It’s Dine Downtown Week, and the PR team for the organizers have been reaching out to local bloggers and inviting them to try different restaurants offering the weeklong $30 for three courses special. (If you aren’t familiar with Dine Downtown, read a primer on it here.)
My fiancée and I had the opportunity to eat at Delta King Pilothouse Restaurant on Sunday night at 5:30 p.m. At first, we dreaded having to park in Old Sac, but it was surprising easy. Because the parking meters are in operation on Sundays also, we were able to find a spot right in front of the waterfront restaurant.
In my mind, a stereotypical waterfront restaurant is heavy on the view, and the food is just passable. Fortunately for us, the Delta King had a great view, with good food and service to match.
We sat down and were immediately impressed with their wine list. It had more more wines by the glass than your run of the mill restaurant.
We both ordered the Dine Downtown menu. Each course had a choice of two items, and we selected our courses so we’d be able to try everything.
First thing first. We were given complimentary bread, warm on the inside, and perfectly toasty on the outside, with a side of olive oil and balsamic vinegar. I much prefer the oil and vinegar accompaniment to the bread and slab of cold butter.
I loved the crostini and good crunch on the three pieces of fried oyster.
California goat cheese croquette with Serrano ham and arugula
My fiancée thought bitterness of arugula was a good compliment to the saltiness of the Serrano ham and croquette. I had a slight preference for the oyster Rockefeller, but it’s probably because I like the dish in general. Both were very good.
The combination of corn, mash potato and a zestiness to the Dr. Pepper sauce were good, said my fiancee. Generally, I like to order short ribs at restaurants because it’s not something I can just whip up at home in 20 minutes. I thought the dish was well constructed and enjoyed the tenderness of the ribs.
Seafood Cioppino with PEI mussels, aqua gem clams, diver scallops, prawns, dungeness crab with fresh fish.
The cioppino was the best dish of the night. The broth was appropriately spicy (had a noticeable bite) and you could tell the kitchen prided itself on having fres seafood. The chef also included hearty amounts of mussels, clams, scallops, crab and fish.
Heavenly Flourless Chocolate Cake with vanilla bean ice cream and drizzled with a rich chocolate sauce
Both were great. My chocolate-loving fiancée preferred the flourless chocolate cake. I preferred the Apple-cranberry bread pudding, especially the candied cranberries. In reality, though, both desserts were well executed and were a perfect end point to a good meal.
Overall, this restaurant could just survive based on its location and view. However, they take the extra step and create solid dishes to go along with the amazing scenery. I’d suggest that you request a table as close to the windows as possible to maximize the experience.
Dine Downtown lasts thru Sunday, Jan. 16. I liked my meal at the Delta King and its unbeatable view. I’d encourage you to eat at the Delta King (and order the cioppino) or another downtown eatery. If you can’t make it this week, you’re in luck. The Delta King offers a regular three course tasting menu for only $30, with great wine parings for about $15 for three half servings.
Disclaimer: The Delta King provided us two meals wine parings without charge.