Local couple continues to showcase their love and enthusiasm for food at their three Coeur d’Alene restaurants By Jillian Chandler | Photo by Owen Aird Photography
Syringa Japanese Café + Sushi Bar celebrated its 16th year in business earlier this year, on April 7, and owners Viljo and Autumn Basso couldn’t be more proud of what they’ve built, and accomplished, since first opening their doors on that cool spring day back in 2006.
“Honestly, it’s hard to remember what that first day was like,” shares Autumn. “We’ve evolved and have seen so many changes in the 16 years we’ve been in business. We are just so grateful that our community has supported our restaurants.”
With a flair for originality and excellence, Syringa, located in Coeur d’Alene’s midtown, has established itself as a favorite among locals and restaurant destination for visitors. Always delivering the best in sushi and modern American cuisine, they’ve set the bar high and continue to deliver. Viljo uses fresh high-quality ingredients and wonderful flavors in each dish they prepare—and guests can taste the difference.
In 2016, the couple was ready for their next endeavor, and The Bluebird - A Midtown Eatery was born. The neighborhood bistro-style eatery serves up lunch and dinner, with a menu inspired by the couple’s culinary travels and world 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. Some menu staples include the Tater Tot Poutine, Cougar Gold Mac-n-Cheese, and Banh Mi. They take pride in their outstanding wine list (don’t forget to join their monthly wine club), and their great selection of beer, ciders and sours.
After the opportunity presented itself to relocate Syringa to a much larger location just north on Fourth Street, the Bassos seized it and have continued to flourish. And with Syringa’s original space now empty, the couple decided to add a third restaurant. This fall will celebrate the third anniversary of the couple’s most recent venture—Monarch Ramen + Noodle House.
With the goal of “filling a void and bringing new flavor to town,” the casual and intimate restaurant made its home in the original space that housed Syringa for more than a decade. The intimate and casual restaurant serves lunch and dinner and features a menu of house-specialty ramen and noodle dishes (with vegetarian and gluten-free options available), as well as a variety of small-plate options.
The Syringa. The Bluebird. The Monarch. Not only are they symbolic of Idaho, but each represents a North Idaho dining establishment that has become synonymous with Coeur d’Alene. Thanks to the love and dedication of Viljo and Autumn, along with their loyal staff they have built at each establishment, they have continued to earn the unwavering support of not just locals but visitors near and far.
“We are proud to be a part of this community,” Autumn says. “Being in business this long, we’ve seen families grow up, we have created so many friendships with our customers. None of this could have been done without our employees—so incredibly grateful to our employees who stuck with us.”
Offering three distinct dining destinations, the Bassos are proud to provide each guest a unique—and delicious—meal, no matter where they choose to take a seat. “We hope you stop by and try something new, maybe something you’ve never had before,” smiles Autumn.
To explore their menus, and find their current hours, be sure to visit their restaurant websites, and don’t forget to follow them on Facebook. Syringa Japanese Café + Sushi Bar 1710 N. Fourth St., Coeur d’Alene, ID 208.664.2718 | SyringaSushi.com
The Bluebird - A Midtown Eatery 816 N. Fourth St., Coeur d’Alene, ID 208.665.3777 | MidtownBluebird.com
Monarch Ramen + Noodle House 1401 N. Fourth St., Coeur d’Alene, ID 208.966.4230 | MonarchNoodles.com