What's Cooking

A look at the latest in local food, dining and drinking news

2014

A new gelateria is set to open in Carmichael this summer, serving more than just desserts

05/28/15

A new gelateria is set to open in Carmichael this summer, serving more than just desserts

How sweet it is: Ghiotto Artisan Gelateria will join the likes of Insight Coffee Roasters, Mesa Mercado and The Rind in Carmichael’s new Milagro Centre this summer, establishing a dessert base for the soon-to-be food hub. Owned by Ovi Nasui and his family (his fiancée Oana Onisoru and his father, John, are his partners), Ghiotto—which means “delicious” in Italian—will present an assortment of 24 to 30 artisan gelatos, made in-house daily using fresh, locally sourced ingredients (Nasui is currently working with different regional farms before settling on his main providers), filling Carmichael’s gelato void upon its opening in either August or September. “When we saw the Milagro Centre was opening up, we knew that would be a...

Posted at 09:39 AM | Permalink | Comments

Hawks Provisions & Public House set to open in East Sacramento

12/30/14

Hawks Provisions & Public House set to open in East Sacramento

UPDATE: Hawks Provisions & Public House is planning to soft open on Friday, Dec. 4, with a projected grand opening of Tuesday, Dec. 8, according to co-owner Molly Hawks. Local interior designer Aimee Griffin contributed to the urban look and feel of the new East Sacramento restaurant and reservations are available on OpenTable. ******** Molly Hawks and Michael Fagnoni, the husband-and-wife chef-owner team behind Granite Bay’s celebrated Hawks Restaurant, are getting ready to open Hawks Provisions & Public House, their new East Sacramento eatery uniting a casual atmosphere with their trademark farm-to-fork principles. “The philosophy behind the food will remain unchanged,” says Hawks of the upcoming gastropub. “We want to go a little more casual...

Posted at 02:29 PM | Permalink | Comments

Roseville's historic Owl Club set to reopen in January

12/19/14

Roseville's historic Owl Club set to reopen in January

After shutting down in April, The Owl Club, one of Roseville’s longest-running establishments, is scheduled to reopen its doors in early January. “[The Owl Club] has a pretty amazing history—80 years of business, 21 years of [serving] craft beer, and an amazing building built in 1920,” says new owner Rick Sellers, who, alongside his co-manager and fiancée Sheila Minor, is working to transform the Old Town Roseville landmark into a destination for craft brew devotees and neophytes alike. “I want the staunchest beer critic to feel like this is a home for them, but I also don’t want to dissuade people who aren’t familiar with the craft beer movement—there are a lot of people who just want a good beer.” A diverse variety...

Posted at 09:23 AM | Permalink | Comments

9 fine soups to warm you up this winter in Sacramento

12/16/14

9 fine soups to warm you up this winter in Sacramento

Winter rain and chilly winds are here, which means it’s the perfect time to bundle up and enjoy a bowl of warming soup. Ranging from savory ramen to rich and creamy chowder, consider trying out one of these nine flavorful offerings from around the region. The Mustard Seed This cozy Davis restaurant takes its signature tomato bisque—handmade every morning with just tomatoes, butter, oregano, dill and fresh cream—up a notch during dinner with the addition of a puff pastry crust. Each order is individually portioned inside a ramekin, hand-crimped with puff pastry and baked, creating a perfectly domed and golden flaky topping that contrasts the soup’s rich and creamy texture. 222 D St. Davis. 530-758-5750. themustardseeddavis.com Mayahuel Tequila Museo...

Posted at 12:51 PM | Permalink | Comments

Come listen to some of Sacramento's top food writers talk about our region's culinary legacy at "Taste of History"

12/15/14

Come listen to some of Sacramento's top food writers talk about our region's culinary legacy at "Taste of History"

Sacramento’s unique culinary legacy will be highlighted through the works of local food historians and writers at the Sacramento County Historical Society’s annual Taste of History event on Dec. 16.  “This is really a celebration of cookbook authors and food writers through history in the region,” says event organizer Maryellen Burns, a noted historian who has penned such books as Lost Restaurants of Sacramento & Their Recipes. The event will pair lectures by authors with food and beverages that complement the speakers’ topics. For instance, Hank Shaw—an Orangevale-based, James Beard Award-winning food blogger and author of the cookbook Duck, Duck, Goose—will discuss the history of duck hunting in the region, and a duck breast...

Posted at 11:35 AM | Permalink | Comments

Highly anticipated restaurant South set to open Thursday

12/05/14

Highly anticipated restaurant South set to open Thursday

Husband-and-wife team Ian and N'Gina Kavookjian, who previously owned Eight American Bistro in Granite Bay, say they will open their highly anticipated, Southern cuisine-inspired restaurant called South at 11th and T streets in Sacramento on Thursday, Dec. 11, pending a final health inspection. The couple hosted two successful, sold-out pop-up dinners last month at their new eatery, which is located on the former site of Chinese grocery store Cheung Hing Company. The Kavookjians began renovations on the 1,500-square-foot space this summer, which N’Gina says has a “Bohemian, hole in the wall café” feel, with whitewashed interior with reclaimed tables and chairs, many of which N’Gina says were sourced from Craigslist and restaurant...

Posted at 04:56 PM | Permalink | Comments

Five fruit-filled farms to visit during Mountain Mandarin Orchard Days

12/04/14

Five fruit-filled farms to visit during Mountain Mandarin Orchard Days

Starting on Deb. 6, for two weekends in December during the annual Mountain Mandarin Orchard Days, dozens of mandarin farms in Placer County will open their doors to the public for activities like grove tours, tastings of mandarin-infused jam and olive oil, hay rides and scavenger hunts for kids, and of course your pick of the locally famous orange fruit. Here are the juicy details about what’s going on at five of the featured farms. Colwell Thundering Herd Mandarin Ranch and Tasting Room Food lovers visiting this ranch in Penryn will be able to taste everything from mandarin-crushed olive oil and cabernet chocolate sauce to three-nut Kentucky bourbon brittle and orange blossom honey. Take a tour of the 3-acre mandarin grove and meander back to the tasting room to purchase the...

Posted at 10:42 AM | Permalink | Comments

A 'bigger and better' Sacramento Beer Week set to take place in February

12/02/14

A 'bigger and better' Sacramento Beer Week set to take place in February

The popular Sacramento Beer Week is brewing up a bevy of sudsy festivities for its return in February. The annual celebration, which was previously handled by its founder Dan Scott, will now be helmed by the Northern California Brewers Guild and its executive director Darrell Amerine, and take place Feb. 26 through March 8. “We want to make [beer week] events bigger and better,” says guild president Glynn Phillips, who owns midtown’s Rubicon Brewing Company, a stalwart of the local craft beer scene. “We are really looking forward to involving, not only our great [partners] in retail—the grocers and restaurants of the area—but more specifically, promoting all of the great breweries, new and old, in the Sacramento area and the beer that they...

Posted at 01:00 PM | Permalink | Comments

10 area restaurants to plan a last-minute Thanksgiving feast

11/24/14

10 area restaurants to plan a last-minute Thanksgiving feast

If you and yours are still sorting out your Thanksgiving destination or facing some unexpected changes to your original plans, fear not: Here are 10 local spots that will be serving up their own specialties for holiday diners this Thursday. (Just be sure to inquire soon about reservations—spots are filling up quickly!) Sacramento RiverTrain All aboard for a moveable Thanksgiving feast, departing Woodland at noon and winding along a three-hour route overlooking the Sacramento River. The train will offer up your choice of smoked turkey or ham—and, of course, a healthy side of scenery. $93 per person; $47 for kids 12 and under. 800-866-1690. sacramentorivertrain.com Land Ocean New American Grill In what might be the best deal of the holiday, the Folsom surf-and-turf...

Posted at 01:24 PM | Permalink | Comments

7 Days of Pie: Frank Fat's banana cream pie is a Sacramento classic

11/23/14

7 Days of Pie: Frank Fat's banana cream pie is a Sacramento classic

Fall is here, and Thanksgiving is right around the corner. If you're looking for just the right dessert to take to your holiday gathering, share with the office or just enjoy at home, we have you covered: Every day this week, we've been dishing out highlights from the region's seasonal bounty of pie, from pumpkin to pecan to fruit and beyond. Today, the final entry of the series features what is arguably Sacramento's most famous dessert.  THE PIE: Banana Cream Pie, from Frank Fat’s WHY IT’S SPECIAL: After 75 years downtown, the iconic restaurant makes its famed banana cream pie from scratch daily, using virtually the same recipe conceived by founder Frank Fat and his original chef in the 1940s. Loaded...

Posted at 11:59 AM | Permalink | Comments

7 Days of Pie: Perfect pear pie is in season at Freeport Bakery

11/22/14

7 Days of Pie: Perfect pear pie is in season at Freeport Bakery

Fall is here, and Thanksgiving is right around the corner. If you're looking for just the right dessert to take to your holiday gathering, share with the office or just enjoy at home, we have you covered: Every day this week, we'll be dishing out highlights from the region's seasonal bounty of pie, from pumpkin to pecan to fruit and beyond. Today, check out a European classic at a Sacramento institution.  THE PIE: Pear fladen, from Freeport Bakery WHY IT’S SPECIAL: Chef-owner Walter Goetzler interweaves his German roots and California produce in this seasonal pie that features a crust covered with a layer of almond paste and a mixture of cream, dark raisins, brown sugar, cinnamon, clove, cardamom and ginger. Of course, the real...

Posted at 09:02 AM | Permalink | Comments

7 Days of Pie: Enjoy a trio of treats at An Honest Pie, Ikedas and Flour Garden

11/21/14

7 Days of Pie: Enjoy a trio of treats at An Honest Pie, Ikedas and Flour Garden

Fall is here, and Thanksgiving is right around the corner. If you're looking for just the right dessert to take to your holiday gathering, share with the office or just enjoy at home, we have you covered: Every day this week, we'll be dishing out some highlights from the region's seasonal bounty of pie, from pumpkin to pecan to fruit and beyond. Today, we head to the Placer County foothills for a triple play of pie possibilities. Enjoy Sactown's 7 Days of Pie! THE PIE: Harvest brew from An Honest Pie WHY IT’S SPECIAL: An Honest Pie—the Grass Valley-based bakery on wheels showcased in the 2014 edition of Sactown’s Best of the City issue—adds fresh pumpkin purée to its personal-size buttermilk mini pie...

