Lolling on the sun-dappled porch of this small café that once was a private home on a quiet street, we are informed by the waitress that “Everything you eat here is from the owner’s farm, except the salmon, which is wild.” While such local and natural sourcing doesn’t necessarily guarantee a good meal, in this place you can count on it. Garnet truly is a Coeur d’Alene gem.
The farm belongs to the McLane family. Ham, sausage, and bacon come from its well-fed hogs. Farm chickens lay the kitchen’s eggs. Chevre comes from McLane goats’ milk. They don’t cultivate mushrooms on the farm, but the ones you will eat here – morels, porcini, chanterelles – are foraged and delivered by locals.
About that wild-caught sockeye salmon. A big, thick, pink hunk of it, moist and heavy, comes glazed with marmalade atop a confetti of sautéed vegetables, sided by a couple of eggs and a slab of buttered toast (sourdough, rosemary, or whole wheat). To further enhance the toast (which needs no enhancement), there’s a ramekin of what looks like honey butter but turns out to be sunshiny lemon curd.
Like the salmon, Garnet’s signature spaghetti can be breakfast as well as lunch. It, too, comes with a pair of eggs. The noodles are perfectly al dente, festooned with sun-dried tomatoes, herbed goat cheese, roasted garlic, and parmesan.
There are omelets and scrambles of all kinds, green ham and eggs, house-made corned beef hash, and the dish we vow to try next visit: Spam and eggs, which the menu subtitle describes as “Everyone’s Favorite.” Also, Garnet offers a full menu of soups and sandwiches available each day from 11 to 2. I want to come back for lunch next time, which I hope is very soon. It is hard to imagine any dish here is less than excellent.
"Bristol Bay Sockeye Salmon, glazed with orange marmalade, perches atop a mound of farm-fresh vegetables and is accompanied by a pair of eggs and a large slab of buttered sourdough toast."
"Spaghetti for breakfast? This lovely plate is available first thing in the morning and through lunch hour until 2pm, when the restaurant closes."
"Once a private home, Garnet has become a destination restaurant."
"Vegetables that accompany main courses (that's the salmon in back) come from the McLane family farm."
"Garnet's sun-dappled porch"
"Water service, in fruit jars, supports the rustic nature of Garnet's actually very sophisticated meals."