Everyday Is Special aT THE CANDLE!
Our scheduled menus are Prix Fixe, meaning that the menu (which changes daily) for the evening, the majority of the wines, and the price, is set a few times per year. Each dinner we prepare is original, and reflects the ingredients most in season, as well as the inspiration Chef Dave has for that meal and that group of friends. Our evenings follow a basic format that has become a favorite of our guests. We serve between 12 – 18 (sometimes more!) exquisite small plate courses, all paired with great wines to create a unforgettable dining experience!
Hello and Welcome!
We have a new phone number!!! 208-661-8085!!
Reservations can be made at OpenTable.com (we are booked out several months, so have patience!)
For Non-Reservation related assistance, Guest Chef or special events, wine dinners, catering or charitable donations, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Welcome to 2023!!
We are so excited to be back for another amazing year!
For our returning “cousins,” you may notice a small price increase starting May 1st – we have held off as long as we could, but for the first time since we moved to our new facility, we have to raise our prices to try to offset rising food costs, and to continue to compensate our amazing crew to the level that they deserve, and be able to offer them a living wage, as well as some benefits. we will also be upgrading our already awesome wine pairings for your enjoyment.
We know that everyone is working on being conscientious with their spending, (as are we), but even with the modest increase, we feel that with all we continue to offer, with the fantastic menu using only the best ingredients, the never-to-be-forgotten experience, and the fact that all your wine is included with the meal, still makes it a fantastic value. We thank you all for your continued support and understanding, and we will continue to do everything we can to make your special occasion the most amazing it can be.
Your Special Evening Begins…
Our limo picks you up ( if you choose!), and a short drive later, you are ready for an evening to remember… a total dining experience…
Awarded “Best Dining Experience In Idaho” by “Eatthis.com” (Eat This Not That) in their “Best Of Each Of The 50 States” List)
Open Table “Best Overall Restaurant in Idaho”
Open Table Best Food
Open Table Best Service
Open Table Best Ambience
Open Table Best Value
Open Table Most Romantic
“Fanciest and most Bucket List Worthy” – Nikki West – Mix 106
“Only in your state”
Business Journal “Best of” for Fine Dining for the Inland Empire
Recipient of the prestigious “North Idaho Life 5 Star Award”
Finalist at Chef Battle National FInals
Recipient of Spokane Culinary Guild “Best Private Dining”
Winner of Judge’s Choice and People’s Choice Award, North Idaho Culinary Competition
Recipient “Best Of” (Two Goblets) Wine Spectator Award of Excellence
Over 300 5-star reviews, and one of the highest rated restaurants in the region
Who Are We… What Do We Do?
Dinner here is more than just a meal, it is an entire experience that you will not soon forget. Casual Elegance in a beautiful, North Idaho setting, welcome to an unforgettable evening. Enter as strangers, leave as friends!
Our dinners are 12 – 18 course, prix fixe menus, with each course perfectly paired with an outstanding wine from our award winning cellar, one of the best in the entire northwest.
We only accomodate 16 – 20ish guests per evening, so it is an intimate experience. Guests have the opportunity to request a private table, if they choose, or join the more raucous experience at our group table.
Our evenings are currently 100% “Reservation Only,” though we are occasionally open for “drop in,” tapas style options. We also host private groups of 12 – 24. (Please follow us on FB for updates on special events, wine dinners, drop in nights etc!)
We also offer a few special, “Highlight” theme evenings, including our “Dinner of a Lifetime(s)” in December, Valentines Weekend, WInemaker Dinners and more!
Be ready for a superb evening of relaxed, casual elegance, complete with fun in our game room and outside patio. We also have luxury limo service at very reasonable rates from Coeur d Alene and the surrounding area, depending on availability.
Are you ready for a wine and dining experience you will remember for a lifetime? If so, we look forward to having you as our guests at Candle in the Woods!
