Happy Hour at Capital Dime (Closed)
Happy Hour at Foundation Restaurant & Bar

Dining News: Why Noah Zonca Left The Kitchen & Why He Stayed in Sacramento

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In a great piece in Sactown Magazine, Anita Chabria uncovers why former chef at The Kitchen left a dream gig, but and also why he didn't leave for greener pastures.

But he’s hardly the kid with his hands in the suds anymore. Growing older, the 37-year-old Zonca says, made him seriously consider the “scary” proposition of striking out on his own. “I knew that if I stayed until I was 40 I’d probably be there the rest of my life,” he adds. So he quit. With no plan.

He headed out of town to visit his mom in Wisconsin, then did a culinary tour of cities such as Chicago, L.A. and San Francisco. He realized he had options, “worldwide options,” he says. But he also has a son at Rio Americano High School, so he headed back to Sacramento, a place he describes as having “a small town kind of style because everybody knows everybody and I like that fact, but it’s still enough city for me."

Soon after coming home, Lobley, who had been trying for the past eight years to get Zonca to partner with him, got in touch. He managed to grab Zonca’s attention with The Dime (as insiders are abbreviating it) at 18th and L in the space formerly occupied by L Wine Lounge & Urban Kitchen, despite an offer from another restaurant group. At first, Zonca signed on as a consultant with a small ownership percentage, but quickly became a full partner and worked with Lobley to incorporate high-end foodie standards into a low-cost concept.

The story is a great read. Read the entire thing in Sactown Mag.

I recently paid a return to visit after my good but not great first visit. In the ensuing three months, the place has really improved. While I only sampled their happy hour fare, their cooking was more precise and their service had sharpened. I look forward to future visits, especially on their Wine Wednesdays.

Click here for more stories about Capital Dime.

More News:

Sacramento restaurant to honor Charlie Trotter with menu specials - When Keith Fergel, the GM at Taylor’s Kitchen, learned last week that famed Chicago-based chef and restaurateur Charlie Trotter, 54, had died suddenly, he wanted to honor him in some way...Once the tragic news sunk in, Fergel wrote an email and began contacting local chefs, encouraging them to put a special on their menus to salute one of America’s most influential chefs...Watch for Trotter-inspired specials this week at Mulvaney’s, Ella, Kru, Taylor’s Kitchen and a host of other area restaurants. Blair Anthony Robertson in the Sac Bee.

Rosemary bread from Masullo Pizza is a slice of heaven - Recently we discovered the excellent stone-baked pizza bread cooked in the wood-fired pizza ovens by Robert Masullo and his staff at Masullo Pizza (2711 Riverside Blvd., 916-443-8929; ww.masullopizza.com). Right now, it’s sold exclusively at Taylor’s Market (2900 Freeport Blvd., 916-443-6881; www.taylorsmarket.com). Masullo shapes the focaccia-like loaves from pizza dough, baking them at high heat for about two minutes and delivering them to Taylor’s between noonish and 1:30ish p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays. They’re seasoned with rosemary, olive oil and salt, and are fragrant, chewy and slightly charred ($2.99 each). If you appreciate good bread, you’ll love this. Allen Pierleoni in the Sac Bee.

Sports theme pub and grill hits homerun - A new family-owned restaurant blends fresh flavors, ice-cold brews and sports paraphernalia, to make Folsom’s Buck Shorts Dugout Sports Grill and Pub. Brent Neville, of Folsom, opened the sports grill and pub in May, with his long-time family friend Bill Moyer. Neville’s family helps run the location day-to-day. Laura Newell in the El Dorado Hills Telegraph.

Midtown bar serves up old school fun - Republic Bar and Grill in Midtown Sacramento is a great place for college students to enjoy old school arcade games, watch sports and enjoy some amazing food while grabbing a cold brew. Republic features three pool tables, vintage video and arcade games. Classic arcade games such as Ms. Pac Man, Whack-A-Mole, Skee-Ball, basketball arcade, air hockey and board games keep customers coming back for a nostalgic good time. Sammie Moreno in the Sac State Hornet.

VIDEO: Cooking Steak with Cafe Bernardo - Chef Scott Turnispeed of Cafe Bernardo shows Paul Robins how to make spiced rubbed natural angus flank steak. On FOX 40.

VIDEO: Dishin' With Tina: Masullo - It's an authentic Italian pizzeria that's adding some American Favorites. Tina Macuha takes us to Masullo in Sacramento for today's Dishin' With Tina. On Good Day Sac. (Forward to the 21:40 mark)

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