Posted at 12:27 PM | Permalink | Comments

7 Days of Pie: Apples and olallieberries take center stage in El Dorado County

11/20/14

7 Days of Pie: Apples and olallieberries take center stage in El Dorado County

Fall is here, and Thanksgiving is right around the corner. If you're looking for just the right dessert to take to your holiday gathering, share with the office or just enjoy at home, we have you covered: Every day this week, we'll be dishing out some highlights from the region's seasonal bounty of pie, from pumpkin to pecan to fruit and beyond. Today, we head to El Dorado County for a pie two-fer at the Apple Hill institution Abel's Apple Acres and the Placerville bakery Sweetie Pie's. Enjoy Sactown's 7 Days of Pie! THE PIE: Buttermilk apple pie from Abel’s Apple Acres WHY IT’S SPECIAL: This apple pie—made with freshly picked apples from owner Evelyn Abel’s orchard in Apple Hill—is...

Posted at 10:32 AM | Permalink | Comments

7 Days of Pie: Selland's Market-Cafe's pumpkin pie

11/19/14

7 Days of Pie: Selland's Market-Cafe's pumpkin pie

Fall is here, and Thanksgiving is right around the corner. If you're looking for just the right dessert to take to your holiday gathering, share with the office or just enjoy at home, we have you covered: Every day this week, we'll be dishing out some highlights from the region's seasonal bounty of pie, from pumpkin to pecan to fruit and beyond. Today, the third entry of the series features a seasonal classic from a local favorite. Enjoy Sactown's 7 Days of Pie! THE PIE: Pumpkin pie from Selland’s Market-Cafe WHY IT’S SPECIAL: For the last three years, executive pastry chef Kristine Bertram has been baking the ultimate pumpkin pie to top off the Thanksgiving menu at Selland’s. Using a 100 percent natural...

Posted at 11:00 AM | Permalink | Comments

7 Days of Pie: Karen's Bakery and Café's spiked pecan pie

11/18/14

7 Days of Pie: Karen's Bakery and Café's spiked pecan pie

Fall is here, and Thanksgiving is right around the corner. If you're looking for just the right dessert to take to your holiday gathering, share with the office or just enjoy at home, we have you covered: Every day this week, we'll be dishing out some highlights from the region's seasonal bounty of pie, from pumpkin to pecan to fruit and beyond. Today, the second entry of the series features spiked pecan pie Karen’s Bakery and Café. Enjoy Sactown's 7 Days of Pie! THE PIE: Spiked pecan at Karen’s Bakery and Café WHY IT’S SPECIAL: Baked atop a flaky homemade crust, this pie draws its flavor from a potent blend of local, seasonal ingredients like pecans (sourced from Napa Nuts) and oranges (from West...

Posted at 10:30 AM | Permalink | Comments

7 Days of Pie: Tower Café's lemon raspberry meringue pie

11/17/14

7 Days of Pie: Tower Café's lemon raspberry meringue pie

Fall is here, and Thanksgiving is right around the corner. If you're looking for just the right dessert to take to your holiday gathering, share with the office or just enjoy at home, we have you covered: Every day this week, we'll be dishing out some highlights from the region's seasonal bounty of pie, from pumpkin to pecan to fruit and beyond, starting with this seasonal meringue pie from Tower Café. Enjoy Sactown's 7 Days of Pie! THE PIE:  Lemon raspberry meringue from Tower Café WHY IT’S SPECIAL: Tower Café pastry chefs Louise Maestretti and Lori Allen say they were inspired to create this pie as a tart and tangy complement to traditional fall desserts. The scratch-made pâte...

Posted at 11:38 AM | Permalink | Comments

Local coffee pioneers at Pachamama launch Kickstarter for new roaster

11/14/14

Local coffee pioneers at Pachamama launch Kickstarter for new roaster

The farmers whose crops help kick-start our days have turned to Kickstarter.com for a little boost of their own. Sacramento’s Pachamama Coffee Cooperative took to the popular site this month to launch a crowdfunding campaign for an environmentally friendly, technologically advanced roaster for its midtown headquarters. Pachamama is owned by 140,000 small-scale organic family farmers in Africa, Mexico and both Central and South America; it operates a cafe in Davis as well as a first-of-its-kind coffee CSA program.  “We are growing so fast, and we are at a point where we roast a lot of coffee,” says Thaleon Tremain, the co-founder and CEO of Pachamama, which presently outsources its roasting to Coffee Works in East Sacramento....

Posted at 02:36 PM | Permalink | Comments

New Flavor Face food truck hits the streets of Sacramento

11/14/14

New Flavor Face food truck hits the streets of Sacramento

Fans of eclectic fare with international flair may want to check out Flavor Face, a new area food truck with influences ranging from Mediterranean to the Far East. The truck, which started making the rounds last month in Sacramento and will appear Saturday in Tahoe Park, is the brainchild of chef Brian Stansberry, who is also new to the city after building his name and profile over two decades based in Minnesota. Stansberry says he drew the inspiration for Flavor Face’s menu from his years of international travels as well as the agricultural bounty of the Sacramento region. “I love the farm-to-fork movement and that everything grows here,” Stansberry says. “There’s an excitement about food in Sacramento, and I want to help and contribute...

Posted at 11:26 AM | Permalink | Comments

Sticky Gator opens in midtown with spotlight on soul food and barbecue

11/10/14

Sticky Gator opens in midtown with spotlight on soul food and barbecue

The Bayou arrived in midtown this past weekend as the brand-new Sticky Gator Barbecue and Soul Food eatery opened on K Street. Founded by Lisa and Rodney Nannini of T&R Taste of Texas Barbeque in Oak Park, the quirkily named, sunnily colored restaurant takes over the space near 24th and K streets vacated over the summer by Rick’s Dessert Diner. The menu—crafted by chef Rodney Ray and presented on a giant chalkboard near the entrance—specializes in Southern signature dishes from buttermilk fried chicken to fried catfish and more than a dozen finger-licking sides like sweet baked beans, candied yams and black-eyed peas. “I went to Louisiana and just fell in love with soul food,” says Lisa Nannini. “We definitely incorporate that...

Posted at 03:05 PM | Permalink | Comments

Pizza chain Pieology to open in Sacramento on Nov. 19

11/10/14

Pizza chain Pieology to open in Sacramento on Nov. 19

Pieology Pizzeria, a chain that originated in Fullerton and specializes in customizable pizzas, will open in Sacramento at 16th and K streets on Nov. 19. The space formerly housed the Indian restaurant Monsoon and, prior to that, Spin Burger Bar and Bistro 33. Though the space has seen establishments come and go, Pieology’s new owners are confident it will be a durable addition to the neighborhood. “There are a lot of daytime workers coming through and plenty of apartments nearby,” says franchise president Daljit Hundal. “It’s not just busy during the week. Downtown seems to be turning around a little bit with lots of folks coming around on weekends." The 2,700-square-foot eatery will stick to the same formula as Pieology’s other...

Posted at 11:44 AM | Permalink | Comments

First look at Iron Horse Tavern, the next big eatery on the R Street corridor

11/06/14

First look at Iron Horse Tavern, the next big eatery on the R Street corridor

Update: Iron Horse Tavern will open on Thursday, June 18, 2015. A new dining destination from celebrated midtown restaurateurs Mason, Curtis and Alan Wong will bring further excitement to the already bustling R Street corridor. The Iron Horse Tavern, set to open next spring at the intersection of 15th and R streets, is the latest bar and restaurant project to imprint a spirit of urbane sophistication on the revived former railway stretch south of midtown. Named after the locomotives that once rumbled down R Street, Iron Horse features a style that interweaves the area’s industrial heritage with sleek international touches. “You see things kind of like an artist—things that inspire you in a certain direction,” says Mason Wong, citing both the...

Posted at 09:47 AM | Permalink | Comments

Ice cream cookie sandwich hot spot CREAM of Elk Grove opens Nov. 15

11/04/14

Ice cream cookie sandwich hot spot CREAM of Elk Grove opens Nov. 15

The popular customizable ice cream cookie sandwich chain CREAM is opening a brand-new Elk Grove location, slated to swing open its doors for local sweet tooths on Nov. 15. CREAM of Elk Grove is planning an opening day celebration with free ice cream sandwiches from 12-8 p.m. Elk Grove mayor Gary Davis will be attending and DJ Juan Valdez from 102.5 KSFM will be spinning music as customers wait in line. CREAM, which stands for “Cookies Rule Everything Around Me," began with its first location in Berkeley and currently has seven other locations, including the wildly popular CREAM of Davis that opened last September. San Francisco-based owner Alexis Garcia says the 1,100 square-foot CREAM of Elk Grove space will stick to the same formula as the other locations,...

Posted at 07:47 AM | Permalink

Food Day 2014 hosts renowned chef, tastings, new garden and more

10/22/14

Food Day 2014 hosts renowned chef, tastings, new garden and more

This Friday is Food Day 2014—a national event aimed at inspiring communities to adopt healthier eating choices and food practices—and Sacramento State is getting in the spirit with a free, all-day celebration. The day will culminate in a keynote address and cooking demonstration from chef and sustainability advocate Bryant Terry, whose African-inspired vegan recipes have been featured in The New York Times Magazine and who will sign copies of his best-selling new cookbook Afro-Vegan. Other events include a screening of the acclaimed documentary Fed Up (followed by a panel discussion) and the debut of a new organic fruit and vegetable garden, a collaboration between the university and neighboring Capitol Public Radio that will provide fresh produce...

Posted at 04:18 PM | Permalink

A buzzy new movie about coffee makes its Sacramento debut

10/14/14

A buzzy new movie about coffee makes its Sacramento debut

With Sacramento Specialty Coffee Week in full swing, here’s another buzzy event to add to the list of must-dos: the Sacramento premiere of A Film About Coffee. This “sumptuous new documentary is a global, caffeinated, highly personal Jiro Dreams of Sushi for coffee lovers,” according to Fast Company, and has been screened everywhere from Paris to Dublin to New York since San Francisco-based director Brandon Loper debuted it earlier this year. The film—whose local screening is hosted by Sacramento coffee roaster Insight and will take place at the Crest Theatre this Thursday, Oct. 16—spotlights coffee’s international origins by taking viewers to faraway villages in Honduras and Rwanda, introducing farmers there and showing them at work managing...

