Sac Bee's Chris Macias has a great article on Capital Dime Chef Noah Zonca, detailing his road from working for the Selland Family to now running Capital Dime, and his thoughts on how it's going thus far.
Lobley acquired the former L Wine Lounge space in February and showed it to Zonca, who initially had reservations about it. The kitchen was notoriously small, and he wasn't yet sold on midtown's Panhandle District. The former L Wine Lounge had also lay dormant for nearly two years and was saddled with heating and air conditioning problems...
Zonca signed on as a partner in Capital Dime with Lobley and Melissa Sanchez, an attorney, in March. Lobley declined to say how much money was invested in opening Capital Dime, though a minimum of $250,000 is generally required to open a brick-and-mortar restaurant.
Along with becoming a co-owner of Capital Dime, Zonca would design the food program and become the de facto face of the restaurant. While Zonca eyes more projects with his partnership group, the first order of business is managing the learning curve of running a new restaurant. He admits some stumbles with service, and the kitchen's still settling into its groove.
"We want the 'perfect 10' experience, but do I think everybody's getting the 'perfect 10' experience right this moment?" said Zonca. "It takes a minute to get there. I think we've missed a few – a lot of hits, a few misses. We're getting there and tightening up the crew."
Read the entire article in the Sac Bee. (It's worth the time - a great read.)
Everybody I know is rooting for Chef Zonca to succeed and I'm glad to read that he sees that the restaurant's not great yet. In addition to my experience where there were some hits and some misses, I've heard the same from three friends who've eaten there separately. Not massive issues - but growing pains. I look forward to trying them again in a few weeks to see what progress they've made.
Try It: Sushi Café’s Sashimi Plate - If you’re feeling fishy, Sushi Café on Alhambra Boulevard has got the
dish for you. Bring a friend and order up the restaurant’s delectable,
extra-large sashimi plate, which comes loaded with beautifully fresh
fish (selection changes daily), octopus, bunches of feisty microgreens
and shredded daikon, a pile of zingy ginger and a big ball of wasabi. Kira O'Donnell in Sac Mag.
Bacon & Butter - I don’t throw accolades
easily, but that burger was one of the best I’ve ever had. Zoellin
masterfully builds flavor by combining freshly ground beef with just the
right amount of bacon inside and on top. It’s juicy, perfectly seared,
lightly seasoned and wonderfully balanced with the smoked aioli. Add
in some crisp shallot rings and havarti cheese and let the “trip to
Flavortown” begin as Guy Fieri would say. The side of smashed potatoes
(masterfully poached, smashed then fried) is rustic yet light and
unexpected. I’ve never had potatoes served like this and I can’t wait
to try it at home. Brooke Burgess in Sac Foodies.
Plates2Go, the newest restaurant opened by the St. John's Shelter for Women and Children, will hold its grand opening on Tuesday, Aug. 13.
at 1725 L Street, the cafe's mission is to help train formerly homeless
mothers with children learn valuable skills necessary to enter the
culinary and service industries.
The Sac Bee's Cathie Anderson has a little more about their menu:
you'd like to buy into Plates 2 Go, executive chef Stu Edgcombe has
concocted a salad of organic greens from Feeding Crane Farms for $6.50,
or for $7.50, he's offering a fresh grilled chicken breast sandwich
featuring Ray Yeung's tomatoes. Edgcombe, by the way, is a former
Mulvaney's chef who stepped in to help out but got sold on the St.
Plates2Go will be open from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., Monday through Friday.
eaten at their Plates Cafe location in Depot Park, but not often enough
since it's a long drive from my office downtown. I look forward to
frequenting this new, much more convenient lunch spot. They also offer
catering, so if you're in charge of where your work gets their lunch
catering from, I'd suggest that you give them a try.
Plates2Go can be found on the Web at www.Plates2Go.org. (Note: this URL didn't work for me on Sunday evening yet, but I assume it'll be up by the time they open.)
you don't work downtown, but want to support their mission, they still
have a few tickets left for their monthly guest chef dinner on Thursday,
Aug. 1. This month, their guest chef is Carina Lampkin from Blackbird Kitchen & Bar.
I've attended a few of these, and I've always left stuffed and wanting
to do more for the group. Tickets can be purchased online at http://blackbirdgcd.eventbrite.com/.
Food truck flavor gets brick-and-mortar treatment -
Drewski’s Hot Rod Café opened at 1150 Iron Point in Folsom, on Monday,
July 15, and already has a lunch crowd lined out the door for a taste of
his grilled cheese options. Laura Newell in the El Dorado Hills Telegraph.
Mighty Tavern It Is - It appears that La Boheme in Fair
Oaks has quietly slipped into the night. In its place is the new Mighty
Tavern, a new neighborhood restaurant with a detailed approach to
dishes. I first heard about Mighty Tavern weeks before its opening when
Jason Azevedo, butcher and charcuterie specialist, started posting about
it on Facebook. He has assumed the position of Sous Chef alongside Chef
Carolyn Kumpe. The owners, Joan Reid Lapuyade and Dennis Lapuyade, have
years of restaurant experience, including stints at Chez Panisse. Catherine Enfield on Munchie Musings.
