What's Cooking

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

2017

Cesar Chavez Plaza’s new Mexican restaurant to open this spring

02/23/17

Cesar Chavez Plaza’s new Mexican restaurant to open this spring

La Cosecha, the highly anticipated eatery from restaurateur Ernesto Delgado, will open its doors in downtown's Cesar Chavez Plaza before the end of April. With a name that translates as “the harvest,” La Cosecha will be part open-air market, part fast-casual grab-and-go lunch spot and part taqueria and bar. (Read our original 2015 story on the restaurant here.) Delgado intended to open La Cosecha in May 2016, but construction delays, followed by Sacramento’s wet winter, repeatedly postponed those plans. “The weather has made it difficult to keep on schedule,” says Delgado, who also owns downtown’s Tequila Museo Mayahuel and the recently opened Mesa Mercado in Carmichael. “All the difficult hurdles have been worked...

Posted at 03:50 PM | Permalink | Comments

Ruhstaller signs lease on new downtown taproom

02/17/17

Ruhstaller signs lease on new downtown taproom

When JE Paino, owner of the brewing company Ruhstaller, opened a rustic taproom in a basement on 7th and K streets six years ago, the future of the neighborhood was uncertain. “We moved downtown when it was perceived as dangerous and not very cool and everyone was leaving,” Paino says. After waiting patiently for the neighborhood to rise, and surviving the construction of the Golden 1 Center, that project’s ripple effect on real estate left the taproom’s fate in limbo even as the neighborhood began to pick itself up and dust itself off. Today Paino announces that Ruhstaller has signed a long-term lease on another basement space at 726 K Street—part of the rising residential and retail project led by D&S and CFY development...

Posted at 03:48 PM | Permalink | Comments

7 restaurants opening their doors for Presidents' Day brunch

02/17/17

7 restaurants opening their doors for Presidents' Day brunch

It’s not every Monday that we can sit down to a long, leisurely brunch, but this Presidents' Day several popular restaurants are swinging open their doors, dishing out sweet and savory meals that make us proud to be Americans.  Awful Annie's With locations in Lincoln and Auburn, this regional favorite knows how to make a mean breakfast and the long lines out the door on weekends prove it. Awful Annie's tempting flight of bacon graced the cover of our April/May 2016 issue, but that's not the only dish that will make you thankful for an extra weekend day to chow down on brunch. There are 15 variations of omelets to choose from, 11 scrambles, eight variations on eggs Benedict, and six kinds of waffles, including a banana pecan option and a bacon Belgian...

Posted at 09:13 AM | Permalink | Comments

First Look: Woodlake Tavern serves up comfort food with exciting twists

02/13/17

First Look: Woodlake Tavern serves up comfort food with exciting twists

The idea of exciting comfort food may sound like an oxymoron, but the new Woodlake Tavern, which opened in January in a charming single-story Art Deco building on a triangular corner of Del Paso Boulevard in North Sacramento, amply demonstrates that culinary solace can be more like cashmere and less like flannel. Take the chicken pot pie, a dish that every former latchkey kid remembers heating up out of the freezer after school: a gloppy gut bomb that’s warming and filling but about as bland as a rerun of The Partridge Family. But here, chef Matthew Strauss’s pot pie is about as far from that experience as it gets, featuring a flaky top crust glistening with egg wash that breaks under your fork like the sugar on a crème brûlée and yields to a delicate...

Posted at 11:05 AM | Permalink | Comments

A Food Network-featured pastry chef opens a French bakery in Folsom

02/10/17

A Food Network-featured pastry chef opens a French bakery in Folsom

If you’re haunted by that perfect buttery croissant you sampled in Paris on your junior year abroad then you're in luck: Julian’s Pâtisserie & Café, which opened Jan. 27 in Folsom, rolls out flawless versions of the pastries each morning. They're fresh-from-the-oven warm, impossibly flaky and subtly sweet, the way an authentic croissant should be. Owner Julian Perrigo-Jimenez, who runs his eponymous bakery with his wife Ashley, is a classically trained pastry chef who grew up in Folsom, attended San Francisco’s California Culinary Academy and cut his teeth in Las Vegas as sous chef at the Paris hotel and pastry chef at the likes of the Bellagio, Cosmopolitan and Caesars Palace. Inside the new French...

