It's not often that you find great food at a place known for being a great bar instead of a great restaurant. With Shady Lady, though, you get both, says Becky Gruenwald in Sac News & Review.
So many bars try to do bar snacks, and so many fail at this seemingly simple task. The Shady Lady, however, nails it, with surprising tweaks to the form. The fried green tomatoes are punched up with a tarragon rémoulade that makes me bemoan the dearth of this finest of fine herbs on local menus. The house-made pork rinds dramatically snap, crackle and pop when dipped into the assertively fishy sauce. The huge charcuterie board is more like a groaning board, stocked with abundant regional meats and cheeses and is best split between three or four people. The pickle plate looks like Peter Rabbit’s dream, all teeny turnips and tangy carrot chunks. A buttery pretzel knot is a head-scratching addition, but a welcome one: Offer four of these as an appetizer with a side of mustard, and I will swear off (my guilty pleasure) Pretzel Time for life.
The steak salad can serve as dinner: Juicy slices of medium-rare steak are arrayed on an abundance of arugula and greens, dressed with an apricot vinaigrette (the dressing changes seasonally) that avoids the syrupy sweetness of many fruit dressings. The Lady has a way with beef and arugula: The thin slices of warm beef in the French dip wilt the arugula and the au jus soaks into the nooks and crannies of the flour-dusted ciabatta. The burger that comes topped by a perfect, thick slice of heirloom tomato reveals another of those little touches that shows the attention to detail paid by chef Kevin Ritchie.
Read the entire review in Sac News & Review.
A look at Purgatory, the grid’s newest restaurant-lounge - The restaurant-by-day, dance-club-by night venue is nearing completion, according to operations manager Mark Garcia, and, when it opens its doors at the end of August, Garcia promises it will have a lot to offer. “Purgatory is the place between Heaven and Hell and that’s where people will enter our place,” Garcia said. “Once they’re here, they can choose what to experience.” Melissa Corker in Sac Press.
A dress code at a restaurant? Here? Huh? - In Sacramento and throughout much of Northern California, the answer is simple: there are no standards. Sure, the French Laundry (in Yountville) still requires men to wear jackets, but there aren't many places like that left. More often than not, anything goes, including baseball caps in white-tablecloth restaurants. Men, especially, have been dressing down more and more for dinner. The gender divide may be growing, too. If there is a disparity gender-wise, women tend to dress more appropriately for the occasion. These days, it is very common to see a woman in a stylish dress accompanied by a man in jeans and a T-shirt. Blair Anthony Robertson in the Sac Bee.
Have You Checked Out Vini Wine Bar? - After some delays, Vini Wine Bar in downtown opened for business this summer on July 15. The 611 Second Street bar, across from the Varsity Theater, is inspired by owner Jeff Day’s love of jazz, which was cultivated by his drum-playing father, John Day. Jazz album murals cover what Day says are limestone walls, while the silhouette of a man playing a trumpet decorates the front window. Dark tables and chairs fill the seating area. Angela Swartz on Davis Patch.
Park Place II Adds Another Eatery - The Park Place II shopping center in Natomas is adding a new tenant. Sources tell THE NATOMAS BUZZ that plans are for Maharaja's to open by mid month. On Natomas Buzz.
VIDEO: Taylor’s Market Celebrates 50 Years In Sacramento - Taylor’s Market is more than just a business; it's also a neighborhood gathering spot after 50 years on Freeport Boulevard. On CBS 13.