If there's one thing there seems to be an insatiable demand for, it's bacon. To help give the public what it wants is BLT Week, from the same people who brought us the annual BaconFest celebration each January.
Daniel Romandia has more details in Sac Press:
The idea for BLT Week, which started in last year, came to Guido because he wanted to showcase the local talent and ingredients from farmers in the area. This year’s edition will run from Monday, July 15 through Saturday, July 20.
Throughout the week, chefs will engage in some friendly competition to create their own version of an American classic. Hook & Ladder Manufacturing Co. has revealed a BLT ravioli that will only be available for the week. Grange is adding many bacon-laden items to its menu – like a grilled wagyu BLT burger, a BLT omelet, and even a BLT cocktail. Pangea has their own version called the BSLT – a sandwich with half-inch thick house-smoked bacon cured with brown sugar and spices, steak, tomatoes and crisp lettuce.
At the end of the week, there will be the “Beer and Bacon on the Boulevard” block party to bring the festivities to a close. The party will be a BLT celebration and a fifth year anniversary celebration for Pangea.
More video and audio about BLT Week after the jump.
Shoki owners close to signing lease for third location - The concept will be dramatically different from the two excellent
ramen houses. This one will focus on breakfast and lunch, and will
feature a fusion of American and Japanese cooking styles. In other
words, you might get scrambled eggs with hints of Japanese flavors and
ingredients. Blair Anthony Robertson in the Sac Bee.
What, no prime rib? Distillery restaurant goes with lighter fare - We got the tip the other day from a guy who likes to dine out at
Sacramento's more vintage places. Said he was at the Distillery
steakhouse Saturday and the waiter said it was the last night the
restaurant would serve its full-on heavy-duty dinners. Goodbye to the
prime rib plate. Allen Pierleoni in the Sac Bee.
Sactown Mag is one of our city's gems, and they didn't disappoint with a recent feature on some of the region's best brunches. Here's a snippet on one of midtown's favorite brunch spots - Bacon & Butter.
Creative comfort food reigns supreme—and sublime—here with inventive dishes by chef-owner Billy Zoellin, formerly of The Golden Bear, such as his perfectly cooked, made-from-scratch buttermilk pancakes in rotating flavors like blueberry ricotta and pumpkin bacon that just might be the best flapjacks in town; the deeply satisfying breakfast biscuit sandwich with bacon, eggs, onions, chives, mascarpone and a crispy cheese skirt; and thick slices of French toast dipped in orange custard and topped with cranberry sauce and whipped cream.
The article also features Roxy, Fox & Goose, The Porch, Four Sisters Cafe (Roseville), Mama Kim Eats, de Vere's Irish Pub, Monticello (Davis) and Tower Cafe.
An inside source drops a dime on The Dime - Now we
have our first glimpses of the food, which is going to be around $10.
It's a great spot in teh 1800 block of L Street and, if the quality of
the cooking lives up to expectations, folks are going to be lining up
around the block to eat here. The dirty little secret in the
farm-to-fork movement is that the food is often really expensive at
restaurants that tout this way of cooking and eating. If Zonca and
company can feed the masses for $10 a pop, The Dime could be the next
big thing. Here's what my source reported to me. They're his words and
his photos. Blair Anthony Robertson in the Sac Bee.
Big changes (and a grand opening) come to Maranello -
Things are shaking up at Maranello in Fair Oaks, and a grand opening
from 5 to 7 p.m. Sunday will show them off...The menu has gone
gastro-pub, with emphasis on bites, small plates, salads and pizzas
(don't miss the ground shortrib burger). Entrees have gone from a couple
dozen to seven. Allen Pierleoni in the Sac Bee.
Bacon & Butter's really a frustrating experience. On weekends, the wait times are long, and the service can be slow. But on the other hand, the food is amazing, including what the Sac Bee's Blair Anthony Robertson calls the best burger in town.
Drop by for lunch and try the burger, which should probably come with some kind of PG-13 warning. I took a pal there recently for lunch and, as Sinatra once sang, his eyes practically bugged out his head.
"This is the best *&%$#@! hamburger I've ever tasted," he gasped, as I scanned the room to make sure no nuns were present. I might say the same about the smashed potatoes, which are poached, smashed and then fried – so crisp and light, yet so rustic and unfussy and delicious.
Zoellin's burger has evolved over the months since he opened this breakfast-and-lunch spot on 21st Street. Right now, I think my friend with the salty language is right – it's the best burger in town. It's big and beautiful, with a domed bun and flavor everywhere. The beef itself is at once explosive and balanced on the palate. Neither salty nor tame, the beef is a full-bore, well-rounded, no-holding-back tour de force of flavor.
