After a multimillion-dollar renovation, one of Galt’s oldest and stateliest structures is now one of the Sacramento region’s newest culinary destinations.
Pan-seared salmon with sweet corn succotash
Photo by Jeremy Sykes
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Brewster's Bar & Grill
201 4th St. Galt
Brewster’s Bar & Grill stands across the tracks from a 127-year-old church topped by a spindly steeple. Whistles blaring, Union Pacific freight trains rumble between the buildings and past a tin-sided feed store that glistens in the afternoon sun. Around the corner, there’s a ballroom for weddings and quinceañaras and a one-chair barbershop.
Is this really the site chosen by some of Sacramento’s hottest young restaurateurs for their second act? Apparently, it is.
Located in a restored 1868 landmark, the restaurant was opened in May by the owners of Sacramento’s Shady Lady Saloon. Walk in and it’s hard not to be impressed by the mix of vintage décor and an understated cool.
Ornately patterned fabric in muted turquoise and copper covers the columns and sections of the brick walls. Stevie Ray Vaughan plays over the sound system and a life-size, antique figurine of a dancing woman, hoisting her long dress and flashing some ankle, is set in the central alcove of a grand alder-wood bar.But as you walk in the front door, despite all the attention to detail in the décor, invariably you will look down. That’s because inset within the handsome hickory floor is a long section of thick glass (yes, you can walk on it), which offers a peek below at racks upon racks of wine bottles stored in the restaurant’s cellar. It’s a striking feature that’s meant to hint at the core of Brewster’s raison d’être.If Shady Lady tilts toward artisan cocktails, then wine is very much at the heart of Brewster’s. And if you open a restaurant in a historic building in a small Central Valley town, then a sense of place just comes with the territory. So with its emphasis on wine and an expansive, from-scratch menu that focuses on the fresh and local, Brewster’s Bar & Grill is definitely of California.
Alex Origoni, who co-owns and operates Brewster’s with Shady Lady partners Jason Boggs and Garrett Van Vleck, says they wanted diners to be able to come in for everything from a $9.50 pesto chicken sandwich on ciabatta to a $24 pan-seared filet mignon in Cabernet reduction. Quality and affordability both count here.
The trio works closely with head chef, Justin France, who studied at the California Culinary Academy and previously served as sous chef at Sacramento’s Cafe Bernardo and Zinfandel Grille. “But we like to afford our head chefs enough
liberty that they can take our concepts and ideas and make them their own,” says Origoni. “We let them be creative and do their own thing.”
That thing is seasonal to be sure, but hearty and filling, too. Call it Contemporary California Comfort Cuisine.
For example, there’s the barbecue pulled pork sandwich that’s piled high on a plush challah bun (which is also used for burgers) and calamari with breaded lemon wheels and house-made cocktail sauce. With the filet and pepper-crusted rib eye, steak lovers will have their temptations, too.
Local produce shows up in a salad with baby greens from West Sacramento’s Del Rio Botanical, while heirloom squash from Capay Valley’s Riverdog Farm accompanies a petrale sole in lemon-caper sauce. And spinach, also from Riverdog Farm, is mixed into spatzle that comes with the slab of apple-chipotle glazed pork porterhouse, which is sweet, smoky and spicy.
And one dessert choice is truly of Galt. The menu features a marionberry pie with a buttery, flaky crust from Spaans Cookie Company—literally a two-minute walk away.