Dinner Debriefing: Hay J’s Bistro

Hay J’s Bistro is the main reason we stop in Liberty Lake. Seriously. If we cannot stop overnight at the Best Western next door, we pop in for lunch on the way through. We make dinner reservations at least a week ahead, before we leave home. This paid off last night – the place was packed. Walk-ins were being told it would be forty-five minutes before they would be seated. Most of them left, of course. More food for us!

Once we got seated, things died down and we had a tranquil dinner. Menu link. We started with soup; seafood chowder for Caroline, lobster gazpacho for me. Both were superb. Caroline usually has the Parmesan Crusted Halibut, but after diligent experimentation we’ve learned to make it at home. So this time she went wild and had the Halibut Risotto. Well, they have really good halibut here. The risotto was wonderful. I was tempted by the salmon, but I had salmon last night, and for breakfast. Yes, really. I thought about the Ahi Tuna, but decided I felt more like red meat, so I had the tenderloin. Now, I’m a rare guy, and I’ll go blue-rare in a pinch, but my steak last night was closer to medium. I showed it to the waiter, and he rushed to replace it. He came back to say the kitchen was horrified that it was so far off the mark and that they were checking their other orders to make sure my steak didn’t get mixed up with someone else’s.

For wine pairing, there was a pretty fair selection of wines by the glass. We both had 14 Hands: the Chardonnay for her, the Cabernet for me.

Luckily, Caroline is a slow eater, so she was still enjoying her risotto when a second, much nicer steak came. At this restaurant, the demi-glace does make a difference. Take that, Enigma! Nice garlic mashed potatoes, too, and skinny little asparagi. This restaurant does not do the bread-basket thing, and even a generous portion of the potatoes doesn’t really provide enough carbs, so we split a coconut cake for dessert. Wow. I don’t eat much in the way of desserts these days, so maybe I’m easy to impress… but wow.


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