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Top 15 Cowtown Eats Posts of November 2013

Dining News: Chef Pajo Bruich's Favorite Things


In celebration of his birthday, Enotria Chef Pajo Bruich set up the restaurant's bar area with a couple of his favorite things - namely rap music, tequila and Mexican food on Thursday evening.

With all the Mexican small bites at $10 or less, it was a very affordable way to sample some of the acclaimed chef's cuisine without breaking the bank. It also gave me the opportunity to pick up the October and November shipments of the Enotria Wine Club.

Here were the small plates we had:


Chips & Salsa ($3)


Shrimp ceviche, chiles, pineapple, lime ($10)


Pozole, braised pork shoulder, hominy, cabbage ($5)


Mole de pollo estilo Jalisco ($10)


Tacos adobada, picked onions, cotija, tapatio (2 for $6)


Churros, guajillo lime caramel ($5)

Since it was a one night event, I won't really write a long review. But I do want to say that the ingredients were fresh and the flavors were sharp. My favorite course was the churros (especially the caramel dipping sauce), followed by pozole and the ceviche. The tacos were a little too spicy for my pallate, but my dining partner with a hardier pallate loved the tacos.

We also sampled a couple of their tequila-based cocktails for the night, each $8. All three were fantastic, created with the precision and attention to detail that you'd expect from a Shady Lady or Hook & Ladder.


The Golden Rule with gold tequila, orchard pear, ginger, honey, lavender


Cider House with milagro silver, mulled apple cider, cynar, grenadine, cinnamon


Tequila Old Fashioned with gold tequila, angostura bitters, turbinado, orange

While restaurants often go upscale with their special meals, I loved the idea of an expensive restaurant going casual for a night. There was more energy in the room than I'd ever seen at Enotria, although I'll admit that it's only the third time I've been there since Chef Pajo took over the kitchen and that all of those times were midweek.

But even with a collection of plates at a lower price point, the two of us spent about $90, including dinner, drinks, tax and tip. We didn't intend to spend that much, but the plates seemed affordable and we just kept ordering until we were full. Looking at their regular menu, that's probably about half what a three-course meal with a wine pairing would have cost for two.

I'm glad Enotria did this type of special event, and I hope it encourages other high end restaurants to do this too. It probably helps drive business on otherwise slow nights, and given how much we enjoyed our dinner tonight, I think we'll look for another opportunity to return to eat off their regular menu soon.

More News:

New Blackbird owner explains revamped concept - Meet Demetri Gregorakis, one of the new owners of Blackbird Kitchen & Bar, a restaurant on 9th Street downtown that closed suddenly in late September, sat idle for three months and counting, then suddenly began to show signs of new life in recent days...Gregorakis, 29, says he wants to be part of this new venture, making clear he played no part in the sudden closure and that now-notorious email. He will be equal partners with Carina Lampkin, the chef who is both admired and criticized for her creative bent and colorful personality. Blair Anthony Robertson in the Sac Bee.

New Helvetia wants to install kitchen - Following on the heels of its one-year anniversary, the New Helvetia Brewing Co. has applied to the city of Sacramento to install a kitchen. The brewery and tasting room is at the corner of 18th and Broadway. Since it opened, it has invited food trucks to park outside to offer food. Mark Anderson in the Sac Biz Journal.

Aura does traditional Korean best - There should be more restaurants like Aura in downtown Sacramento. Not that Aura is a great restaurant. No, it’s competent. But Aura is something in short supply on either side of the J Street-K Street corridor: a neighborhood restaurant that serves intriguing ethnic food I wouldn’t mind eating a few times a week, whether at 11:30 on a weekday morning or at 11:30 on a Saturday night, come as I am. Ed Murrieta in the Sac Biz Journal.

Craving Brunch? Roxy Dishes Up Tasty and Creative Breakfast Fare - We all like to enjoy a leisurely brunch on a lazy weekend morning, but sometimes the standard bacon-and-eggs menu items can get a bit tiresome. If you’re looking for an out-of-the-box brunch experience, check out Roxy Restaurant & Bar’s scrumptious breakfast offerings—you’ll appreciate the restaurant’s innovative dishes. Kira O'Donnell in Sac Mag.

VIDEO: Cooking with The Firehouse Chef Deneb Williams - Chef Deneb Williams whips up for Paul Robins twice-baked gruyere souffle. On FOX 40.


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