Taste: The region's latest food, drink & restaurant news for August 12

Images courtesy of purveyors

As the weather heats up in the Sacramento region, so is its dining scene. Here's the scoop on new brunch and dessert menus, Temple Coffee's newest location, and more.

Blackbird Kitchen + Beer Gallery
The popular New American restaurant—which temporarily closed down in late May due to flooding—will soon be back in the downtown food scene with interior and exterior upgrades. Major changes include what co-owner and executive chef Carina Lampkin calls a “bigger, badder" 30-foot-long redwood bar that will run the length of the downstairs tavern (as opposed to two smaller bars in the space). Also in the works is a semipermanent parklet in front of Blackbird, which was conceived prior to the flood. While the building is being renovated, Lampkin is refining Blackbird’s menu and craft cocktail list, and plans to bring back the restaurant’s oyster bar. She expects renovations to be complete by mid-September. 1015 9th St. 498-9224. facebook.com/blackbirdkitchenbar

Cask & Barrel
This North Sacramento hot spot, which opened in February at the site of the former Enotria restaurant, just started serving brunch last weekend, with a menu that boasts items both sweet (the sugar-dusted French toast is made with Pugliese bread soaked in spiced crème brulee custard and served with jams, salted caramel and seared foie gras) and savory (the smoked pork shoulder hash features summer squash from Passmore Ranch, red-eye gravy made with Chocolate Fish Coffee and a buttery poached egg from Long Dream Farm in Lincoln). Executive chef Gabriel Glasier, who creates these decadent dishes alongside his pastry chef and fiancée Kristel Flores, encourages sharing plates. Plus, don’t overlook the bar for drinks like the Chili Verde Bloody Mary, made with a house-made chili verde base and served with a skewer of pork and crispy chicharrón. Brunch is served on Sundays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. 1431 Del Paso Blvd. 922-6792. caskandbarrel916.com

The Parlor Ice Cream Puffs
This popular ice cream shop, best known for its donut ice cream sandwiches, expanded to Roseville with a new location that opened Aug. 8. Larger than the original ice creamery in Arden-Arcade, the Roseville space includes a room for guests to reserve for special occasions and an airy interior with modern tiling and foliage spilling from planter boxes lining the light gray walls. And don’t fret about missing your favorite donut ice cream combinations—the new shop is serving up the same decadent menu of desserts, such as warm, glazed donuts filled with scoops of ice cream in flavors like Choco Taco or Thai Tease and brightly colored macaroon ice cream sandwiches topped with everything from Fruity Pebbles and Fruit Loops cereal to crushed Oreos and potato chips. 1490 Eureka Rd. 977-3997. theparloricecream.com

The Porch
Midtown’s low-country restaurant has launched a new dessert menu and brought a new bar manager on board. Bar manager Ben Smith has been with The Porch for just four months and is already shaking things up, drawing on his extensive experience at San Francisco bars and restaurants, like the Mission District’s Beretta, to reinvigorate the cocktail menu with a list of seasonal drinks, including the seasonal bramble (a concoction of local strawberries and blackberries, mint, 1776 bourbon, lemon and elderflower liqueur) and the S.O.S., with orgeat syrup, sherry, strawberries, lime and cognac. Meanwhile, pastry chef Kari Hawley is busy whipping up mouthwatering new desserts, like a moist three-layer carrot cake loaded with pineapple and walnuts and covered in cream cheese frosting with fig jam and orange zest. Ask for it served with a side of buttermilk ice cream, made fresh in-house. 1815 K. St. 444-2423. theporchrestaurantandbar.com

Temple Coffee & Tea
The local third-wave coffee mecca is taking its first step out of Sacramento and will open its doors in a new downtown Davis location on Aug.15. The interior will feature Japanese-inspired design with a 32-foot-long solid oak community table, thoughtful touches like a mid-century modern clock. Expect to find some exclusive brews at this new Davis cafe, which will feature Temple’s first tap system that will pour nitrogen-infused cold brew coffee and tea, as well as sparkling water. Also new will be the Oji iced coffee (a Kyoto style, slow-drip cold brew) and the Cascara iced tea (made from the dried fruit surrounding the coffee bean, which is cold-brewed and infused with nitrogen). Temple will celebrate the new location's opening with the release of a new sought-after Geisha-varietal blend from Panama, which will be available at all locations. 239 G St. Davis. 530-341-0574. templecoffee.com

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