How does the chef pull that off? Notice the name is not Tofu and Butter. Zoellin takes the freshest beef and then grinds just the right amount of bacon into it. He adds some Worcestershire sauce, forgoes the salt, sears it, flips it, seasons it and sends it out with thick bacon, gouda cheese, crisp and light shallot rings and smoked aioli. For all that plus fries or salad and a rather astounding photo you can post on Facebook or Instagram, it's just $12.50.
Robertson also notes the hit or miss service, but if you've got the time, the food seems worth the wait.
Midtown BierGarten approved with design tweaks - The
city of Sacramento gave Der BierGarten its stamp of approval Thursday
afternoon, paving the way for another German pub in Midtown. But the OK
came with a few conditions to modify the design. Design Director Greg
Taylor wants the following changes made to the design: More significant
landscaping between Der Bier Garten and The Golden Bear; The front patio
to be heightened, similar to patio height at The Golden Bear. In Sac Press.
West Sacramento shopping center has new tenants on board - The Ikea-anchored shopping center in West Sacramento is lining up
some more tenants. RiverPoint Marketplace has leased space to Wicked
West Pizza & BBQ, video game retailer GameStop, and the GNC vitamin
store chain, said Amy Lerseth, an executive with The Buzz Oates Group of
Cos. Kelly Johnson in Sac Biz Journal.
CORECTION: I initially misread the blog post by the Sac Bee's Chris Macias. That blog post is in reference to a separate norovirus outbreak. Thanks to an eagle eyed reader for pointing this out. Corrected info below.
Sacramento was atwitter Wednesday over the possibility that the upscale Mulvaney's was the source of a norovirus outbreak earlier this month. Norovirus is a highly contagious virus, usually spread through contaminated water or food, that causes vomiting, digestive issues, etc.
Per the Sac Bee's Chris Macias:
According to Dr. Olivia Kasirye, county public health officer, two people connected to the restaurant have tested positive for norovirus. Mulvaney said one was an employee and the other a diner. The name and nature of the employee's work is confidential, and the final investigation results, including the possible number of infected people, are expected within two weeks.
Given that no further incidents have been reported at the restaurant at 1215 19th St. since late February, Mulvaney's B&L remains open. The restaurant passed its most recent county inspection on Feb. 13 and has continued to operate during the norovirus investigation.
"We don't usually shut (a restaurant) down unless we feel there's an ongoing risk to the public," Kasirye said. "We have not received any reports of illnesses since then."
Read the entire article in the Sac Bee, or watch Tuesday's KCRA report above.
However, after more investigation, Sacramento county health officials have cleared Mulvaney's and found the real culprit, identified the source of a separate outbreak in 2012, the Elks Lodge on Riverside Bivd. Again, from the Bee's Macias.
It turns out the outbreak didn't occur at a restaurant, but Sacramento Elks Lodge No. 6 on Riverside Boulevard near Florin Road. The lodge hosted an event in September of 2012 in which dozens of people were sickened. The lodge did not use an outside caterer, but provided food service themselves, said Kasirye. A county investigation interviewed 93 individuals, and confirmed 57 illnesses due to norovirus.
I'm glad that one of Sacramento's finest restaurants wasn't involved in this. We can again eat there without worry.
Whatever the source, it appears that Mulvaney's is trying its best to take care of the affected customers. One of my coworkers dined there during that time period and got sick. Mulvaney's later comped that meal and gave him an additional free dinner.
Hank Shaw nominated for 3rd James Beard Award; Frank Fat's nominated as an American classic - Sacramento-area food blogger Hank Shaw has been nominated a third
time for a prestigious James Beard Award and, in something of a
surprise, venerable Sacramento restaurant Frank Fat's has received a
nomination in a special category, "America's Classics." Shaw, 42, a
longtime newspaper journalist who parlayed a well-received blog into a
new and successful writing career, says he is happy to be recognized
once again by the James Beard Foundation - and he's not yet ready to
think of himself as the Susan Lucci of the food-writing set. Blair Anthony Robertson in the Sac Bee.
First Impressions: Sloughhouse Inn returns - The hamlet
of Sloughhouse is known for its sweet summer corn, but now its main
attraction is once again the Sloughhouse Inn restaurant. The venerable
building, situated just off the Jackson Highway, went up as an inn and
stagecoach stop in 1850, catering to travelers for more than a century.
The place burned down and was rebuilt more than once, but looks fit as a
country fiddle today. It has traditionally been the focal point of the
small community. A plaque out front commemorates it as a registered
historic landmark. The restaurant closed in 2006, and new owners George
and Leah Lee reopened the space in February. Once again, it's a magnet
for locals and a welcome stop for day-trippers on the way to the
foothills wine country or the nearby Davis Ranch Farmers Market. It's a
respite that's "more family style than fine dining," said George Lee. Allen Pierleoni in the Sac Bee.