Posted at 02:04 PM | Permalink

Sacramento dessert pros to make dinner at hot-ticket Sweet & Savory event

10/03/14

Sacramento dessert pros to make dinner at hot-ticket Sweet & Savory event

A limited number of tickets go on sale Monday for Sweet & Savory, an intimate new tasting event in which five of the region’s best pastry chefs and chocolatiers will converge to provide a uniquely flavorful dining experience for a good cause. The downtown dining hot spot Mother will welcome just 60 guests for the event on Nov. 9, when pastry chefs Ramon Perez (Puur Chocolat), Ginger Elizabeth Hahn (Ginger Elizabeth Chocolates), Matt Masera (Mother), Edward Martinez (Bourbon Steak) and Jane Anderson (Ella Dining Room and Bar) will prepare a 10-course tasting menu. Each chef is challenged to cook a savory dish with a sweet element and a sweet dish with a hint of savory. The event will feature two seatings—one at 5 p.m. and one at 8 p.m., with each allowing for 30...

Posted at 04:21 PM | Permalink

New farm-to-fork charcuterie opens in Placerville

10/02/14

New farm-to-fork charcuterie opens in Placerville

Sacramento locavores and carnivores now have a new place to meat up, with the opening of The Farm Table charcuterie in Placerville. Owned by Kara and Zach Taylor, the cafe and market opened in September and offers a rotating menu of charcuterie and cheese platters, fresh salads (such as the apple and bacon salad made with local greens and fruit), sandwiches with house-cured and smoked meats like duck pastrami, ham, bacon and linguica, and entrées like cassoulet with duck confit or red wine braised beef. Currently open for lunch, starting next week, The Farm Table will expand to dinner service on Thursdays through Sundays. The casual, quick-service eatery—which is still in the soft-launch phase (the Taylors plan to host a grand opening celebration in...

Posted at 03:41 PM | Permalink

6 fall food festivals to usher in the new season around Sacramento

09/30/14

6 fall food festivals to usher in the new season around Sacramento

Don’t let the warm temperatures fool you: Fall is here, as marked by a rich array of regional food festivals, gatherings and other happenings heralding the new season. Get out your calendars and hit the road to enjoy these farm-to-fork highlights. Loomis Eggplant Festival (Oct. 4) With featured dishes ranging from eggplant tacos, kabobs and burgers to eggplant parmesan and fried eggplant, purple reigns at this 27th annual Loomis festival celebrating the region’s agricultural heritage. Local chefs will demonstrate various ways to prepare the aubergine vegetable. Or, if you think you’ve got purple produce prowess, complete for cash prizes by submitting your favorite homemade dish in an eggplant cooking contest. Free. 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Loomis Train Depot. 5820 Webb St....

Posted at 05:24 PM | Permalink

5 flapjacks to flip for on National Pancake Day

09/25/14

5 flapjacks to flip for on National Pancake Day

Friday, Sept. 26, is National Pancake Day, and we have five hotcake hot spots around the region where you can have your own delicious celebrations. Batter up, Sacramento! Katrina’s Cafe Driving to Katrina’s Cafe in Auburn can feel almost like a pilgrimage, but once you settle into one of 16 tables inside this sunny and cozy eatery, you’ll feel right at home. For almost 30 years, Katrina’s has been serving up its signature lemon-yogurt pancakes, which come rolled up and sprinkled with a dash of lemon juice and powdered sugar. The batter includes fresh lemon zest and lemon juice, but it’s offset with creamy yogurt for a soft, sweet pancake with just enough pizzazz for the morning. Ask to include fresh fruit and the plate will come topped with seasonal...

Posted at 01:14 PM | Permalink

Blast 825° bets on build-your-own-pizza craze in Roseville, Rocklin and Elk Grove

09/24/14

Blast 825° bets on build-your-own-pizza craze in Roseville, Rocklin and Elk Grove

Blast 825°, a new pizza restaurant with big plans for the Sacramento region, has launched its grand opening this week in Roseville with an eye on charity. The eatery, which invites customers to build their own pizzas from three different types of crust and more than 40 toppings (a la Chipotle or Subway), specializes in the quick-fired cooking method from which it draws its name: Pizzas are blasted in an oven at 825 degrees for roughly three to four minutes. “We found that’s the best way to cook the pizza,” says Stacy Soderstrom, vice president of franchise development for Blast 825°’s Fresno-based parent company, Milano Restaurants. “It gives it the crispness, it melts the cheese, and it just makes the ingredients taste so much...

Posted at 03:53 PM | Permalink

10 delicious ways to celebrate National Cheeseburger Day

09/18/14

10 delicious ways to celebrate National Cheeseburger Day

Happy National Cheeseburger Day, Sacramento! Many will celebrate the occasion at tonight's annual Burger Battle at Cesar Chavez Plaza, where chefs from Broderick Roadhouse, Ettore’s (both 2013 winners), de Vere’s Irish Pub and a dozen other eateries will face off for burger bragging rights (and for a good cause, raising money for the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of America). While tickets for the Burger Battle are sold out, we’ve singled out 10 delicious Sacramento-area spots where you can get in the spirit of Cheeseburger Day today—or any day. Broderick Roadhouse Nicknamed “Ring of Fire” by the restaurant’s staff, this West Sacramento institution’s Johnny Cash burger features a smoked pepper-crusted Niman Ranch beef...

Posted at 12:08 PM | Permalink

Federalist brings new beer, bocce and food destination to midtown

09/16/14

Federalist brings new beer, bocce and food destination to midtown

Come early October, midtown will have a new source for craft beer and farm-to-fork fare when Federalist, a beer garden and restaurant, opens its doors on N Street between 20th and 21st streets, inside seven 40-foot-long welded-together shipping containers. Owner and architect Marvin Maldonado says that after months of delays, he's now confident that the new venue will be open in early October, hopefully in time for Second Saturday on Oct. 11. While there's still plenty of construction to be completed in the next several weeks, he plans to host a preview event of the space this Saturday for members of his Founder's Club, a $250 membership that includes discounts and invitations to special events. "I'm super excited," he says. "This is where all the...

Posted at 12:12 PM | Permalink

How to make the most of Sacramento's Farm-to-Fork Celebration

09/12/14

How to make the most of Sacramento's Farm-to-Fork Celebration

Farms, fairs, markets, restaurants and gardens around the region will be taking center stage as Sacramento’s second annual Farm-to-Fork Celebration launches this weekend and runs through Sept. 28. The festive fortnight offers a variety of unique events, from house hopping in East Sacramento to wine and food tasting in midtown to a cycling trek among Yolo County farmlands. (Check out Sactown's selection of Restaurant Weeks highlights here.) Whether on a bike ride with your family or a date night with your significant other, consider these opportunities to dig in and enjoy our local bounty. Official Farm-To-Fork Celebration events Legends of Wine Sept. 18 It’s not everyday you get the chance to mingle with local culinary expert Darrell Corti or...

Posted at 11:23 AM | Permalink

LowBrau founders bringing new restaurant to West Sacramento riverfront

09/11/14

LowBrau founders bringing new restaurant to West Sacramento riverfront

Two of the area’s most ambitious braintrusts are deepening their partnership in West Sacramento, where the developers behind the forthcoming culture hub The Barn have set a deal to host a new restaurant from the team behind LowBrau and Block Butcher Bar. Michael Hargis, Clay Nutting and chef Michael Tuohy will bring their midtown magic to the riverfront, introducing what Nutting describes as an “urban farm kitchen and beer garden” concept to The Barn. The yet-to-be-named eatery is slated to open with The Barn, itself tentatively scheduled to make its debut as the centerpiece of The Bridge District development along the Sacramento River in spring 2015.  “It’s a gathering space,” Nutting says. “That’s essentially what...

Posted at 08:57 PM | Permalink

10 highlights to savor during 2014 Farm-to-Fork Restaurant Weeks

09/10/14

10 highlights to savor during 2014 Farm-to-Fork Restaurant Weeks

Nearly three dozen (and counting) restaurants around the city are currently signed up to participate in Sacramento Farm-to-Fork Restaurant Weeks, a 16-day spotlight on local ingredients and their growers running from Sept. 13-28. Some of your favorite eateries will be serving up the option to dine from fixed price menus ranging from $10 to $45, while a portion of proceeds from Restaurant Weeks—which is hosted by the California Restaurant Association’s Sacramento chapter in partnership with the Sacramento Convention and Visitors Bureau—will benefit local food banks and the Food Literacy Center. Have a look below at some of the highlights planned for 2014. Café Bernardo Café Bernardo locations around the area will offer a $10 lunch special that...

Posted at 04:17 PM | Permalink

Honor International Day of Charity at restaurants and cafes that benefit Sacramento nonprofits

09/05/14

Honor International Day of Charity at restaurants and cafes that benefit Sacramento nonprofits

Charity begins at home, but also in our hometown. With Sept. 5's International Day of Charity upon us, we wanted to shine a spotlight on four charity-related restaurants and cafes where you can do good and eat well today and every day. My Sister's Café Tucked in a gray office complex along Capitol Mall, the bright pink sign above My Sister’s Cafe is like a lunch-hour beacon for downtown workers who come in for fresh sandwiches, salads and coffee drinks. The nonprofit My Sister’s House opened the cafe in March, with proceeds benefiting its mission to assist women and children in the region’s Asian and Pacific Islander community who are impacted by domestic violence. The cafe’s menu leans on Asian specialties like a banh mi sandwich on a...

Posted at 12:50 PM | Permalink

6 local spots to celebrate National Cheese Pizza Day, from slice to pie

09/05/14

6 local spots to celebrate National Cheese Pizza Day, from slice to pie

Let’s be honest: Any time is a good time to celebrate the marvel that is pizza. But today is National Cheese Pizza Day, and we’ve got six delicious, mozzarella-laden ways to pay tasty tribute to America’s favorite Italian import. Pizzeria Urbano This newcomer to Sacramento's pizza scene inhabits the space vacated by Luigi’s in midtown’s buzzy MARRS complex, serving up plate-size slices into the wee hours (they close up shop at 2:30 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays). Owners Carlos and Jose Luis Ulloa are doing pizza their way, and the formaggio pizza—whole-milk mozzarella cheese and house-made tomato sauce on a semi-thin crust that is airy and soft on the inside and crispy on the outside—surprises the mouth with unexpected flavor from...

