Taste: The region's latest food, drink & restaurant news for November 11

Images courtesy of purveyors

Restaurants from midtown to El Dorado Hills are spicing things up this fall with new lunch and brunch menus, bourbon-pairing dinners and more. Plus, a brand new farm-to-fork health food store sets its sights on a launch in Oak Park for early 2016.


On Oct. 20, this popular midtown destination for the farm-to-fork loving dinner crowd expanded its menu and hours to begin serving lunch. Eight dishes ranging from sandwiches and tacos to pasta are now available Tuesday through Friday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. The menu, masterminded by executive chef Christopher Barnum, who wanted to put his own creative twist on beloved lunch classics, includes a pastrami sandwich with thin cut slices of house-seasoned smoked beef, cabbage and grainy mustard aioli piled high onto Localis’ house-made rye bread. Or try the colorful beet salad with arugula, pomegranate, Sonoma chevre and vinaigrette dressing. Localis, which opened in July, offers both dine-in and carry-out options for lunch. 2031 S St. 737-7699. localissacramento.com

Orchid Thai

The midtown outpost of the original Lincoln location began serving a one-of-a-kind brunch menu on Oct. 10. Stop by on a Saturday or Sunday between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. to try one of their eight Thai-influenced American brunch favorites like chicken and waffles with seasoned panko-crusted chicken on a fluffy waffle topped with palm syrup and mangos, or the two eggs cooked in an omelet-like fashion wrapped around fried rice. To find their flavor, bar manager Evan Cloud says that his team consulted with Jason Poole, co-owner of Preservation & Co. and tried brunches all over town from Bacon & Butter to de Vere’s Irsh Pub, in an attempt to dial into the local brunch scene before settling on their final menu. 1609 16th St. 476-3681. orchidthai916.com

Roots Creative Kitchen

This combination grocery store, kitchen and café focused on farm-to-fork values will open in Oak Park in early 2016. Intent on serving those with dietary restrictions and promoting healthy living and sustainability, Roots will feature neutral colors and an earthy décor, indoor and outdoor dining areas, take-out and delivery options, as well as classes and demonstrations on a variety of culinary and health-related subjects. Melanie Weir, the owner and CEO of midtown’s Gluten Free Specialty store, is opening Roots as a new manifestation of her passion for healthy living. She used a crowd funding campaign to bring the new store to Oak Park, a neighborhood she targeted for its growing urban agriculture community. Leading up to the store’s opening in 2016, Weir says Roots will host “Pop-Up to Roots” events at local establishments to build the brand’s name and help raise additional funds. rootskitchen.strikingly.com

Sienna New American Grill

This elegant El Dorado Hills restaurant, which offers over 20 bourbon options on its menu, is hosting its first Bourbon Dinner Nov. 19 with a lavish four-course meal and drink pairings. Patrons will dine on dishes like bacon-wrapped prawns and marinated New York strip steak, as well as banana and dark chocolate bread pudding for dessert, while sipping small-batch, one-ounce pairings of bourbon like Baker’s Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey and the limited-edition Booker’s Bourbon Dot’s Batch. During the two-hour dinner, drinks will be served neat or on the rocks, but bourbon cocktails and wine will be available upon request. Sienna has hosted wine dinners nine months out of each year for the past five years since it opened, and Sienna manager Jordyn Phillips says that she hopes a bourbon dinner series will appeal to new clientele and can become a regular occurrence at the restaurant in the future. $65. 7 p.m. 3909 Park Drive. El Dorado Hills. 941-9694. siennarestaurants.com

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