cdadiner

Quinn’s Hot Springs Resort, Paradise Montana

In fine dining, food blog, foodie, hot springs, Montana, travel on September 5, 2012 at 2:13 PM


One of the best things about living in Coeur d’Alene is that there are so many different and interesting things to do within a relatively close distance to our “home base.”

Years ago I had occasion to travel to Polson Montana for an annual vintage skeet shoot. On the way, and only 99 short miles from Coeur d’Alene, we passed Quinn’s Hot Springs Resort, located on Route 135 a little more that 20 miles north of St. Regis on I90 along the Clark Fork River.

The hot springs were the initial and biggest attraction for us. There are 6 pools for soaking and swimming.  The 4 soaking pools range in temperature from 60 to 106 degrees. The swimming pools typically range from 80 to 95 degrees F.  All pools are monitored for cleanliness and temperature every 3 hours and adjusted as necessary. The water is natural, chemical free and flows through continuously. The pools are emptied and cleaned every other day.


Quinn’s has many options for overnighting -

The Canyon Cabins
All these cabins are duplexes & each side rents separately. There are now 22. They offer standard cabins, deluxe couple’s cabins, and deluxe family cabins. There are 12 standard cabins that are pet-friendly. These standard cabins are the only pet-friendly rooms on the resort.

The Glacier Lodge
This is a beautiful two-story adult only building, features a locally built Montana saw mill-blade chandelier in the cozy lobby. Standard Lodge Rooms have a custom log King Bed. Sorry, these rooms are NOT pet-friendly.

Golden Eagle Suites
Situated on the riverside of the resort, this duplex building has a beautiful covered wrap-around porch. Each 2-Room suite has a bedroom with a Queen Bed, desk & chair. The spacious living area has a Queen Bed, a love seat/sleeper, a recliner, table & chairs, tv, coffee pot, private bath, refrigerator & microwave, bottle of wine & non-alcoholic beverages, special treats, & 2 pool/bath robes, & more. Luxury bed & bath linens and soft fluffy pool towels are also included. The flame flickering cast iron fireplace unit is a cozy touch for any cool evening or morning in. Sorry, these suites are NOT pet-friendly. These suites require a 2 night minimum reservation.

Mountain Side Suites
These Adult only Deluxe Suites are situated on the canyon side with beautiful views from the covered front porch which is complete with a bench porch swing.

River Side Cabins
These Adult only Deluxe Cabins are located by the Clark Fork River with gorgeous views from the covered front porch which is complete with a bench porch swing that overlooks the river and canyon mountains.

The Tavern

Quinn’s Tavern is a warm and cozy bistro & bar that offers a wide selection of drinks as well as breakfast, lunch, and dinner items a la carte. The Tavern offers a large selection of domestic and international beers. For the wine connoisseurs there are over 100 different wines from which to choose!

The Restaurant – Harwood House Restaurant

The menu is varied and interesting. The wine list is well balanced and extensive if not exhaustive. We selected an Amacaya Cabernet/Malbec blend from the wine list. Nice wine, good value and reportedly one of the favorites of the owner.

Salads arrived at the table on chilled plates. Chilled forks and a small basket of interesting bread would have made for perfection.

I ordered the Breast of Duck – Grand Marnier. My dining partner chose the Linguine Alla Puttanesca, linguine with a light spicy tomato sauce, with Italian sausage, onions, Kalamata olives, asparagus and fresh basil. Both dishes were well prepared, served and plated.

The duck breast was fork tender, very flavorful and not overcooked. I love good duck breast and I must say, this duck breast was prepared perfectly. I sampled the Grand Marnier sauce that I asked be served on the side. It was good but the duck itself needed no sauce – it would have only detracted from a fantastic dish.

The Linguine Alla Puttanesca was perfectly prepared and served.

For dessert we chose the Caramel Cake and the Crème brûlée. The Caramel Cake was sweet and sticky – just the way is should be. It was made better with the fresh black coffee as a compliment. It would have been best with a freshly pressed espresso. Sadly The Harwood House does not have an espresso machine – no espresso – no lattes. Unfortunately the Crème brûlée did not measure up to even the lowest standard. While the sugar coating was perfectly browned and the custard beneath was nice and cold, it was also curdled. This is easily corrected by tempering the egg mixture slowly.

I would also recommend that, as is the custom at most fine dining establishments, a nice basket of fresh bread and butter be placed on each table – without charge.

Our dinning experience at the Harwood House was, with a couple of small exceptions, wonderful. The friendly staff, the ambiance and beautiful log structure of the dinning room made our evening truly memorable.

I would highly recommend Quinn’s Hot Springs for a truly memorable “mini-vacation”  or side trip to anyone in or around western Montana, eastern Washington or north Idaho. It’s a great place to stop for a night or two on the way to or from Glacier National Park.

