Out in the woods in Athol, Idaho, just 20 minutes from Coeur d’Alene, lucky food and wine enthusiasts will find a beautiful log home; light beaming through the windows like a candle in the woods. Step in, and you will be greeted with friendly hospitality and an experience that won’t soon be forgotten.
Owner and chef Dave Adlard, as seen on Food Network, along with his wife and business partner Lisa, are the couple behind this private-dining establishment. Unlike a walk-in restaurant, the pair hosts reservation-only dinners and take reservations for private group dinners for four to 10 people. Guests will be treated to an original, high-end, eight- to 10-course small-plate menu, with each course perfectly paired with a wine to complement that specific dish.
This concept is unlike any other in the area, as those at the table are presented with a “prix fixe” chef’s dinner, specially designed for the evening. Though there are some signature appetizers and dishes that have been created at Candle in the Woods over the years, not one meal has been duplicated in its entirety in the 10 years since they first started hosting these private dinners. Even the table settings are unique for each event.
Wines for the dinners come from their diverse 4,000-bottle wine cellar, in which each wine has been hand selected. Many of the 1,800-plus label wines are unique and rare or from small, little-known wineries from around the world, allowing for a variety of interesting options to serve guests. The cellar also houses many local and regional wines from Idaho and Washington. Candle in the Woods received one of only two “Best of Wine Spectator” awards in Idaho, and one of only a small handful in the entire Northwest. It has been featured in Wine Spectator and several newspapers regionally and nationally.
“There are inexpensive wines that have become guests’ favorites because they pair so well with the food, and then there are some high-end treats,” says Dave. “And I love using local wines. Every dinner always has local wines on the list, as well as well-known favorites from California, Bordeaux, Italy and Spain, to name a few.”
In between courses, guests can get up from the table and watch and interact with the chef in the open kitchen while he prepares the next course, or they can entertain themselves in the game room, where they can play pool, foosball and darts, and their famous house game “BATC.” (You have to experience it for yourself to understand the fun!) Once the dinner is over, guests are welcome to head outside by the fire pit, or even take a dip in the hot tub to finish off the evening, if they so choose.
“This is an experience they’ll never forget,” says Dave. “It’s a very memorable dining experience, and we have never received less than a five-star review. We are honored and humbled by it.”
For guests who want to take advantage of the whole evening, they have a limited “Dinner and Bed” option, where guests can spend the night in one of the beautiful cabin bedrooms and be treated to a wonderful brunch the next morning.
So how does one get invited to such an incredible evening? People can sign up to be part of Candle in the Woods’ emailing list. Approximately every four weeks, Candle in the Woods sends out an invite to those on the list. The first 10 people to respond reserve their seat at the chef’s table. It’s that simple. Candle in the Woods also posts upcoming dates on their website, and folks can phone in to secure their spot.
Those interested in having their own private dining event at Candle in the Woods can make reservations, and a special menu will be created and catered to them. To add to the special night, Candle in the Woods now offers its own limousine service to and from the event, for a minimal fee, which guests can reserve. Dave is also available for off-site catering, private meals and personal cooking classes at your home.
The chef truly has a gift for pairing food and wine, all while creating a fun, interactive atmosphere for his guests. Treat yourself to this exceptional food and wine experience at Candle in the Woods. It will be an evening to remember.
Candle In The Woods
11805 E. Nunn Rd.