Read what people are saying about Candle in the Woods
We’ve been blessed to have eaten at several of the restaurants rated in the top 10 in the world, and we enjoyed our experience at Candle in the Woods as much or more than any. – Bill H.
Truly one of the greatest dining experiences anywhere in the world! – Tony W
The best and most memorable food experience of my life! – Michelle H
One of the most amazing meals we have ever had and we’ve eaten in some of the worlds best restaurants! ~ Tony and Jen B.
Wonderful! Worth every penny and more! ~ Don T.
Unbelievable! What a fantastic experience! The food and wine were great, but the friendliness and the warmth we felt were what made it special! ~ Bob & Lois M.
Our dinners are one sitting, and we ask our guests to arrive promptly between 5:50 – 6:00 pm, unless otherwise instructed. We eat Family Style, so we all eat at one table together, though we have a limited number of smaller private tables, if desired. Our scheduled menus are Prix Fixe, meaning that the menu for the evening and the wines are set daily, though our guests are invited to choose special bottles off our wine list if they choose. You can also purchase a special bottle to take with you, if you’d like.
The pace of dinner moves smoothly from one course to the next, mostly depending on when each course is ready in the kitchen, but we do try to move along steadily.
Dessert is usually served around 9:00 – 9:15, with dinner finishing around 9:30 pm. Once you have walked in our door, we consider you family!
Our dinners are an immersive, interactive experience, and are fun, funny and lively! If you’re looking for a quiet place to have a romantic dinner for two, or if you are looking to have a business dinner or to have uninteruppted quiet conversation, we’re probably not the best choice… we introduce each course, the wines, tell jokes, chat with our guests and have fun… it’s a memorable, enjoyable, at times irreverant evening, and for the enjoyment of our guests, we respectfully request your attention during the introductions. We thank you in advance for this courtesy to your fellow guests and our staff!
Our “regular” dinners (there’s nothing “regular” about our experience!) are currently $169/pp*, (Changing in May, 2023) which includes 12-18 small, gourmet courses, as well as all your wine! A fantastic value for all you receive!
*Special events and Premier weekends such as Valentines and our “Dinner of a Lifetime” are more.
Depending on address and availability, we do offer limo service directly from your home for a nominal charge if you would rather not worry about driving. Please text us to inquire about availability. The cost ranges from $40 – 80/pp roundtrip, depending on distance.
Q: “What about if I have allergies, or can’t eat certain foods?”
A: No problem. We can accommodate most allergies, with advance notice, and craft alternatives to make everyone’s experience the best we can! We can’t generally do vegan, sadly, though we can accomodate vegetarian and pescatarian, dairy free, no nuts, etc. We are not a gluten free kitchen, but we do offer excellent GF alternatives if requested in advance.
Q: “How long does dinner usually last?”
A: Unless a special arrangement, we begin all dinners at 6:00 pm sharp – we ask our guests to arrive between 5:50 – 6, please – and finish around 9:30 – 9:45, though it depends a bit on how much fun everyone is having!
Q: “How many guests are there per evening?”
A: We host 16 – 20ish guests per evening, so we get to know everyone’s name!
Q: Do you offer lodging? Where should we stay?
A: Despite our humble beginnings as a BnB, we do not offer lodging at this time.
There are several wonderful hotels in Coeur d’ Alene and Sandpoint to meet almost every budget, and we can provide limo service (depending on availability) for you from there.
There are also two won derful BnB properties close by that we work with and highly recommend:
Cedar Mountain Farm BnB – 2086619063 Cedarmountainfarm.com
Log Spirit BnB – 2086834722 Logspirit.com
Please tell them you are dining at the Candle!
There is also outstanding camping nearby at Farragut State park, only 5 miles away!
Q: “What is the dress code?”
A: We call it “Casual Chic:” Wear what makes you happy! Some of our guests choose to dress up for a special occasion, others come in their most comfortable “dress flannel…” It’s up to you!
Q: “When will we find out that night’s dinner?”