Posted at 11:06 AM | Permalink

A new food competition spotlights barbecue and beer in Land Park

09/04/14

A new food competition spotlights barbecue and beer in Land Park

Beer will be flowing and meat will be smoking this Saturday at an inaugural barbecue competition and fundraiser for the Sacramento Artists Council.  Follow the aroma to William Land Park on Sept. 6 for Smoke on the River, where 40 competitive barbecue teams—30 of which comprise Kansas City Barbecue Society members who are hoping to earn the title of Grand Champion in the Society-sanctioned part of the day’s competition—will be smoking copious amounts of chicken, ribs, brisket and pork, using their best dry rubs, sauces and other best-kept BBQ secrets. The judges will score each entry based on taste, appearance and texture. Awards will be given for the best of each meat category, but the Grand Champion winner will earn a place in a drawing to compete...

Posted at 12:13 PM | Permalink

Menu announced for Sacramento's Farm-to-Fork gala dinner

09/02/14

Menu announced for Sacramento's Farm-to-Fork gala dinner

The chefs are chosen, the site is set, and now the menu is unveiled for the second annual gala dinner celebrating Sacramento’s status as the Farm-to-Fork Capital of America. Chefs Brian Mizner (of Hook & Ladder) and Jason Poole (of Dawson’s steakhouse) today revealed a three-course menu featuring ingredients from farms, dairies, breweries and other providers around the region, from an heirloom bean salad compiled from sources in four counties to a lamb entrée prepared with Sacramento’s own Track 7 beer. Mizner and Poole will lead a team of kitchen pros from top Sacramento-area restaurants at the Sept. 28 dinner, which will host more than 700 diners at tables lining the Tower Bridge. The group convened this morning for a run-through of the...

Posted at 02:30 PM | Permalink

Perk up your weekend at Sacramento's first Caffeine Crawl

09/02/14

Perk up your weekend at Sacramento's first Caffeine Crawl

Cool beans! Sacramento’s growing reputation as a coffee hub gets a further boost on Sept. 6 when the city hosts the Caffeine Crawl, a national touring affair featuring citywide events at coffeehouses and roasteries in locations like Vancouver, San Francisco and Denver. Founded and organized by The Lab, a boutique marketing firm, Caffeine Crawl began three years ago and has taken place 24 times since then, according to The Lab’s Emily McIntyre. “We look out for cities with strong coffee cultures, and Sacramento is one of those,” she says. “I’ve been consistently excited by the professionalism that the shop owners in Sacramento exhibit, and it’s offset by this great friendly welcome and healthy sense of competition." Caffeine Crawl...

Posted at 09:45 AM | Permalink

Six great ways to partake in International Bacon Day

08/29/14

Six great ways to partake in International Bacon Day

There’s no shortage of Sacramento-area eateries crafting creative ways to serve up every carnivore’s favorite treat, so in honor of International Bacon Day this Saturday, here are six of our favorite ways to pig out. Roxy Restaurant & Bar Roxy Restaurant & Bar really brings home the bacon with its delicious breakfast burger (pictured above), which will be served all weekend long—on Labor Day, you can get it by request—and features thick slices of smoked bacon sandwiched together with a Lucky Dog Ranch beef patty, an over-easy egg, aged white cheddar, caramelized onions and house steak sauce, all inside a hearty brioche roll (yes, you might need an extra napkin). 2381 Fair Oaks Blvd. 489-2000. roxyrestaurantandbar.com Bacon Mania  ...

Posted at 03:57 PM | Permalink

10 Monday brunches worth savoring on Labor Day

08/28/14

10 Monday brunches worth savoring on Labor Day

The approach of Labor Day weekend may signal that summer’s days are numbered, but the living is still easy as many local restaurants are opening their kitchens for Monday brunch service. Check out some of our favorite spots below, and have a delicious holiday! Awful Annie's A local breakfast institution with locations in Auburn and Lincoln, Awful Annie's will serve up its customarily tempting breakfast items this Labor Day. The hardest part is deciding among the offerings, which range from eight variations on eggs Benedict to five kinds of waffles, 15 omelets, 11 scrambles and the signature Big Mess (home-fried potatoes with cheese, bell pepper, green onion, mushroom, tomato and zucchini, and topped with avocado and sour cream). awfulannies.com Cafe Bernardo...

Posted at 11:00 AM | Permalink | Comments

Local food experts to discuss past, present and future of farm-to-fork at California Museum

08/27/14

Local food experts to discuss past, present and future of farm-to-fork at California Museum

If you’re a fan of Sacramento’s local food scene, an upcoming event at The California Museum is your chance to hear from some of its most esteemed voices. On Sept. 9, KFBK host Kitty O’Neal will moderate “Secrets of California’s Farm-to-Fork Movement,” a panel discussion featuring culinary experts like grocer Darrell Corti, Paragary Restaurant Group’s executive chef Kurt Spataro, Soil Born Farms founder Shawn Harrison, and The Center for Land-Based Learning founder Craig McNamara. “We hear so much about farm-to-fork that it seemed a worthwhile idea to dig beneath the slogan and find out what that term really means as it applies to different people in the food industry,” O’Neal says. The panelists will...

Posted at 10:29 AM | Permalink

Local company bringing eco-friendly beer growlers to craft-crazed Sacramento

08/22/14

Local company bringing eco-friendly beer growlers to craft-crazed Sacramento

Sacramento now has another pioneering product in its craft beer movement, but this time it’s not a new brew. EcoGrowler is a lightweight, eco-friendly beer growler launched in March by Rancho Murieta resident Nathan Andreatta and his business partner Leah Stoker. Flexible, reusable, portable, made out of 100 percent recyclable materials (including foil inner layer and vinyl outer layer), and sporting an airtight cap, the EcoGrowler is the only patented collapsible, carbonation-retaining beverage product currently on the market. “As a craft beer lover, I felt there was a lot of great beer out there but not a lot of great products to augment one’s love of craft beer,” Andreatta says. “Outside of buying a pint glass or poster, there’s not a...

Posted at 10:44 AM | Permalink

TBD Fest brings leading chefs to square off in The Pit

08/22/14

TBD Fest brings leading chefs to square off in The Pit

TBD Fest, the three-day music and culture festival set for West Sacramento this October, is serving up news on the local food front as well. Organizers today revealed plans for The Pit, a wood-fired cooking demonstration zone featuring 14 chefs from acclaimed regional eateries including Grange, Hawks, Hook & Ladder, Lucca, Mother and Paragary’s. The chefs from each restaurant will face off for what TBD Fest is calling “Friendly Fire,” in which their teams will have roughly three hours to prepare a dish for festival attendees, who will then vote for a winner. “It’ll be the chefs’ version of the stage,” says Michael Tuohy, the kitchen mastermind at LowBrau and Block Butcher Bar (both co-owned by TBD Fest founders Michael Hargis and...

Posted at 10:39 AM | Permalink

Eat, drink and bike as a group with new Pedal to Plate tours

08/21/14

Eat, drink and bike as a group with new Pedal to Plate tours

For a wheel good way to spend an evening, hop aboard a 15-seater bicycle for one of Sacramento’s new Pedal to Plate expeditions, which debut Aug. 28 and will take passengers on three-hour-long bike-powered cruises to midtown food and drink establishments. The outings are a partnership between Local Roots Food Tours, which guides popular culinary journeys in and around Sacramento, and the new Sac Brew Bike, whose customized, eco-friendly bike—which normally operates trips to local breweries—will provide transportation. “We’ve been getting feedback that it would be cool to do something via bike, because this is such a biking community, [and] when Sac Brew Bike came along, I thought we could match up together and make a wonderful tour,” says...

Posted at 10:22 AM | Permalink

Cool down with a trio of warm-weather cocktails at Shady Lady

08/20/14

Cool down with a trio of warm-weather cocktails at Shady Lady

With the weather heating up and Midtown Cocktail Week in full swing, cool down with a new iced drink from Shady Lady Saloon, which was recently named one of the 25 best bars in America by Esquire. The bar makes a splash with these three new summer sippers. Seasonal Punch Describing it as the quintessential summer beverage, Shady Lady GM and cocktail master Carl Wenger created the cooler using botanical and mandarin vodkas, lemon, simple syrup and water. His secret ingredient: chrysanthemum flowers for an earthy, herbal twist. “It’s a very attractive, easy-to-enjoy drink,” he says. “If I were going to be sitting out in the sun, I’d probably be drinking this.” Recipe (makes 1 cocktail) ¾ oz.    Square One Botanical...

Posted at 09:38 AM | Permalink

A new festival celebrating chicken wings debuts in Sacramento

08/19/14

A new festival celebrating chicken wings debuts in Sacramento

In a city crazy about its culinary gatherings, get ready for some fowl play this Saturday in midtown's Fremont Park—Sactown Wings, Sacramento’s inaugural chicken wing festival.  “I was talking with a friend and realized that Sacramento didn’t have anything dedicated to chicken wings,” says Nick Berruezo, the event’s founder and organizer. “We have lots of bacon and beer and tomatoes, lots of food festivals, but nothing for chicken wings, and chicken-wing lovers are pretty passionate.” To remedy this, more than 15,000 barbecue, Buffalo and other specialty flavor wings will be served up at the event by chefs from six local restaurants—Chicago Fire, Water’z Wing’z, Barwest, Field House American Sports...

Posted at 12:39 PM | Permalink

5 events to toast to during Midtown Cocktail Week

08/15/14

5 events to toast to during Midtown Cocktail Week

It’s almost time to raise a glass to Midtown Cocktail Week, Sacramento’s seventh annual celebration of all things mixological. Running from Aug. 19-24, the six-day series of events boasts competitions, classes and chances to partake in the city’s burgeoning cocktail culture. Here are five highlights worth toasting to. The Cocktail Competition Aug. 19 Cocktail week kicks off with one of its most popular events. Watch as eight bartenders from local watering holes and restaurants like Shady Lady Saloon, Hook & Ladder Manufacturing Co. and Field House American Sports Pub go head-to-head mixing their tastiest creations using Tanqueray 10 gin to win the grand prize of $1,000 and bragging rights until next year. Judging the competition will be industry leaders...

Posted at 03:56 PM | Permalink

Slice is right at Pizzeria Urbano, midtown’s latest pizza spot

08/15/14

Slice is right at Pizzeria Urbano, midtown’s latest pizza spot

Sacramento’s midtown pizza scene continues to heat up this week with the grand opening of Pizzeria Urbano, a new eatery tucked in the buzzy MARRS complex on 20th Street and J and K streets, on Friday. Urbano, which has served customers for lunch, dinner and late nights during its recent soft launch, occupies the space previously inhabited by Luigi’s Slice, which closed in May. Pizzeria Urbano is the latest entry in midtown’s crowding pizza scene, joining fellow upstart Trick Pony and Sacramento institutions like Hot Italian and Zelda’s in the quest for a piece of the pie. Carlos and Jose Luis Ulloa, the brothers who co-own the neighboring MARRS restaurant Azul, launched Urbano with the intention of putting their own spin on midtown’s craze for...

