Taste: The region's latest food, drink & restaurant news for September 24

Images courtesy of purveyors

From beer made with hops in Dixon to handmade ravioli in Grass Valley, we’ve got the lowdown on exciting new restaurant openings, brewery news and menu updates around the Sacramento region.

Brew News

This week Ruhstaller reintroduces Hop Sac, its wet-hopped ale, to local markets like Nugget, Corti Brothers and the Davis Co-op. Produced annually, Hop Sac features two versions this year—one made with hops from its farm in Dixon and the other created with hops from Utterback Farm in Sloughhouse. Although they use the same recipe, each of the smooth, refreshing beers is distinct: “The two farms are only 30 miles apart, but you can taste a considerable difference in the beer,” says Ruhstaller proprietor J.E. Paino. In other brew news, Track 7 has added two new beers to its canning operation. Six packs of the popular Beeline Blonde and the Slow Roll Session IPA have recently begun gracing Nugget Market shelves. The brewery’s signature Panic IPA has been available in the travel-friendly cans for over a year, and brewer Ryan Graham says they may add a fourth to the canned collection around the beginning of next year (potentially the Blood Transfusion, a blood orange IPA). ruhstallerbeer.com  track7brewing.com


This Roseville-based vegan restaurant, known for its organic wraps and smoothies, is relocating to neighboring Rocklin and expanding its footprint Oct. 1. The new 2,400-square-foot location at 2620 Sunset Boulevard will be about 1,000 square feet larger than its existing restaurant, and will feature outdoor seating, a more expansive kitchen, and a fast-casual counter (a la Chipotle or Subway). The Rocklin site will introduce new menu items like spicy cauliflower tacos and bring back signature dishes like the Baagan Patty, an Indian-spiced veggie burger made with chana dal beans. The expansion was made possible in part by a GoFundMe campaign, which is still open for donations, and Baagan's co-founder and executive chef Angelique Miller is planning a grand opening party (with performers like Free Flow Academy martial arts group) that will be announced on Facebook at a later date. 2620 Sunset Blvd. Rocklin. 771-2117. baagan.com

Bistro 103

Located in historic Auburn, this New American restaurant that opened in February has just added a new weekend brunch menu with farm-to-fork dishes like decadent bananas Foster pancakes topped with flambéed sliced bananas, cinnamon sugar, walnuts and butter; or the savory braised beef cheeks eggs Benedict. Plus, try the house-battered chicken and sweet potato waffles served with rosemary maple syrup, honey butter and orange zest. Sides will include house-made sausage or applewood-smoked bacon candied with brown sugar and encrusted with praline. Bistro 103’s brunch is served every Saturday and Sunday from 8 a.m to 3 p.m. 103 Sacramento St. Auburn. 530-888-1033. bistro103auburn.com

La Gastronomia

This authentic Italian deli opened Aug. 6 in a compact storefront along Grass Valley’s Main Street and features a counter beaming with imported meats and cheeses like prosciutto and provolone, along with house-made items like ciabatta, pasta and meatballs. Owners Rita and Frankie Molin moved to Grass Valley from Venice in January with years of experience working in restaurants and bars and the dream of opening their own Italian market in Northern California. “We cook everything from scratch,” says Rita, who explains that the deli forgoes a consistent menu in favor of daily rotating specials. One day, you might find handmade pizza or ravioli, another day stuffed bell peppers and bubbly lasagna. La Gastronomia also offers made-to-order deli sandwiches and a dessert case beaming with cannoli, tiramisu, panna cotta, biscotti and chocolate cake. A small market at the front of the restaurant features staples like canned sundried tomatoes, lady finger cookies, dried pasta, breadsticks and the deli’s homemade jams in flavors like red onion, fig and peach. 104 East Main St. 530-798-6021. lagastronomia.us

Vela Cafe

Nadeem Haddad, who formerly ran Gyro Supreme at Downtown Plaza’s food court, and first-time restaurateur Feras Jowaniyah are set to open a new downtown Greek and Mediterranean cuisine restaurant in October. The cafe, which will be located near 10th and I streets, will feature a salad bar and deli station where customers can expect to see favorites like falafel and gyro sandwiches with pita bread (tossed in a garlic-based olive oil), shaved lamb and beef and tzatziki sauce. The menu will also highlight a chicken Euro platter with chicken breast immersed in a special house-made marinade for 24 hours, then grilled, cut in strips and spread with a special garlic sauce. The décor will combine traditional and modern elements, including flat screen TVs used for displaying the menu and for entertainment and a state-of-the-art Coca-Cola machine with over 168 combinations of soda flavors. 1000 I St. 476-6038

You Might Also Like
Sacramento Kings and JMA Ventures announce 3 new restaurants for Downtown Commons
New ice cream shop brings farm-to-scoop flavors to downtown Sacramento
A new restaurant to serve up classic American fare with a heaping dose of nostalgia