Great New Places to Eat 2018

(page 9 of 11)

Roasted chicken breast with deconstructed green bean casserole and house-made mushroom gravy (Photos by Jeremy Sykes)

Ten Ten Room

Over the past five years, Tyler and Melissa Williams have built a loyal following in Sacramento for their creatively themed bars and restaurants—including the tiki hot spot Jungle Bird and historically inspired Tank House BBQ—and the husband-and-wife duo’s latest showpiece is sure to add legions of diners to their fan club. Since it opened in September, Ten Ten Room has been drawing both downtowners and out-of-towners to its cozy quarters adjacent to The Citizen Hotel, thanks to its nostalgia-inducing menu and vibe.

Above: Scotch deviled eggs with house-made sausage and paprika. Below: a wall of "yearbook photos" in the front booth includes portraits of Sacramento restaurateurs and bar owners like Kru's Billy Ngo, Patrick Mulvaney and Garrett Van Vleck of Shady Lady Saloon

“No one had really done anything [here] with that mid-century feel—what our grandparents would have held near and dear,” Tyler, 38, says.

Inspired by American comfort foods of yesteryear, chef Greg Pilapil (formerly of Hook & Ladder and the erstwhile L Wine Lounge) dishes out classic fare with a twist, like his take on Southern shrimp and grits, which pairs succulent pan-fried prawns with spicy chunks of chorizo sausage, creamy polenta and bright romesco sauce, and his roasted chicken breast served with deconstructed green bean casserole, an elevated interpretation of an old-school frozen TV dinner. A selection of small plates—think meatballs smothered in grape jelly glaze and Scotch deviled eggs—evokes the go-to party apps of the day.

Above: Ten Ten bartender Aimee Chilson transfers the frosty Grasshopper from a blender to a cocktail glass. Below from left: a Manhattan, made with Woodford Reserve rye whiskey, sweet vermouth and angostura bitters, gets poured tableside; the retro Grasshopper, a cool, creamy blend of crème de menthe, crème de cacao, heavy cream and mint

The cocktail lineup also leans heavily toward tipples Don and Betty Draper might’ve whipped up, like citrusy Harvey Wallbangers, boozy Manhattans (poured tableside with a half-full shaker on the side) and—our favorite—frothy Grasshoppers made with crème de menthe, crème de cacao and mint.

And with its moody lighting, custom mahogany bar, deep-teal-tinted walls and display of “yearbook photos” (black-and-white headshots of area restaurateurs like Patrick Mulvaney and Kru’s Billy Ngo) further enhancing the retro-cool feel, Ten Ten is a perfect 10. —Jessica Rine

1010 10th St. 916-272-2888.

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