A: We literally change the menu daily, and don’t even decide it until that day, sometimes as we go, but it is guaranteed to be great! (and again, we can accomodate most dietary needs!) Part of the thrill and excitement is being surprised with the Chef’s Creations for the evening!
Q: ” What forms of payment do you accept?”
A: We take cash or all major credit cards, and you will pay after dinner.
Q: “How do I make reservations, and will I get a confirmation?”
A: We use Open Table as our reservation system, and it is the most up-to-date of when we have openings. (It’s what we check to see if we have space too!) We have been blessed, and are booked out several weeks, or even months in advance, but keep trying! We post cancellations on our Facebook page on a first come – first served basis as well, so follow us there.
(In general, our empty seats fill within 2 – 8 minutes of when we post them – we haven’t had a empty seat in over a year – Thanks to our amazing tribe!)
For large groups, please contact us by text at 2086618085. There is a $500 non-refundable deposit required for groups of 8 or more.*
*For large groups that need to change/cancel dates, if the reservations are changed 5 days in advance or more, 100% of the deposit will be transferred to the new date. For reservations changed or cancelled from 3 to 5 days prior, 50% will be applied to a new date. For resevations cancelled within 2 days, the deposit will be forfiet. We are a very small place, and can’t afford large numbers of empty seats at the last minute… Thanks for your understanding.
You will get an immediate confirmation from Open table upon making your reservations, and they also send you periodic reminders leading up to your date, so it is important that the contact number in your Open Table account be an up to date cell number!
Two to three days before your date, you will receive a text from us directly, requesting all of the guest’s names (for place settings), any allergies etc, and it will have all the specific details of your evening.
Q: I tried using Open Table, but I can’t find anthing! I tried every Friday and Saturday for the next month! Am I doing it wrong?
A: No, you’re probably doing it right. We’ve been blessed, and are booked out several weeks, or even months in advance, depending on the season. Our weekends fill up even quicker, about 10 months in advance, or even more, plus we only do the one sitting per night at 6:00 pm.
We do have cancelations from time to time, so keep checking, or let us know about when you want to attend, and we can let you know if something opens up.
We have asked Open Table to help develop a tool that shows future availability without having to search day by day (which is what we have to do too!), and while it is “in development,” it’s not ready yet, unfortunately.
Q: Do you have cocktails? What happens if I don’t drink at all?
A: We only have beer and wine at this time, as well as mocktails and other N/A alternatives for our non-imbibers. We’re pretty renowned for our pairings, and even non-wine drinkers are often amazed at how well good wine, paired properly with good food is! We also have a beer expert on staff who can help currate a beer experience for you if the wine isn’t to your choice.
Q: “Can we have a private table?”
A: Yes, depending on requests and availability!
Q: Are you kid friendly?
A: While we have had several young adults/teens with adventurous palates join us, we are not generally the best choice for children, as dinner takes a long time, and there is plenty of wine. We’ve found that the kids and the parents both have a better time if they get to stay home with a sitter. That said, we have several new borns and infants with new parents enjoying a rare night out!
Q: How does limo service work?
A: Please text us your address, date and last name to 2086618085, and the week of your reservation we will let you know if we can accomodate, based on the requests and driver’s availability.
Our drivers are also our chefs and crew, so we can’t always guarantee availability, but we do our best. The limo charge will be included on your dinner bill, as well as there will be a place to leave a gratuity for your driver, if you so choose, or feel free to tip them in cash, if you’ feel they offered you good service and a safe ride!
Q: Does Candle Cater?
A: Absolutely! We offer top notch catering services for groups of all sizes, from private, in-home dinners, to large corporate events, and even catering for private jets. We are not your inexpensive option, but we offer fantastic value and an amazing experience, with food that represents the quality we are known for.
