Luigi’s Restaurant Spokane, Washington

Posted on Oct 17, 2013

luigis outside


Luigi’s looked charming and drew us in from a block away.  We chose it on a whim after 3 hours of walking and taking pictures in Riverside park. When we walked in we were instantly comfortable and felt welcome.  Maybe it was the beautiful historic architecture,
maybe it was the red and white checked table cloths, maybe it was the pleasant manager at the desk.  Regardless, we knew we’d made the right decision as soon as we walked it.

Our server, Amy (photo shy, but extremely knowledgeable and friendly) explained the menu and was an excellent server. Side note: it is exceptionally uncomfortable to ask a server if you can take their photo for a blog.  I won’t be doing that again!


luigis inside


We started with beverages, a beer for the Mr. and a virgin strawberry dacqueri for me.  Then we had the spreadable feta with balsamic almonds and honey appetizer.  Man, did that hit the spot.  The feta was served in two scoops drizzled with balsamic and topped with slivered almonds sitting atop a dollop of honey.  There was more than enough for two.   The cheese was savory, the balsamic added a tang, the slivered almonds adding a crunch, the honey balancing with a bit of sweet.  Served with sliced soft sour dough bread that had been sprinkled with grated fresh Parmesan, it was an excellent start and we vowed to try to replicate it at home!

We each had the “world famous” house salad next.  The lettuce was so fresh it could have been just clipped from the garden.  As Southern Californians, we’ve had some seriously good, fresh salads.  This may not have had as many bells and whistles, but it was delightfully refreshing and their house dressing complimented the freshness without being overwhelming.

For the main course I had the chicken picatta, pleasantly crisp at the edges, but not over cooked.  It was tender and easily cut with a fork.  The sauce was excellent, a wonderful balance or white wine, lemon, butter, mushrooms and capers with the perfect amount of salt.  Every bite was as good as the one before and incredibly satisfying, especially after our long walk. {OK, I’ll be honest.  I virtually liked the plate}.  The Mr. had the smoked salmon lasagna.  He’s a fish and lasagna expert, but had never eaten the two together before.  It was creamy and cheesy, served very hot with lots of mozzarella stretching from the melty-browned top with each bite and topped with fresh tomatoes parsley sprinkles. Using smoked salmon rather than un-smoked means the flavor stays with the meat and doesn’t permeate the other flavors, leaving them to be equally tasted and enjoyed.  Brilliant!


Amy came back after we had eaten every bite of our dinners and brought us a plate with two of the best desserts EVER.  We had tiramisu and an amaretto-almond-chocolate chip-maraschino cherry ice cream. I like to refer to them as heaven on a plate.  The ice cream has those little slivers of chocolate like Thrifty Drug Stores had in their chocolate chip ice cream back when there were Thrifty’s.  Slivered almonds add a nice crunch and a few maraschino bits add the slightest hint of cherry. The amaretto was, well how can you go wrong with amaretto?

Now, the Mr. has tried tiramisu in a lot of nice places and considers himself a true expert on a great tiramisu. Luigi’s tiramisu doesn’t have any of the overwhelming “alcohol” flavor as some do when they overuse the liqueur. Instead, the liqueur/espresso flavor is mild and the ladyfingers aren’t over soaked so they are still cakey and fluffy, yet moist and flavorful. The mascarpone cream is soft with just the right amount of sweetness and the cocoa powder sprinkled on top tastes more bittersweet rather than just bitter. In short, the Mr. said it was one of the best he’d ever tasted.  I may not be the expert he is on tiramisu, but I have to agree. It. Is. Amazing.

It’s said that food critics gain credibility when they write the negatives as well as the positives about a restaurant. It is hard to gain credibility, then, when everything is delicious, the way it would be if you were home, in an Italian family, on a Sunday evening. Our whim turned out to be a win. Luigi’s is a restaurant I would return to in a heartbeat. if you’re in Spokane, don’t miss it!

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