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Dining News: Hock Farm 'Solid but Underwhelming [with] Unexceptional Vision'

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Sac Bee restaurant critic Blair Anthony Robertson initially declared Hock Farm "uneven" back in April. After several more visits, he finds the "eating experience...is often basic, if not underwhelming."

Sometimes, we felt like we were punched in the nose with seasonality. There were peaches on pizza – and they were delicious. There were peaches on our heirloom tomato salad (and really, they overwhelmed the dish and blotted out the potential to love the tomatoes). OK, we get it, you've got peaches. From a farm.

Farm-to-table is an ethos, a way of thinking and doing business, of connecting with real farmers and doing things the right way.

It's not a concept. If anything, it's a starting point. At Hock Farm, based on the solid but underwhelming fare and the unexceptional vision, farm-to-table seems to be the only point. We expect much more than that, either with technique, flavor profiles or outright creativity.

Read the entire review in the Sac Bee.

For other views, read my Instant Reaction after eating there on their first night and Sac Mag's Kira O'Donnell's thoughts after a recent visit.

More News:

St. John's opens midtown restaurant Plates2Go - Hoping to build on the success of its Plates Café, St. John’s Shelter for Women and Children has opened a spin-off restaurant in midtown Sacramento. Operating from donated church space at 1725 L St., Plates2Go sells take-out or eat-in lunch fare for the community as well as offers a private conference room for groups wanting to meet over lunch. Meals can be ordered online. Kelly Johnson in the Sac Biz Journal.

Sweltering? Midtown’s Sweet Solution - Sacramento’s heat can bring you to your knees. When you need some relief, head to midtown’s Devine Gelateria & Café, which dishes up some of the most scrumptious gelato I have ever tasted. Kira O'Donnell in Sac Mag.

Pavilions adding tenants, including Cafe Bernardo, Soma by Chico's - The Paragary Restaurant Group’s Cafe Bernardo was considered to be the perfect match, she said. The eatery is scheduled to open in September in the space Market at Pavilions vacated two years ago. Before that, David Berkley Fine Wines & Specialty Foods operated there. Cafe Bernardo, which will serve breakfast, lunch, and dinner, will occupy more than 3,700 square feet plus a patio seating area. Elsewhere in Pavilions, Insight Coffee Roasters is set to move into 1,500 square feet in early December. The local company opened its first location two years ago in downtown Sacramento. Kelly Johnson in the Sac Biz Journal.

Casa Garden Restaurant event showcases X-Factor vocalist - Sacramento Bee restaurant critic Blair Robertson is a big fan of Casa Garden Restaurant. He praised the place in December not only because of its volunteer staff and good cause, but because of its approachable, well-executed food. On Sept. 12, the restaurant hosts a special event called "Fly Me to the Moon." Sacramento's Jerry Lopes, a finalist on this season's X-Factor, will perform a wide variety of tunes, including a little Frank Sinatra. Casa Garden's Marlene Oehler called him "just awesome." Janelle Bitker in the Sac Bee.

VIDEO: Formoli’s cooks it up fresh - Chef Aimal Formoli cooks up fresh pasta with a fresh cream sauce on the KCRA patio. On KCRA.

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