twin Lakes Village Golf Course • 5416 W. Village Blvd, Twin Lakes, Idaho • Open Mon-Thu, 8 am–8 pm, Fri-Sun 6:30 am-9 pm • moondollarsrestaurant.com • (208) 687-5396