The Dream Meal Team has been at it again. For the second year, our group of three experienced foodies took on the enviable task of dining out once or twice a week at some of the region's finest restaurants for reviews and to pick the best appetizer, salad, entree and dessert for the Foothills magazine's annual Dream Meal.
The winners — and there were many — are published in the January-February issue of Foothills, now available. Reviews of all participating restaurants will appear one each week on the Winemaker's Journal website.
The Dream Meal review team is made up of Annette Pitts, director of the Cascade Loop Association, former caterer and food blogger; Kent Getzin, Wenatchee School District director of food services and member of the National Farm to School Board of Directors; and Rick Steigmeyer, food and wine blogger and Wenatchee World staff writer.
All meals were provided by the restaurants, most drinks were purchased. As current or former food service workers, we all want to see local restaurants succeed. Criticisms, if any, are all meant to be constructive.
Inna's Cuisine is in a 100-year-old building in downtown Wenatchee. But once you step in the door you feel like you're in Eastern Europe.
Owners Inna Kazulina and her husband Sergiy Kazulin have done a nice job of bringing the flavor of their homeland to Wenatchee in their restaurant's lacy decor as well as ethnic food and friendly service. Tripadvisor rates Inna's as one of Wenatchee's top restaurants and it's easy to understand why.
The menu offers a wide assortment of dishes from Greece, Italy, Russia and the Ukraine. Don't be afraid to ask questions about any menu item. Inna herself loves to come out of her kitchen and share her vast culinary knowledge and details of her cooking magic.
You can order a flight of Russian vodkas or sample seven Russian Baltika beers to get your evening rolling. The wine list is ample and features mostly local wines, but also a few from Russia, Italy and Argentina. We chose an excellent Saint Laurent 2008 Syrah.
We started with a very tasty appetizer of mushrooms stuffed with bacon, celery and onions and then baked with a topping of bleu cheese. The Greek salad was loaded with feta cheese, olives and pepperoncini.
The star of the meal was definitely our entree of Arrabiata Salmon, a baked filet of wild king salmon seasoned with brown sugar, dry basil, paprika and cayenne pepper. The seasoning had just the right balance of spicy and sweet. A tartar-like topping of cool sour cream, mayonnaise, basil, garlic and lemon offered the perfect contrast of taste and texture. The fish was served over a bed of rich Yukon Gold mashed potatoes and a side of roast vegetables. We loved every bite of this dish.
Inna's homemade Baklava proved an appropriate sweet dessert, nicely contrasted with slices of tangy local Ginger Gold apple.
Prices range from $14 to $25. A Sunset Dinner special from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. offers four courses for $22.Inna's Cuisine, 26 N. Wenatchee Ave., Wenatchee. Phone is 888-4662