Posted at 03:49 PM | Permalink

Bacon & Butter set to reopen this month in Tahoe Park

08/14/14

Bacon & Butter set to reopen this month in Tahoe Park

Update: Bacon & Butter is now scheduled to open on Sept. 27. Flapjack fanatics, mark your calendars: The highly anticipated new Tahoe Park location of Bacon & Butter—chef-owner Billy Zoellin’s beloved breakfast and lunch eatery previously located in midtown—is finally on track to open by the end of this month after receiving key permits from city inspectors. The menu is still taking shape, but look for this new iteration of Bacon & Butter to hold to the original’s devotion to seasonality and local ingredients in its frequently rotating lineup that will incorporate two seemingly opposing emphases: vegetable-heavy dishes and smoked meats like house-made sausages, charcuterie and pastrami. (Zoellin’s famed fluffy, from-scratch pancakes...

Posted at 11:59 AM | Permalink

Where to get your gooey fix on National S'mores Day

08/08/14

Where to get your gooey fix on National S'mores Day

You may have forgotten to put it on your calendar this year, but National S’mores Day is rolling around again this Sunday (time flies, right?). But if you don't have a roaring campfire handy for proper s'more assembly, don't panic. We've got the next best thing—a handy list of sweet treats inspired by the real deal, running the gamut from hot, gooey milk chocolate fondue to Nutella-drizzled artisan waffles. Trust us; you won't be able to get enough. You'll definitely want, ahem, some more. Cafeteria 15L Presented in a cast-iron skillet, Cafeteria 15L’s Skillet S’mores plate puts a new spin on the classic campfire treat. The dessert features a rich Valrhona chocolate brownie, which is covered with marshmallows and given a quick...

Posted at 11:36 AM | Permalink

Liquidology set to open an East Sacramento hot spot for cold-pressed juices

08/07/14

Liquidology set to open an East Sacramento hot spot for cold-pressed juices

Sacramentans will soon have a new destination to get their daily fresh fruit and veggie fix: Liquidology Bar, an East Sacramento juicery that will begin offering its healthy beverages next month out of its new shop front at 46th and H streets. Scheduled to open on Sept. 15, Liquidology will exclusively offer nutrition-packed juices made in the labor-intensive “cold-pressed” method, which has grown popular for its ability to maintain the highest amount of nutrients in produce by minimizing heat and oxidation during juicing. “The health benefits [of cold-pressed juices] are mind-blowing,” says Jules Braun, a former health and nutrition consultant who began the business with Jeff Greco, a teacher at Woodcreek High School. The cold-pressing method, he...

Posted at 11:50 AM | Permalink

Have Another Offal Day to test city's most adventurous eaters

08/07/14

Have Another Offal Day to test city's most adventurous eaters

Adventurous eaters will be challenged with offal offerings this weekend at Have Another Offal Day, a follow-up to last year’s culinary extravaganza where Sacramento chefs got a little experimental with the lesser-used parts of cow, pig and fowl. Offal refers to organs, heads, feet and other parts of animals used for cooking after the more conventional cuts are spoken for. Chefs like Billy Ngo (Kru), Mike Thiemann (Mother), Michael Tuohy (Block Butcher Bar) and Jason Poole (Dawson’s) will be among the dozen who will gather on Sunday at Mulvaney’s Building & Loan to serve up dishes comprising parts like these for curious carnivores. Host chef and Offal Day founder Patrick Mulvaney describes the event as another way to celebrate the farms and food of the...

Posted at 11:11 AM | Permalink

Ice cream-filled doughnuts sweeten summer in Sacramento

08/05/14

Ice cream-filled doughnuts sweeten summer in Sacramento

Move aside, cronut. There’s a new kid on the block this summer: the ice cream doughnut sandwich—or “ice glazers,” as the proprietors of Baker’s Donuts in South Sacramento call them. Owners Susie and Randy Hem introduced the treats to their menu in July, stuffing glazed doughnuts with exotic ice cream flavors like Thai tea, green tea and the brightly colored and eye-catching ube (purple yam) and pandan (green coconut). Susie Hem, who opened Baker’s Donuts in 1985, adapted the idea from a summer indulgence once enjoyed by her son Douglas and daughter Stephanie who now help manage and run the counter at Baker’s. “When we were little, my mother always put ice cream in bread, and my brother started telling his friends to do...

Posted at 11:43 AM | Permalink

Last call for Doughbot: Sacramento doughnut hotspot closing doors Aug. 3

07/31/14

Last call for Doughbot: Sacramento doughnut hotspot closing doors Aug. 3

Doughnut aficionados around Sacramento are down to their last weekend for Doughbot, the artisanal sweets spot that will close its doors Sunday morning, Aug. 3, after three years in business.  And if you plan to partake, either call ahead or set your alarm clock: Doughbot, which opens at 7 a.m. has sold out its entire stock within an hour each of the last two mornings.  For devotees looking to get one final Doughbot dozen in before they're gone for good, owners Bryan Widener and Dannah O'Donnell have posted pre-order guidelines to their Facebook page. (In-store purchases are currently limited to two dozen.) The store, located at 2226 10th Street, will shutter permanently when the final bacon maple, pink lemonade, carrot cake, creme brulee, lemon lavender or...

Posted at 02:50 PM | Permalink

Wine takes center stage at 10 days of events around region

07/31/14

Wine takes center stage at 10 days of events around region

Wine lovers rejoice—the age-old beverage is flowing all over our fair region. Raise a glass at these six events uncorking over the next 10 days, from midtown nights out to weekend day trips and more. Cheers! Wine Tasting at Enotria Aug. 1 The celebrated Del Paso Boulevard wine destination regularly complements its tasting room hours with events celebrating the region’s fruit of the vine, and this Friday features wines from Frank Family Vineyards, which was named 2012 Winery of the Year by Connoisseurs’ Guide to California Wine. The winemaker draws grapes from its three vineyards to create an array of tantalizing tipples, such as chardonnay, zinfandel, sangiovese and the sought-after Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon, which is barrel-aged for two and a half years....

Posted at 10:07 AM | Permalink

Cheesy delights take over Sacramento eateries as cheese conference comes to town

07/29/14

Cheesy delights take over Sacramento eateries as cheese conference comes to town

The 2014 American Cheese Society Conference has wheeled into Sacramento and local restaurants are taking note, with special menu items and cheese plates only available this week. Here are a few of our favorites. Ambrosia Cafe Ambrosia’s two locations (on K Street and on Capitol Mall) is serving up daily specials featuring cheese. On Wednesday, look for an organic grilled burger with Cypress Grove Chevre’s Truffle Tremor (a goat cheese mixed with the hearty flavor of Italian black summer truffles). On Thursday the cafes will be serving up a broccoli cheddar soup, and on Friday, try the panini with peach thyme jam, pancetta and Point Reyes Farmstead Cheese Company’s blue cheese. Leave room for dessert: A dish of mixed berry galettes with brie, and a fig and blue...

Posted at 04:44 PM | Permalink

Big cheese coming to Sacramento for 2014 American Cheese Society Conference

07/24/14

Big cheese coming to Sacramento for 2014 American Cheese Society Conference

America’s farm-to-fork capital is set to say—and see and taste—cheese next week as the 31st annual American Cheese Society Conference descends upon downtown from July 29 to Aug. 2. Held at the Sacramento Convention Center, this prestigious industry event will bring together hundreds of cheese industry leaders and the largest American-made cheese judging competition in the nation. Sacramento’s renowned grocer and culinary expert Darrell Corti will kick off the conference opening as a keynote speaker, accompanied by radio and TV personality Narsai David. Local chefs like Andrew Hillman of The Cultured & The Cured and Michael Touhy of LowBrau and Block Butcher Bar will also be leading education seminars. “What’s curious is that people...

Posted at 10:35 AM | Permalink

Sac Brew Bus takes Sacramento's craft-crazy beer fans on new regional tours

07/23/14

Sac Brew Bus takes Sacramento's craft-crazy beer fans on new regional tours

Starting this weekend, a new tour designed to take local craft beer enthusiasts to some of this region’s most popular breweries will launch in the form of the Sac Brew Bus. The 50-passenger vehicle’s first tour, which will run Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., will stop at Bike Dog Brewing Company in West Sacramento, Heretic Brewing Company in Fairfield and Berryessa Brewing Company in Winters. Brew Bus co-founder Chris Haney says the tours are intended to expose groups of beer lovers to the area’s booming craft culture in a fun, safe and educational way. “Any opportunity to go have a good time and have transportation that’s provided is great,” he says. “If you [live in Sacramento and] wanted to go to Rubicon and Track 7, maybe...

Posted at 01:30 PM | Permalink

Rick's Dessert Diner readies for sweet new midtown location

07/15/14

Rick's Dessert Diner readies for sweet new midtown location

After 28 years of business near 24th and K streets, Rick’s Dessert Diner will close the doors at its iconic pink building this Sunday to move to a sweet new spot opening next week—just a block away on J Street. The new location at 2401 J St. will nearly double the diner’s size to 3,600 square feet, accommodating 100 customers indoors and up to 40 on the patio (currently, only 40 people can fit inside the space) while allowing for a wider range of the delectable desserts for which Rick’s is famous. “We have 285 varieties of desserts, and right now I’m not doing them all at the same time,” says Ahmed Eita, who has owned Rick’s since 1992. “But once we go [to the new location], and we have more space and more display cases,...

Posted at 04:29 PM | Permalink

First-ever Sacratomato Week takes over Sutter District bars, eateries

07/14/14

First-ever Sacratomato Week takes over Sutter District bars, eateries

The time is ripe for Sacramento to take hold of its classic agricultural nickname. From July 21-27, during the inaugural “Sacratomato Week,” businesses in Midtown’s Sutter District will be featuring creative menu items that highlight the Farm-to-Fork Capital’s signature fruit. “[The tomato] is just something about Sacramento that I feel a lot of people associate us with, and I think that’s even before this whole farm-to-fork branding occurred,” says Callista Wengler, chair of the Sutter District and marketing director of Paragary Restaurant Group. “I grew up in Sacramento, and I always remember the trucks coming down the freeway with tons of tomatoes falling all over.” The Sutter District features 11 eateries, bars and...

