Great New Places to Eat 2018

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Chicken drumsticks coated with urfa chili sauce, orange zest and dried garlic, served on a bed of Greek yogurt (Photos by Jeremy Sykes)

Canon

If you're the type to suffer major FOMO over that delish-looking dish your tablemate ordered, this East Sacramento restaurant by LowBrau co-founder Clay Nutting and Michelin-starred chef Brad Cecchi, which opened in October, may be your new go-to gathering spot. At Canon, instead of traditional entrées of meat and two veg, you'll discover creative yet comforting plates and bowls that are meant to be divided and conquered. (Remember, sharing is caring.) 

Above: Canon's converted warehouse space features gray herringbone floors, exposed ceiling beams and clusters of custom light fixtures. Below: a plate of house-pickled fruits and vegetables, and a tower of house-made tater tots form a pyramid atop a pool of executive chef Brad Cecchi’s 60-ingredient mole sauce

Take Cecchi's rendition of tater tots: the bite-size morsels, crispy on the outside and pillowy soft on the inside, are made in-house using Kennebec Spuds and paired with a spice-forward 60-ingredient mole sauce. Brunch features intriguing options like the Frank's Special—a fried rice dish that pays homage to an old local favorite (the chef took inspiration from former Chargin's Bar & Grill chef Frankie Lau's recipe, which included linguica, bacon and ham, and added touches like a confit chicken drumstick and blistered shishito peppers)—and toasts on baked-in-house potato bread that are whimsical and fun. While you will find avocado toast here, don't skip the millionaire's bacon version with thick-cut candied bacon, bacon jam, a poached egg and crispy onions.

Chef de cuisine Jodie Chavious’ gluten-free chocolate “diner” cake with almond buttercream and crispy caramelized rice brittle

From its array of inventive eats to its well-curated selection of brews (Nutting is a self-proclaimed beer nerd) and the bright, airy environs with high wood ceilings and custom light fixtures, Canon delivers on its aim to offer an elegant communal experience that is also easy and effortlessly hip.

"I love Sacramento," says Cecchi, whose résumé includes stints at Mulvaney's, Grange and Solbar in Calistoga. "I wanted to do a really cool restaurant that pushed the boundaries of artistic freedom. I want Canon to be this standalone beacon of cool."  —Jessica Rine 

1719 34th St. 916-469-2433. canoneastsac.com