P.S. They also serve a great breakfast!

New York Bagel Cafe’ & Deli – Save Your Time & Money!

In Coeur d'Alene Dining, Deli, fine dining, food blog, foodie, Lox & Bagels, travel, Uncategorized on September 2, 2012 at 1:32 PM

Round bread does not a bagel make. I often tire of hearing New Yorkers claiming the best this and the best that. One of the few areas that I must admit they have the rest of the country beat is their bagels.

Recently the New York Bagel Cafe opened in the shopping mall across from the medical center on 95. My prediction is it won’t last long. We went there for lox and bagels with cream cheese, onions and tomatoes and a good cup of deli coffee or a latte. Our first impression was that the interior was very sterile, more like a doughnut shop. We perused the menu and while impressed with the choices were not impressed with the price for lox & bagels.

Undeterred we forged ahead and ordered. If there is anything that a cafe calling itself the New York Bagel Cafe’ and Deli should be able to produce is a good lox and bagel. Unfortunately we were sorely disappointed. We were told that the bagels were made and boiled in New York and shipped here frozen and then baked in the store. I have eaten more than my share of really good bagels – these are not them. These were large, stale tasting and “bready” in a loaf of bread sort of way. The quantity of cream cheese, tomato and onion were more than adequate. The service was reasonably friendly and prompt but the bagel itself seemed like it had been cut with a cookie cutter from a loaf of day old bread. On another note, when a bagel is served, each portion should consist of one top half (with the most “goodies” on it and one bottom half). Much to my dining partners’ chagrin she got two bottoms and I got two tops. I did give her one of my tops!

The latte/espresso machine was non-functional and the actual deli case reminded me of my refrigerator the day before shopping day – almost empty. The regular coffee in the pump vacuum bottle was bitter, burnt and stale. Unfortunately we ended up making a breakfast of the onions, cream cheese and tomatoes and leaving most of the disappointing bagels.

The total bill for a bad experience was as follows:

My advice is save your money and your time – avoid the New York Bagel Cafe’ & Deli.

Major Disappointment at The Porch in Hayden

In fine dining, food blog, foodie, travel on August 28, 2012 at 2:37 PM

As much as I love eating at one of my favorite restaurants, I hate finding that they have slipped into the “not recommended” category.

Today I had occasion to have lunch at The Porch in Hayden. I have reviewed this restaurant/pub very favorably on this blog. Please take a look at the earlier review. Unfortunately I must update my review in the interest of fairness and full disclosure to the readers of this blog. I try to be be honest, even when it hurts – and today it hurts.

We didn’t come in to review the restaurant. We just wanted to visit The Pub, kind’a like an old friend. There were a couple of small parties on the screened-in porch, two servers and one other couple seated at the tables inside.

I ordered the lamb sandwich, corn pasta and a cup of 74th Gumbo and an ice tea. The gumbo was good and the bread served on the side was fresh, but from there things went downhill fast.

The quantity and quality of the lamb was horrible. In the past the quantity of lamb, if not generous is at least substantial. Today’s sandwich contained barley half the normal amount of lamb and all of it was at least well done if not dry. Much of it was actually crispy. The taztziki was very thinly spread on the bun – not nearly enough. The sandwich was basically a small amount of overcooked lamb on a roll. Not the delicious, juicy, well cooked, plated and served lamb sandwich to which we’ve become accustomed to at The Porch. A major disappointment!

The corn pasta, one of the unique delights of The Porch was dry and shriveled as though it had been prepared sometime ago. Not appetizing, next to inedible.

In addition to the above, we had three to four flies on and around our table for the full hour that we were there. I suspect had we been out on the porch we would have seen less flies!

I should have quit with the ice tea and gumbo.

The server while reasonably attentive in the beginning of our visit became just a memory once our food had been served.

When I finally got my check, I asked if the manager was available. ( I believe it is always important to bring a exceptionally good or as in this case – bad experience to managements attention. It is a service to a good restaurant to let them know when they’ve “missed the mark.”) It’s the only way they can improve.

The manager came over and I told him about my bad experience. He was sorry to hear of our bad experience and offered to replace the bad food. I told him thanks but we were running out of time for lunch but that I just wanted to let him know so that he could improve the service/food in the future. I asked him to take my credit card and prepare my bill.

He responded that he would not charge us for the meal. Wrong response. I do not critique restaurants to get free meals. I believe it is essential that readers of this blog have trust in the honesty of my reviews. For an owner or manager to offer to “comp” a meal and for a reviewer to accept a comped meal instead of writing an honest review is to destroy the objectivity and reputation of the reviewer.

Since he would not charge my card, I left more than enough cash on the table.

We will try The Porch again. I’ll let you know what I find.

As of this writing I cannot recommend The Porch and am personally very disappointed.

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