Posted at 09:00 AM | Permalink

Exclusive sneak peek at the new Brasserie Capitale

07/11/14

Exclusive sneak peek at the new Brasserie Capitale

Update: Brasserie Capitale opened on May 11, 2015. Click here for our first impressions and a peek inside the restaurant. K Street will soon undergo a French evolution when Brasserie Capitale fills the empty space once occupied by the iconic Broiler restaurant. Led by proprietor Aziz Bellarbi-Salah (who also owns midtown’s Aioli and The Grand wine bar) and classically trained French chef Christophe Cornet (the former private chef to the Maloof family), the brasserie will replace its predecessor’s dark booths and shadowy corners with sweeping drapes, bright red accents, a cast-metal bar and striking light fixtures, thanks to the “great vision,” says Bellarbi-Salah, of San Francisco-based designer Sherman Warren. “We are going as bright and light...

Posted at 04:48 PM | Permalink | Comments

5 scrumptious local scoops to try during National Ice Cream Month

07/03/14

5 scrumptious local scoops to try during National Ice Cream Month

When we heard that July was National Ice Cream Month, we couldn’t wait to get the scoop on some of the most delicious flavors in the region. From fresh seasonal faves to popular classics, here are five icy-cold treats that are worth celebrating this month. Devine Gelateria & Cafe From caramel sea-salt gelato to champagne poached pluot sorbetto, there’s no shortage of options enticing patrons to this midtown sweets destination. But owner Elizabeth McCleary has also reinvented the classic Bananas Foster into a gelato, which placed in the top 10 at this spring’s Gelato World Tour event in Austin (picture of the flavor above by Jane Ko). Combining bananas, brown sugar, cinnamon and banana liqueur with a hint of dark rum and topped with caramel and toasted...

Posted at 09:00 AM | Permalink

South restaurant announces new location and fall opening in Southside Park

07/01/14

South restaurant announces new location and fall opening in Southside Park

The owners of South, a contemporary Southern cuisine restaurant originally scheduled to open last year, are planning a late September opening in the up-and-coming neighborhood around Southside Park. Husband and wife team Ian and N'Gina Kavookjian, who previously owned Eight American Bistro in Granite Bay, say they’ll open South at 11th and T streets, in the former location of Chinese grocery store Cheung Hing Company, which closed in 2012. They intend to start renovations on the 1,500-square-foot space in August. The news follows the Kavookjians’ attempt to open South five blocks away at the former location of the historic Paris French Bakery. Complications with city permits and renovations pushed the project back and recently spawned an Indiegogo crowdfunding...

Posted at 10:59 AM | Permalink

New-look, new-menu Capital Dime reopens this weekend

06/27/14

New-look, new-menu Capital Dime reopens this weekend

Midtown restaurant Capital Dime, which recently joined the Broderick Roadhouse family of restaurants, will unveil a new look and a new menu when it reopens on Saturday afternoon. The one-year-old L Street eatery will renew its original focus on small plates and other cuisine developed in Sacramento’s booming farm-to-fork tradition, with dishes served a la carte and most falling in the $5 to $10 range. New selections will include everything from Broderick’s renowned burgers to comfort foods like fried green tomato BLTs, bison sloppy Joes, taco plates (featuring steak, grilled fish, duck, tofu and other options), fried chicken wings, mac and cheese, and vegetarian selections like a Reuben decked out with marinated king oyster mushrooms. “It’s going to be...

Posted at 08:06 PM | Permalink

West Sacramento’s Jackrabbit Brewing Co. reveals expansion plans

06/23/14

West Sacramento’s Jackrabbit Brewing Co. reveals expansion plans

West Sacramento’s Jackrabbit Brewing Company is making a bunny hop to the big leagues, with plans to expand its brewery and open a public taproom by late September or early October. In the coming months, Jackrabbit will expand from 1,500 to 4,500 square feet with a public taproom that would be open on the weekends, a front patio and bar area. Launched in 2011, Jackrabbit is currently a production-only brewery that operates out of its location in a West Sacramento business park down the road from Yolo Brewing Company and Bike Dog Brewing Co. “We have an opportunity to create a unique brewery community right here,” says co-founder Chris Powell. “People can go to three breweries within walking distance of each other, and I think that’s something...

Posted at 12:26 PM | Permalink

Dawson's launches monthly beer dinners with Track 7 meal

06/12/14

Dawson's launches monthly beer dinners with Track 7 meal

Sacramento’s booming beer scene has another reason to rejoice this week as Dawson’s at the Hyatt Regency launches its monthly craft beer dinners. Every second Friday through the end of summer, chef de cuisine Michael Grande will create a four-course menu to pair with four selections from a local brewery. First up is Track 7 Brewing, which will provide grains used in its brewing process for Grande’s starter course “spent grain” flatbread. Grande says the dish is intended to complement the brewery's light Bee Line Blonde, with sweet elements like grilled donut peaches that will echo the local wildflower honey in the ale. After a course of house-made pinwheel sausage paired with Track 7’s Daylight Amber, a tender salad of locally grown hop...

Posted at 09:17 AM | Permalink

Enotria serves up grand reopening party tonight in North Sacramento

06/11/14

Enotria serves up grand reopening party tonight in North Sacramento

After a nearly five-month hiatus, Enotria is cooking once again. The North Sacramento wine destination revives its food menu with tonight’s “Carnivale Spectacular” party—a grand reopening celebration complete with wine bottle toss games, a hall of mirrors, and tents full of food prepared by chef Gabriel Glasier, former executive chef of Fair Oaks’ Slocum House. Sacramento’s dining scene was jolted when owner David Hardie announced the closing of the restaurant, then helmed by executive chef Pajo Bruich, back in January. Hardie maintained ownership of Enotria, adopting a less formal concept for the space while embarking on a partnership with wine education company WineCentric and Glasier’s catering company Chef and Baker. “I...

Posted at 01:35 PM | Permalink

5 sweet Sacramento spots to enjoy National Doughnut Day

06/05/14

5 sweet Sacramento spots to enjoy National Doughnut Day

Nobody needs an excuse to enjoy a fantastic doughnut. But if you only choose one day to indulge in some of the finest sweet, versatile confections Sacramento has to offer, make it National Doughnut Day, which takes place across the country on Friday, June 6. Here are five locations around town to make the most of this hole-y occasion. Doughbot This doughnut destination near Southside Park makes its tasty offerings fresh daily, boasting unique flavor combos like the perennial favorites lemon-lavender and deluxe doughnuts like the Big Lebowski ode The Dude (filled with White Russian cream and topped with a Kahlua reduction glaze) and margarita-tinged lime-coconut malasada (filled with lime-coconut custard and dusted with li hing sugar). Vegan options abound as well, and...

Posted at 03:01 PM | Permalink

10 great farmers' markets to check out this summer around Sacramento

05/19/14

10 great farmers' markets to check out this summer around Sacramento

Summer is upon us, which means it’s prime time for farmers’ markets around the Sacramento region. To reap your bounty of fresh produce and other locally produced provisions, check out one of these 10 terrific markets making the most of their home in the Farm-to-Fork Capital of America. Sacramento Central Founded in 1980, this market shaded by the freeway is both the city’s oldest and one of the state’s largest markets, showcasing the capital region’s bounty in over 120 diverse vendors during the summer season. From foodie delights (like Solano Mushroom Farms, Del Rio Dates, Kelly’s Crayfish and Davis Bread and Desserts) to garden goodies by Ayson Nursery in Galt, this comprehensive shopping experience offers something for everyone....

Posted at 03:25 PM | Permalink

60 breweries heading to Sacramento for West Coast Brew Fest

05/16/14

60 breweries heading to Sacramento for West Coast Brew Fest

It might be 90 and sunny this Saturday in Sacramento, but that doesn’t mean it won’t pour in Miller Park. More than 60 breweries will be on hand for the 15th annual West Coast Brew Fest, where hopheads will hit the riverside for tastes and tipples from around the western U.S. and even Canada. The venerable beer event will feature Sacramento suds stalwarts like Track 7, New Helvetia, Hoppy Brewing, River City and Bike Dog alongside visitors from nine other states from Alaska to Nevada and Hawaii. Not to be outdone, British Columbia will be represented by three breweries—Squamish, Parallel 49 and Steamworks—while Boston Beer Company (the brewer of Samuel Adams lager) and Vermont Hard Cider are getting into the action as well from the East Coast. The...

Posted at 11:16 AM | Permalink

Oak Park Farmers Market launches fifth season, preps for facelift

04/24/14

Oak Park Farmers Market launches fifth season, preps for facelift

For the last four years, the Oak Park Farmers Market has brought healthy, local food and engaging activities to its historic neighborhood. This Saturday, the annual market celebrates the beginning of its fifth season and ushers in a new era for its host site, McClatchy Park, with a groundbreaking to kick off the massive renovations that will take place there over the coming months. Upgrades to the 125-year-old park’s facilities—from a jogging trail to tennis courts and a themed playground inspired by the old Joyland amusement park that once existed in Oak Park—will further the market’s aims to bring excitement and vitality to the neighborhood. “The farmers’ market brings in people from outside neighborhoods to see the park and all of...

Posted at 11:10 AM | Permalink

Midtown restaurant Bacon & Butter moves to Tahoe Park in June

04/23/14

Midtown restaurant Bacon & Butter moves to Tahoe Park in June

Fans of Bacon & Butter—chef-owner Billy Zoellin’s wildly popular breakfast and lunch spot—know that its homey fare and devoted brunch following can translate into some serious wait times, especially on weekends. The wait will soon be over, as later this spring, the beloved midtown eatery heads across town to Tahoe Park, where it will offer more seating, as well as a seasonal outdoor dining area. Although the exact timing of the move is still in flux due to construction schedules, Zoellin expects to have the Tahoe Park location (once a Chinese restaurant) up and running by Father’s Day, while the current space will close either on May 20—Bacon & Butter’s two-year anniversary—or over Memorial Day weekend. In addition to...

Posted at 01:18 PM | Permalink

Midtown Farmers Market gets into Second Saturday spirit

04/02/14

Midtown Farmers Market gets into Second Saturday spirit

Sacramento's long-standing arts and culture tradition known as Second Saturday has added a new culinary component befitting of America's Farm-to-Fork Capital. Starting April 12 through November, on the second Saturday of every month, the Midtown Farmers Market will add a new “Tasting Garden” boasting cooking demonstrations and other attractions intended to complement—and naturally draw from—the neighborhood’s thriving weekly produce market at 20th and J streets. From 8 a.m. to 1 p.m., visitors can stroll among the green goodies in a perimeter of planter boxes adjacent to the market. The edible plants will be available for purchase for $3 each, while local chefs will cull ingredients for cooking demos from the bounty on hand. Local wines...

