Reading cookbooks as if they were novels, devouring each and every page, gives one just a small glimpse into the life of Chef Jeff Engels and his lifetime passion for cooking.
Developing a love for food at a young age, Jeff, like many young aspiring chefs, got his first restaurant job in the kitchen at age 15. His passion for cooking ultimately became a career, and at just 22 years old, he had earned his place as executive chef at a Seattle-based restaurant. Fast forward to present day, and you’ll find Jeff, alongside his wife and business partner Aja, wining and dining patrons at Europa Restaurant and Bakery, a Spokane favorite for more than 34 years.
The couple purchased the longstanding restaurant, which originally opened back in 1982, in 2013. Both Jeff and Aja, seasoned restaurant veterans, had worked at Europa prior to purchasing it—a dream come true. Guests can find Jeff in the kitchen, pouring his heart and soul into preparing fresh, authentic food for their guests, while Aja leads in welcoming guests with attentive and friendly service.
Throughout the years, Europa has been received well, retaining loyal customers supporting the restaurant and coming back for more; and that has continued with Jeff and Aja as owners.
“We feel lucky to be taking care of Europa,” says Aja. “It’s a legacy.”
The menu offers fresh-made pastas, from the crab spaghetti, pork cheek ravioli and goat cheese gnocchi, and Europa staples for nearly 35 years to include the sweet red pepper tortellini, baked spaghetti with meat sauce and chicken marsala. And don’t forget about the bakery, where their fresh pizza dough, bread and amazing desserts, like the raspberry white chocolate cheesecake, cookie dough pie and double chocolate mousse, are prepared and baked.
Each month, patrons are invited to partake in a five-course dinner paired beautifully with five wines to complement each dish. Expect the cuisine to be fresh, innovative and sometimes adventurous! Ostrich, kangaroo, bison, shark, sweetbreads and goat have all been featured. And the wines will not disappoint either. Wines from Italy, France, Spain and Portugal, to some closer to home—California, Oregon and Washington, have been presented. These dinners are an opportunity to explore new and exciting flavors from around the world.
In addition to the great food, Europa is cozy and comfortable, allowing guests a relaxing dining experience. Top that with a dedicated restaurant staff that is attentive and friendly, and you have a recipe for success.
Europa Restaurant and Bakery
125 S. Wall St.