Posted at 11:13 AM | Permalink | Comments

Taste: The region's latest food, drink & restaurant news for Feb. 2

02/02/17

Taste: The region's latest food, drink & restaurant news for Feb. 2

Hope you're hungry, Sacramento. In this week's food news, we've got the scoop on a locally famed ice cream parlor's 70th anniversary party. Plus, Blackbird's chef-founder has moved over to Oak Park Brewing, FoodJets and a popular mobile pizza company have expanded their fleets, a Laotian restaurant opens in Elk Grove, and a popular burger launches an outpost in West Sacramento. Bella Familia This mobile pizza company, which has been dishing out wood-fired pies to the region since it launched in 2004, has added a massive new truck to its fleet, made from a repurposed shipping container. Owner Scott Thorson dreamed up the idea, then purchased the shipping container from Woodland, hauling it via a Freightliner chassis to Rancho Cordova where it underwent its...

Posted at 02:28 PM | Permalink | Comments

Comfort Cuisine: First look at Amaro Italian Bistro & Bar

01/25/17

Comfort Cuisine: First look at Amaro Italian Bistro & Bar

Casual diners on the R Street corridor are already spoiled for choice, with counter-service cafes like Nido, Metro Kitchen and Billy Ngo’s Fish Face and gastropubs like Iron Horse Tavern, Burgers & Brew and Fox & Goose. But Amaro Italian Bistro & Bar, which opened Jan. 8, brings something new to the neighborhood dining scene. Owners Jason Boggs, Garrett Van Vleck and Alex Origoni—collaborators on R Street hotspot Shady Lady Saloon, which Esquire named one of the best bars in the country, and Sail Inn & Grotto, a reconstructed dive-bar-cum-gastropub in West Sacramento—are joined in this new venture by the Deftones’ drummer Abe Cunningham. Amaro’s décor features walls of book-lined shelves, chandeliers and reproductions of Old...

Posted at 03:58 PM | Permalink | Comments

8 sweet spots to nab a slice on National Pie Day

01/23/17

8 sweet spots to nab a slice on National Pie Day

National Pie Day is Monday, Jan. 23, but we are year-round fans of Sacramento’s plentiful and diverse variations on the classic baked dessert. Here are eight great places in town to celebrate the sweet occasion. An Honest Pie It’s no secret we’re fans of this Grass Valley-based pie-mobile, whose decadent buttermilk pie—boasting a warm, sweet interior that tastes like crème brûlée, with a gooeyness reminiscent of pecan pie filling—recently made an appearance as our Craving of the Week. The food truck makes regular stops throughout the region, and recently expanded its operation with a permanent pie shop housed in a remodeled vintage travel trailer parked at Auburn’s Home Depot, making its hand pies, which are also fashioned in...

Posted at 09:44 AM | Permalink | Comments

Taste: The region's latest food, drink & restaurant news for Jan. 16

01/18/17

Taste: The region's latest food, drink & restaurant news for Jan. 16

This week, we're dishing on a new Afghan restaurant opening in Woodland and the launch of a local coffee chain's fifth outpost, in Carmichael. Plus, get your java on at a coffee-roasting party in Folsom and make a lunch date at a popular midtown bistro. Argos Caffe This Folsom coffeehouse, which opened last summer, is inaugurating its new in-house roaster and debuting an exclusive artisan coffee blend at a celebratory roasting party Feb. 9 from 5 to 8 p.m. During the event, attendees can sip samples of Argos Oro, a medium-bodied espresso blend of three regional coffee beans from Brazil, Ethiopia, and Costa Rica with hints of citrus and cocoa. Local acoustic rock band Island of Black and White will perform, while Sutter Street Taqueria will be dishing out complimentary...

Posted at 12:31 PM | Permalink | Comments

A new cafe with farm-to-fork flair opens near the Capitol

01/12/17

A new cafe with farm-to-fork flair opens near the Capitol

Wild Flour Cafe—a new downtown breakfast and lunch spot on the corner of 14th and O streets—will host its grand opening Thursday, Jan. 12, in the former location of Eliana's Cafe. The new restaurant, whose menu offers items like grass-fed burgers, smoked trout sandwiches and fruit-stuffed French toast, straddles the downtown business district and Freemont Park community, aiming to serve as a sit-down neighborhood breakfast hangout and as a healthy lunch takeout and delivery option for nearby state office workers, to whom the cafe offers a 10 percent discount. Wild Flour sources most of its ingredients from within a 100-mile radius—think Sunh Fish smoked trout and eggs from Vega Farms—and is a labor of love by artist and lifelong restaurateur Eridanus...

Posted at 11:24 AM | Permalink | Comments

Craving of the Week: SacTown Sports Bar’s Brown Butter Burger

01/10/17

Craving of the Week: SacTown Sports Bar’s Brown Butter Burger

To the naked eye, it’s an ordinary bacon cheeseburger and fries. But chef Cory Lazaldi of the new SacTown Sports Bar has secretly weaponized his Brown Butter Burger, planting a taste-bud-slaying burst of creamy flavor at its core. When you bite through the crackly crust of this burger’s brioche bun and into the luscious center, it’s all about richness and, surprisingly, subtlety. This is no mere greasy gut bomb; the textures of the bread and fresh spinach garnish are light and crispy, framing and showcasing the meaty, cheesy center. Lazaldi, who got his burger chops as executive chef at Broderick and its erstwhile sister restaurant Capital Dime, was inspired by a brown butter stock he learned to make at his most recent gig, working under chef Ray Silva at...

