Husband and wife team Viljo and Autumn Basso knew they wanted to open another restaurant “to create and do something different,” and when it came to location, there was no question that midtown continues to be the place for them. Home to their first restaurant, Syringa Japanese Café and Sushi Bar, a local favorite for its fresh fish and flavors, the couple has always been attracted to the area. As Autumn says, “We love the neighborhood with its fun eclectic shops and various thrift stores all around us, plus the neighboring local restaurants like Capone’s and Angelo’s, it seemed like a perfect fit.”
The Bluebird, a midtown eatery, opened its doors in May of 2016 and quickly gained a large following that continues to grow. Viljo and Autumn have delivered a casual neighborhood bistro-style restaurant offering a cozy rustic interior, with reclaimed warm rustic wood and metal, and vintage pictures adorning the walls. It can seat 42 patrons and an additional 10 at the bar. During the summer months, diners can enjoy a meal or drink on the outdoor patio, which seats more than a dozen.
When it comes to what makes both Syringa and The Bluebird distinct, Viljo says, “At each place, we’ve had the ability to create, in our small place, a friendly local neighborhood vibe. The food is unique, the customers are unique and the employees are unique.”
At Syringa, patrons will find modern Japanese cuisine on the menu, whereas The Bluebird is an eclectic Northwest bistro—the menu inspired by the couple’s 20 years of culinary travels and adventures. Seasonal as much as possible, the menu items change frequently with specials offered weekly, allowing diners to try something new each time they visit. The big hit thus far has been the wild parmesan-crusted halibut with ratatouille.
To accompany the deliciously unique menu, Krista French, The Bluebird’s sommelier, has put together an outstanding wine list with amazing selections from all over the world. Combined with the talents of Jamie McIntosh, the beer program manager, who has compiled and continues to bring in a great selection of beers, ciders and sours, guests can’t go wrong with their selection.
The Bluebird has found its home. And the neighborhood has welcomed it with open arms. “Our goal was to open the kind of restaurant we like to dine at and bring more dining variety to Coeur d’Alene,” says Autumn. And guests are eating it up.
Whether you take a seat at Syringa or The Bluebird, Viljo, Autumn and their staff are ready to serve you and help create a memorable—and delicious—dining experience.
Syringa Japanese Cafe & Sushi Bar
Midtown Coeur d’Alene
1401 N. Fourth St.
Midtown Coeur d’Alene
816 N. Fourth St.