Posted at 10:43 AM | Permalink

New 'cue: Fahrenheit 250 opens today on Folsom Blvd.

03/28/14

New 'cue: Fahrenheit 250 opens today on Folsom Blvd.

There’s a new eatery in town for barbecue lovers: Fahrenheit 250 opens tonight near Sacramento State, filling the space once occupied by Bisla’s Sports Bar. Fahrenheit 250 is the brainchild of co-owners and cousins Ray Lettini and Gino Sardo, who took over ownership of Bisla's in 2012 and began converting the location to their new venue over the winter. Their menu focuses on high-quality meats from producers like Diestel Ranch and Mary’s Free Range Chicken, which will get plenty of smoky flavor from cooking over locally seasoned wood in a barbecue made of two-inch thick steel that was handcrafted in Houston. If a glimpse at the opening day menu is any indication, carnivores aren’t the only ones who will appreciate faring at Fahrenheit. Vegetarian...

Posted at 03:09 PM | Permalink

Soil Born Farms gets spring season underway with new classes and events

03/26/14

Soil Born Farms gets spring season underway with new classes and events

With winter gradually giving way to spring, Soil Born Farms’ year-round mission of agricultural and environmental education introduces its new season this week with a number of public events and programs. This Saturday brings Fun on the Farm, a seasonal Soil Born open house co-hosted by the Sacramento Natural Foods Co-op. The family-friendly event, which runs from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m., offers children ages 3 to 9 opportunities to explore the farm, meet the animals that live there, and make snacks using fresh Soil Born ingredients. Admission is $15 ($10 for Co-op owners); pre-registration details can be found here. This week also marks the relaunch of Soil Born’s “Grow Your Groceries” Urban Farmer Course, which includes 14 in-depth classes in sustainable...

Posted at 12:55 PM | Permalink

Eat to Feed the Hungry at 17 top local restaurants

03/21/14

Eat to Feed the Hungry at 17 top local restaurants

The Sacramento Food Bank is teaming up with 17 of the region's best restaurants to raise money for families in need during the third annual Eat to Feed the Hungry. The event takes place from March 24-30 at Broderick Roadhouse, Ella Dining Room & Bar, Hot Italian, Mulvaney’s B&L, Red Rabbit Kitchen & Bar, Ten22, and other celebrated area eateries. Blake Young, president of the Sacramento Food Bank & Family Services, says he hopes the event will bring more awareness to the nonprofit organization, which serves thousands of families each year and puts on the popular Run to Feed the Hungry race each Thanksgiving. “We are blessed to have the Run to Feed the Hungry and a lot of support during the holidays, but the reality is that people are hungry and...

Posted at 02:00 PM | Permalink

Sacramento Food Film Festival serves up a feast for the eyes

03/18/14

Sacramento Food Film Festival serves up a feast for the eyes

See culinary-focused films that look good enough to eat at the third annual Sacramento Food Film Festival, which gets underway this Thursday. Founded and organized by Catherine Enfield, a local food blogger and farm-to-fork advocate, the festival will run March 20-30 and offer screenings in different locations throughout the city. This week's opening-night event will include a screening of the documentary Spinning Plates (which features the world-renowned Yountville chef Thomas Keller) at Ten22, which will offer a menu of appetizers and a gift bag to attendees. The Sterling Hotel will host a screening of Beer Wars this Saturday, March 22, with chef Adam Pechal providing small bites and Ruhstaller serving up its new California Nugget beer (brewed with its namesake hops...

Posted at 03:20 PM | Permalink

Six-pack of options for Beer Week's final weekend

03/08/14

Six-pack of options for Beer Week's final weekend

IPA Day March 8: Hop lovers, look no further. Capitol Beer & Tap Room will have a heap of India Pale Ales on tap all day long. Get your fill of IPA, DIPA, TIPA, BIPA, WIPA, and any other IPA variant you could possibly imagine. If it’s hoppy, it’s here. Capitol Beer & Tap Room. 2222 Fair Oaks Blvd. 922-1745. capitolbeer.com Sour Power March 8: Pucker up for Boneshaker’s sour beer spectacular. Choose from a selection of 10 sours, including Anderson Valley, Crazy Mountain, Drake’s special releases, New Belgium, RR Temptation, Tahoe Mountain and even Boneshaker’s own house brew. Boneshaker Public House. 2168 Sunset Blvd. #104. Rocklin. 259-2337. boneshakerpub.com Free Bike Tune-up with New Belgium Brewing March 8:...

Posted at 01:18 PM | Permalink

Get the scoop on six new Sacramento breweries opening this spring

03/07/14

Get the scoop on six new Sacramento breweries opening this spring

As Sacramento Beer Week winds down into Sunday’s massive Capitol Beer Fest finale featuring 100 regional breweries lining Capitol Mall, we look ahead to what’s brewing elsewhere around the area this spring and summer. Keep these six sudsy upstarts in mind—in Sacramento, a revelatory new pour is never more than a few hops away. Big Sexy Brewing Company Scheduled to open this June in Auburn, Big Sexy Brewing Company will offer a broad variety of predominantly West Coast-style brews—ranging from American ales to barrel-aged beers and inventive options incorporating flavors like peach and mandarin—each prepared by brewmaster Mark Taylor. The 5,000-square-foot brewery and taproom will be buzzing with energy, courtesy of elements like video games, ping...

Posted at 03:59 PM | Permalink

Empty Bowls event dishes it up for a good cause

03/07/14

Empty Bowls event dishes it up for a good cause

Some of Sacramento’s best restaurants will help soup up the city next week at Empty Bowls, the two-day fundraiser for the River City Food Bank. Grange, Zocalo, Lucca, Cafe Bernardo and more than a half-dozen other area eateries will contribute soup to the 11th annual event at the Sacramento Convention Center, where an estimated 1,300 participants will attend a dinner seating on Mar. 10 and/or a luncheon on Mar. 11. The gathering raised over $100,000 for the Food Bank in 2013; organizers hope to exceed $125,000 this year. “It has definitely grown over the last few years, to a point where we really do need to hold it at a place like the Convention Center to make sure that everyone who wants to come can come,” says Eileen Thomas, the River City Food Bank...

Posted at 10:23 AM | Permalink

Beer Week goes vegetarian tonight at Capitol Garage

03/04/14

Beer Week goes vegetarian tonight at Capitol Garage

As this year's busy Sacramento Beer Week approaches the halfway mark, Capitol Garage wants to remind those celebrating this week’s frothy festivities that beer need not be served with steer. Tonight at 6:30, the restaurant at 15th and K streets will welcome Fortuna-based Eel River Brewing—America’s first certified organic brewery—for a three-course Vegetarian Beer Dinner. The brew-and-veggie pairings include amber ale with a warm spinach salad and pão de queijo (a Brazilian-style cheese bread); IPA with coconut risotto including tomato, lime, garlic, kale and white beans; and açaí berry wheat ale teamed with passion fruit semifreddo (a partially frozen custard with mousse-like consistency) and shortbread. Though reservations...

Posted at 12:48 PM | Permalink

5 great ways to celebrate Mardi Gras in Sacramento

03/03/14

5 great ways to celebrate Mardi Gras in Sacramento

Tuesday night isn’t generally the time to hit the streets and get wild—unless we’re talking about Fat Tuesday, the loose, licentious occasion better known as Mardi Gras. If you’re in a partying mood, here are five places to let the good times roll tonight in Sacramento. The Porch Spicy, savory, Cajun-inflected dishes are year-round staples of this midtown hotspot, which ramps up for Mardi Gras with special offerings like chicken and andouille gumbo, the muffaletta sandwich (stacked with Zoe’s Meats' ham, spicy salami, provolone, tomato, onion and lettuce on brioche), Porch Hurricanes and the “Kentucky Rooster” cocktail blending bourbon, orange juice and cranberry. 1815 K St. 444-2423. theporchrestaurantandbar.com...

Posted at 07:03 PM | Permalink

Former Tuli Bistro chef takes the helm at Capital Dime

02/28/14

Former Tuli Bistro chef takes the helm at Capital Dime

Barely one week after the departure of its founding chef, Capital Dime has a new kitchen boss: Stan Moore, who was until recently a chef of Adam Pechal's Tuli Bistro, will take over for Noah Zonca at the Midtown hotspot. Moore was a sous chef under Zonca for five years at The Kitchen, and prior to working at Tuli, he was a sous chef at Wayfare Tavern in San Francisco, as well as Enotria. He says he’s starting to gradually reshape the menu before moving on to a more significant revamp this spring. “There’s definitely some room for opportunity and growth here,” Moore tells Sactown. “I want to keep it an upscale diner—American shared plates, but with a little more pizzazz. Just a place where it’ll be a little more fun to eat, and...

Posted at 03:28 PM | Permalink

Raise a glass (and a few bucks) this weekend for the Center for Land-Based Learning

02/28/14

Raise a glass (and a few bucks) this weekend for the Center for Land-Based Learning

There’s no shortage of Sacramento Beer Week highlights to navigate this weekend, but for a little added farm-to-fork touch, drop by Lowbrau on Saturday. The bustling bierhall at 20th and K streets will offer all-day food and drink specials with proceeds benefiting the Center for Land-Based Learning in Winters. Menu items will include Lowbrau’s breakfast scramble for early birds and, in keeping with Lowbrau’s sausage excellence, a “Land-Based Learning Best of the Wurst” (featuring ingredients from Land-Based Learning alums Hearty Fork Farm and a choice of a 1/2 salad or Lowbrau’s Duck Fat Fries for $11) for the afternoon and evening crowd. One dollar from the purchase of each item—as well as $1 from every Ruhstaller beer...

Posted at 02:36 PM | Permalink

Tako heads west with brand-new cantina in Davis

02/28/14

Tako heads west with brand-new cantina in Davis

Since 2012, Tako Korean BBQ—the popular fusion eatery housed inside a colorful converted 1936 gas station on the corner of Alhambra and T streets—has been making a splash with its flavorful street food that blends Mexican and Korean cuisines. And starting today, the restaurant’s distinctive fare will be available across the Causeway when Tako celebrates the grand opening of brand new location in the heart of downtown Davis called Tako Cantina. “I think this space works brilliantly with the clientele in the college town—[it’s] a home run,” says co-founder Andy Duong of the onetime Mexican restaurant’s transformed interior, which boasts a bright blue-and-red color palate reminiscent the original Tako, as well as new elements like a...