Posted at 10:41 AM | Permalink | Comments

Hook & Ladder launches new pop-up ramen cart

01/09/17

Hook & Ladder launches new pop-up ramen cart

The upcoming Dine Downtown event isn’t the only way to score an inexpensive meal from a top local chef this winter. When midtown's Hook & Ladder Manufacturing Company hired executive chef Matt Masera away from Saddle Rock in November, we knew to expect inventive ideas by the plateful, but the creativity seems to be spilling right out the front door with the addition of a new ramen cart, which will begin pop-up sidewalk service on Tuesday, Jan. 10, from 5-8 p.m.—rain or shine. “It started when we [catered] an event a couple weeks ago for a whiskey company and they wanted Japanese street food,” says Masera. He and chef de cuisine Noah Mansfield thought up the idea of a ramen cart, and "[beverage director] Chris Tucker, being our resident...

Posted at 10:43 AM | Permalink | Comments

Sactown’s Year in Food: A look back on 2016’s most exciting restaurant news

01/05/17

Sactown’s Year in Food: A look back on 2016’s most exciting restaurant news

2016 was a major game changer for Sacramento’s food scene. Golden 1 Center opened, becoming a local food mecca and helping spawn a ripple effect of new restaurant openings throughout downtown and the region. Sactown brought you news as big as the city's first Jewish deli launching on K Street and as small—but no less significant—as Tower Cafe adding its famed custard French toast to its dinner menu. As we enter the new year, we bring you the gastronomic highlights from the past year. Dig right in. JANUARY Inspired by the addictive nature of the The Mill’s made-to-order Liège-style Belgian waffles, which debuted in January, we began highlighting our favorite comfort food dishes in a new series called Craving of the Week. Since then,...

Posted at 03:44 PM | Permalink | Comments

Score three-course meals for a steal during Dine Downtown

01/05/17

Score three-course meals for a steal during Dine Downtown

Get ready to eat your heart out, Sacramento. The 12th annual Dine Downtown, which is returning to the capital city for 10 days from Jan. 12-22, will feature three-course meals at 35 restaurants in downtown and midtown for a fixed price of $35 each. During last year’s Dine Downtown, Sacramento restaurants served over 12,000 meals to hungry patrons, and in the past 11 years, the event has racked up over $4 million in revenue for participating restaurants and charities. This year’s roster includes hot spots like Iron Horse Tavern and Empress Tavern and Sacramento classics like Biba and Frank Fat’s, as well as new places like Skool on K. A dollar from each meal will be donated to the Food Literacy Center and other Sacramento social programs. “I like that the...

Posted at 10:43 AM | Permalink | Comments

Swine and dine at the sixth annual Sacramento Bacon Fest

01/04/17

Swine and dine at the sixth annual Sacramento Bacon Fest

Porkophiles rejoice! Sacramento Bacon Fest is back, from Jan. 23-29, during which area chefs will prepare all things porcine by incorporating bacon into specialty dishes throughout the week. The festival kicks off on Jan. 23 at Aimal Formoli’s eponymous East Sacramento restaurant, where the chef-owner will serve six bacon-centric apps—some of which will highlight house-made lamb bacon using lamb from Superior Farms in Dixon—and a complimentary wine spritzer ($30). Other highlights of the week include a bacon-themed burger battle at Empress Tavern on Jan. 25 ($5), during which three chefs will flip their best bacon cheeseburger using mystery ingredients revealed at the competition. This Chopped-style...

Posted at 11:30 AM | Permalink | Comments

Selland’s on Broadway to open as early as March

01/03/17

Selland’s on Broadway to open as early as March

If you work or live near downtown Sacramento and find yourself craving a cupcake from Selland’s bakery, your treat will soon be just a quick walk, drive or bike ride away. About a year after announcing he would be opening a Selland’s Market-Cafe along the Broadway corridor, local restaurateur Randall Selland says he is shooting for a March 2017 opening for this latest venture. Selland’s on Broadway will become the company’s third cafe; its flagship spot in East Sacramento opened in 2001 and its El Dorado Hills outpost launched in 2012. “The best thing about the new location is that it’s like a bulls-eye for the region,” says Josh Nelson, CFO of Selland Family Restaurants. At 9th and Broadway across from Old City Cemetery and just blocks...

Posted at 11:09 AM | Permalink | Comments