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Top 15 Cowtown Eats Posts of December 2012

Dining News: Rare Bad Review for Formoli's Bistro


Formoli's Bistro is a restaurant that I've had on my list of places to try, but I've never gotten around to it. It has nothing but good buzz, with the Sac Bee's restaurant critic Blair Anthony Robertson naming Aimal Formoli as the most ambitious chef of 2012:

Most ambitious chef: Aimal Formoli. If you equate ambition with determination, it's hard to top what the owner-chef at Formoli's Bistro is doing.
He routinely drives to a pristine biodynamic garden run by Grgich Hills Estate winery in the Napa Valley. The chef picks the produce and designs his menu based on what looks best. The results often are amazing.

So while the results are "often amazing," I guess on one night, they weren't, says RoShamBurger.

The original location was small, the new location is much larger, and much fancier. Anyway, back to the main reason for the write-up…the Whiskey Burger.

Well, to be blunt, it sucked. The menu description is amazing, home ground mixture of sirloin and chuck, a spicy aoili, served on a ciabatta bun. Here’s the break down:

  • Meat was bland. Burger was cooked medium-well, asked for medium rare – all 3 of us. Why kill the flavor by overcooking it?
  • Spicy aioli was ridiculously hot. We can handle spice, but this was stupid.

Read the entire review on RoShamBurger.

More News:

Professor Beer - Charlie Bamforth is the Anheuser-Busch endowed professor of brewing science at UC Davis and author of Beer Is Proof God Loves Us. Here, he speaks with Sacramento magazine about the ever-changing beer culture. Catherine Warmerdam in Sac Mag.

Reality TV dreams come true: Chef Adam Pechal to appear on 'The Taste" - Adam Pechal has dreamt of landing a gig on the small screen for years. Not for his stage prowess though, but for his culinary artisanship. Chef Pechal – the head chef and owner of The Tuli Restaurant Group – is in it to win. He’ll make his debut on ABC’s new reality cooking show, “The Taste,” on Tuesday, Jan. 22. Allison Joy in Sac Press.

Esquire Grill’s Dine Downtown Menu - If you haven’t made the trek to Esquire lately, now’s your chance. This well-executed menu offers a handful of enticing plates that underline the solid craft still simmering behind the open kitchen of this downtown staple, thanks to Chef Dan Moore (and Executive Chef Kurt Spataro). And hello: $30 a plate won’t break your post-holiday budget. Jon Schuller in Sac Foodies.

Willow Café & Sweetery: Hidden Culinary Gem - Tucked in the back of a nondescript complex off of Folsom Boulevard, Willow Cafe & Sweetery may be tough to find (keep an eye out for strategically placed sandwich boards to help direct you), but it’s certainly well worth the effort. Only open a year, it’s sure to be the new go-to spot for those desiring a destination offering gluten-free, vegan and vegetarian options; as well, there’s a menu for the carnivore (the meatloaf with house-ground sirloin is a favorite, and for the vegetarian, the Asian noodle salad looks quite satisfying). Be sure to try the fabulous focaccia bread, made in-house several times a week for Willow’s gigantic breakfast sandwich. Jennifer Resnicke in Style Mag.

AUDIO: Friday Food With Kitty O'Neal Featuring 36 Handles - It's the pub meets fine dining. 36 Handles in El Dorado Hills features an exciting menu that include flavors and cooking techniques from around the globe with standards like six styles of Fish & Chips, Cottage Pie and Corned Beef, as well as some lighter selections. To go along with the meal are several types of libations from around the world as well as from local crafters. Richard Righton is the owner. On KFBK.


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