Posted at 10:30 AM | Permalink

Hot Italian receives elite Eat REAL recognition for freshness

02/26/14

Hot Italian receives elite Eat REAL recognition for freshness

Things just got real—literally—for Hot Italian, the first pizzeria in the nation and the first Sacramento-area restaurant to earn the distinguished Eat REAL certification from the experts at the United States Healthful Food Council. The Eat REAL certification program was developed in 2013 by the Washington D.C.-based USHFC as a way to help identify eateries that are true to their claim of using fresh, healthy and organic ingredients. Since opening in 2009, Hot Italian owners Andrea Lepore and Fabrizio Cercatore have built their menu of handmade pizza, pasta, salads and desserts around products from local farms and other suppliers. Lepore says she pursued the Eat REAL designation to emphasize the point that pizza can be good for you. Lepore plans to post a sign in...

Posted at 11:47 AM | Permalink

Blackbird Kitchen reopens this week with new focus, new menu

02/25/14

Blackbird Kitchen reopens this week with new focus, new menu

It’s been a long, tiring few weeks for Carina Lampkin, the founder and executive chef of the soon-to-be-reopened Blackbird restaurant, which abruptly closed last September but now returns to join the flock of downtown restaurants with a soft opening this Wednesday.. “It feels like I just gave birth, again, to twins,” Lampkin says of the work and preparation that has gone into the resurrected eatery, now called Blackbird Kitchen & Beer Gallery (previously, the name was Blackbird Kitchen & Bar). It has a refreshed concept with a revised menu, an updated layout and new design elements, as well as a reorganized ownership team that now includes Demetri Gregorakis, Tony Priley and Ron McGlumphy. Those who frequented Blackbird in the past will notice some...

Posted at 03:15 PM | Permalink

Where to enjoy National Clam Chowder Day in Sacramento

02/25/14

Where to enjoy National Clam Chowder Day in Sacramento

No one needs an excuse to enjoy a delicious clam chowder, but Feb. 25 offers one anyway: Today’s observance of the annual National Clam Chowder Day reminds us that whether from New England or Manhattan or other regions around the country, it’s always a fine time to chow(der) down. Here's how to celebrate with some of Sacramento’s most worthy bowls. Burgers & Brew While most guests work to narrow down this popular R Street gastropub’s namesake sandwich selections, you can take comfort instead with its best-kept secret: The kitchen serves its smoky clam chowder with flecks of bacon and celery in a soft, fresh sourdough bread bowl. The interior of the bowl adds a tangy heft you’ll want to scrape into every spoonful; you’ll be surprised...

Posted at 10:25 AM | Permalink

Celebrate Margarita Day with the Mayahuel Fresca

02/20/14

Celebrate Margarita Day with the Mayahuel Fresca

When the country celebrates National Margarita Day on Saturday, tequila enthusiasts will inevitably face a dilemma as old as the agave: frozen, or on the rocks? Consider opting for the latter with the Mayahuel Fresca, the signature cocktail by the K Street margarita maestros at Tequila Museo Mayahuel. An artful blend of cucumber, mint, citrus and one of the more than 160 tequila varieties on hand at Mayahuel, the Fresca requires fresh ingredients, careful preparation and elegant presentation. “Agave nectar, natural sweetener—we don’t use sweet and sour mix,” says Mayahuel bartender Charles Connolly, who walked us through the intensive process that includes a bit of muddling, bruising (the vigorous shaking that infuses the cucumber and mint flavors into the...

Posted at 04:15 PM | Permalink

Celebrate World Nutella Day at Crepeville

02/05/14

Celebrate World Nutella Day at Crepeville

Yes, it's that time of year again. Nestled in between Groundhog Day and Presidents' Day, it can be easy to overlook World Nutella Day if you're not paying attention. Happily, we're here to remind you that the day is upon us and that if you're craving a quick fix of the popular hazelnut and chocolate spread, a trip to Crepeville in Davis or midtown Sacramento is all you need.  Crepeville has four different dessert crepes featuring the Italian treat. There's the basic Nutella crepe, the banana and Nutella crepe, the strawberry and Nutella crepe and, our personal favorite, the peanut butter and Nutella crepe (pictured above), all of which are served in hot, made-to-order crepes and topped with cool whipped cream and drizzled with yes, even more...

Posted at 04:42 PM | Permalink

New Glory Brewery opens Sacramento taproom tonight

02/05/14

New Glory Brewery opens Sacramento taproom tonight

Sacramento’s beer boom welcomes its latest player this evening, when New Glory Craft Brewery offers the inaugural pours at its brand-new taproom off Power Inn Road. Founded last year by head brewer Julien Lux—who designed and built the equipment in which he crafts beers, like his signature American Country Farmhouse Ale—New Glory and its selections have quickly established themselves as mainstays at numerous Sacramento-area bars and restaurants. The new taproom, at 8251 Alpine Ave. (just east of Power Inn, roughly a mile south of Highway 50), will present New Glory’s hoppy standards, as well as seasonals like Lux’s Valley Forge Imperial Stout and Honey Springs Bourbon Ale—the latter brewed with honey and aged in bourbon barrels for six months....

Posted at 03:57 PM | Permalink

Blackbird's Carina Lampkin opens up about controversial closing

01/31/14

Blackbird's Carina Lampkin opens up about controversial closing

Last Friday, we published an interview with Carina Lampkin, co-owner and executive chef of downtown’s Blackbird Kitchen, in which she detailed some of the reasons for the popular restaurant’s closure and its planned reopening. You can read that interview here. In that interview, however, Lampkin chose not to discuss the details surrounding the controversial dismissal of the restaurant’s 18 employees via email. But on Wednesday, her stepfather and a former co-owner in the business, John Thacker, sent me a note providing his own account. “Regarding the matter of why Carina did not want to discuss the email, I feel a personal need to reply,” he wrote. “I believe she did not want to discuss it for the simple reason that she had NOTHING to do...

Posted at 08:47 AM | Permalink

Der Biergarten opens as midtown's latest beer destination

01/29/14

Der Biergarten opens as midtown's latest beer destination

Midtown has a new home for foam at Der Biergarten, the long-delayed open-air beer destination that served up its first official brews over the weekend at 24th and K streets. Local hopheads can try one of 32 draft beers and munch from a food menu of sausages, hot dogs, pretzels, salads and “Belgies”—ham sandwiches on waffles brimming with esoteric extras like mustard, cream cheese or chipotle raspberry sauce. Visitors order from a tap house and kitchen converted by owner Sean Derfield from industrial-size shipping containers, and gather at rows of communal tables or among the boisterous, streetside crowd framed by heavy redwood rails. And while the place thrums with couples and groups (and even some of their dogs; the establishment is pooch-friendly) from...

Posted at 01:37 PM | Permalink

Chef Carina Lampkin on reopening Blackbird Kitchen

01/24/14

Chef Carina Lampkin on reopening Blackbird Kitchen

Last September, one of the brightest new stars on the downtown dining scene, Blackbird Kitchen, closed suddenly. The closing reverberated throughout town, not just because Sacramento was losing a popular restaurant with a community-minded owner, but also because the staff was let go via email, ruffling more than a few feathers within the devoted Blackbird flock. While she says she remains close to some of her former employees, and has even hired a few back, the staff email was one topic she didn't want to discuss.  After the restaurant’s doors were shut, co-owner and creative force Carina Lampkin took some time off to regroup, and left town to spend the month of December working in the kitchen of San Francisco’s Atelier Crenn, owned by celebrated Michelin...

Posted at 04:59 PM | Permalink | Comments

For National Pie Day, 8 great places to savor a slice

01/23/14

For National Pie Day, 8 great places to savor a slice

It's National Pie Day! Here are eight great places in town to celebrate the happy occasion. An Honest Pie This local “pie-mobile” will be parked in front of Nevada City’s Ol’ Republic Brewery from 4-8 p.m. today, dishing out its four-inch, made-from-scratch pies, such as the savory mac-and-cheese pie topped with a crisp layer of melted parmesan; the Southern-inspired buttermilk pie that owner Brenda Janssen says tastes like sweet, rich crème brûlée; or the newest addition to the food truck’s menu: the fruity, fresh pineapple upside-down pie. 530-990-1303. Ol’ Republic Brewery: 124 Argall Way. Nevada City. Freeport Bakery You can’t go wrong with this Curtis Park bakery’s hand-crafted pies, turned out...

Posted at 11:01 AM | Permalink

Ten22 launches weekly beer tasting series

01/21/14

Ten22 launches weekly beer tasting series

Starting tomorrow, beer class will be in session on Wednesday evenings at Ten22, the Old Sacramento restaurant that’s launching a series of midweek tastings around executive chef Jay Veregge’s sensational tap list. The tastings will include six 4-oz. pours from the dozens of rotating selections on hand, which will largely comprise seasonal beers from craft breweries around the region like New Glory and Track 7. “I’ll sit down and give them information on the grains, the styles, the hops and where they come from, and the origin of the beer,” Veregge says. “We’ll sit around and talk and pair some appetizers with it.” Veregge says he hasn’t yet determined the specific lineup and food pairings for the tastings yet, but this...

Posted at 02:40 PM | Permalink

The Citizen Hotel hosts the inaugural Sacramento Chocolate Salon this Saturday

01/21/14

The Citizen Hotel hosts the inaugural Sacramento Chocolate Salon this Saturday

If you’re loco for cacao, you’ll want to check out the inaugural Sacramento Chocolate Salon taking place this Saturday. Hosted at The Citizen Hotel by TasteTV, a San Francisco-based media company that has brought similar events to Los Angeles, Seattle and elsewhere for the last eight years, this scrumptious soiree focusing on the sweet treat will be choc-full of everything from chocolate tastings to chocolate-making demonstrations to presentations from authors and chocolatiers like Teresa Flint, the proprietor of 24K Chocolate Cafe in midtown. Among the more than 20 vendors in attendance will be award-winning confectioners like Utah-based chocolate bar maker Amano Artisan Chocolate; the Tea Room, a San Leandro chocolatier famed for its artisanal tea-infused...

Posted at 11:43 AM | Permalink

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