Camden Spit & Larder
You could say that chef Oliver Ridgeway’s first ownership venture is all sewn up. After all, the singular thread that runs through the Sussex native’s new Capitol Mall brasserie is British style. Ridgeway’s father was a tailor, an influence that can be seen in the yards of men’s suiting—houndstooth to plaid—that cover the cozy banquettes, statement wingbacks and plush poufs. And the bar, although muscular in its steel beam design, holds cocktail paraphernalia and liquor bottles in drawers and cabinets inspired by haberdashery storage. Even a series of anthropomorphized animal portraits depict dapperly dressed pigs and foxes. Ridgeway’s hearty food also doesn’t stray far from his roots: Camden’s prime rib and roast chicken—slow-cooked and fire-licked on a gleaming stainless steel spit—are more buttoned up than the ones cherished in the former Grange chef’s memory, but they are no less comforting and familiar. That said, when locally sourced ingredients—from the richly marbled Amador County beef and the West Sacramento arugula used in the chicken’s peppery salsa verde—make up your larder, such beloved dishes are also truly bespoke.