The Wine List
We are one of TWO Idaho restaurants to win the prestigious Best of Wine Spectator Award of Excellence (Two Goblets)! We are very proud of our wine cellar, which boasts one of the largest wine collections in the Pacific Northwest, with some of the finest, rarest wines in the world. We have almost 1800 different labels, 7000 bottles and over 200 international varietals. ]Whether its a 1961 Bordeaux or a rare Lafite, a 1994 Cabernet from Napa Valley, a Walla Walla Chard, an Australian Shiraz (including several vintages of the amazing Grange), a Moldovan sherry or a vintage port, we have the wine for you.
Meet The Chef
Dave is an award winning chef who has been cooking literally since he was a child, though only as a talented amateur, until in his 50s, when he decided to make a career change. He brings an enthusiasm and love for cooking that is evident in his cuisine. He was recently seen on Food Network, and may be on again very soon! Along with two of his culinary students, they recently won the Chef’s Battle Northwest, and competed in the National FInals in Las Vegas in Februrary.
Besides his work at the Candle, he is a regular guest chef at various food festivals and developed the acclaimed “Mise en Place” Culinary Kid’s Academy at the Culinary Stone.
Dave is a multiple Ironman finisher and many time marathon runner, adventure racer, mountaineer, author, event organizer and podcaster, and apparently gets bored easily. He has a very health conscious outlook in the preparation of the meals, making them as low in calories as possible, while keeping the flavor and taste as the main goals. The Candle uses fresh, organic, local ingredients wherever possible, and the cuisine transcends easy definition, being best defined as “contemporary, modern and original,” based on the best ingredients in season.
He and his wife Lisa have a daughter Delaney, who is already helping Dad in the kitchen and Front of the house, as well as being a top tier rock climber and Ninja Warrior competitor!
Whether its a party of 2 or 100, a wedding or a business dinner, CITW can help you make every event special! With a wide range of menu and price options, we can provide you with the perfect meal for any occasion, either as a buffet or a sit down, fully served, multi-course meal. Prices range from $25/pp to “The Skys the Limit,” depending on menu and wine choices. Contact us for more information!
Over the past few years, we have offered some of the most enjoyable cooking classes ever, at your place or ours, but we are sadly not having classes at this time! We hope to be able to offer them again soon.
Just FYI, How our classes worked…
You and your guests will put on aprons, pick up utensils and pitch in as we prepare up to 4 courses, with wine included, learning little techniques and trade secrets along the way. Laughter is a must! Prices are $70 per person, all inclusive. (Sadly, we are currently not doing classes, due to Covid)
(Dave was a long time presenter at The Culinary Stone as well, and highly recommends reaching out to their excellent cadre of chefs for classes!)
Candle in the Woods supports several local events by donating entire gourmet dining experiences for as many as 16 people, and valued at as much as $15,000 or more. Several of the worthy charities we have supported include:
Beyond Pink Breast cancer screening
Kootenai Medical Foundation Festival of Trees
The regional 4H clubs
Panhandle Education Alliance
The Culinary Apprenticeship Program at the Broadmoor Hotel, Colorado Springs
Hospice of North Idaho
North Idaho College Athletic Program
Our long-awaited COOKBOOK project is in final production! “Casual Elegance – A Season at Candle in the Woods” is truly beautiful, coffee table-worthy addition to evey foodie’s library! Please sign up now to get one of the first, autographed copies upon release! *
(Covid set us back time wise, but we’re working on getting the book out to you!)
We invite you to join the “Candle Wine and Cellar Club!” We are acclaimed for our wines and, in particular, our wine pairings, and we want to share that love and passion with you! 5 different tiers to meet everyone’s tastes and budget, with unique, boutique and AMAZING wines from around the world, just like we serve at the Candle!
5751 E. Highway 54
Athol, Id. 83801
(Take Exit 449 off Hwy 95 north, turn west, and proceed about 1/2 mile, and we’ll be on the right. If you cross the tracks, you’ve gone too far!. We’re about 25 minutes from Coeur d Alene)