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Dining News: RIP - Trick Pony. Why it Closed.


Trick Pony, which may have never overcome its inauspicious start, is now closed, the restaurant announced on Facebook over the weekend.

The restaurant will be reopened as Piccola Citta, an "Osteria-inspired, rustic Italian restaurant" in a month or so. Here's their message, in full:

Trick Pony Pizza, which opened in Summer 2014, is closed for rebranding and remodeling. The restaurant will reopen under a new name and updated concept one month later. Employees will be transferred to other properties during the rebrand.

Trick Pony Pizza launched in June 2014 and quickly made waves in local press, even prior to opening. Soon after, Chris Jarosz & Matt Chong of Broderick Roadhouse were soon contacted to take over operations of the wood-fire pizza restaurant concept.

However, over the past few months- it was soon realized that the pizza-centric concept was too limiting, and the location proved to be in demand for a menu beyond the Trick Pony concept.

Trick Pony will close for the month, and will reopen under the name, Piccola Citta, “Little City” in Italian. The grand opening is set for the first week of May, and the concept will grow into an Osteria-inspired, rustic Italian restaurant. The menu will still include wood-fired pizza, but will expand to include dishes inspired by rustic, countryside fare, but made with ingredients local to Sacramento. The restaurant will also feature a heavy focus on Italian wines.

Chris Jarosz and Matt Chong will remain as principle operators at Piccola Citta, along with its current investment group consisting of Mark Casales & Bobby Coyote from Dos Coyotes, and David Richter representing the Sam Gordon family.

Even before the restaurant opened, one of the original owners stuck his foot in his mouth by denigrating the quality of pizza in Sacramento. Later, the duo of Jarosz and Chong were brought in to see if they could save the restaurant. Team Broderick brought in a new chef and management team, including the popular Andrea Vedovato as manager. After the changes, the Sac Bee upgraded their rating of the restaurant.

If there's one thing I know about Team Broderick, it's that they bust their behinds. I wish them good luck in this new venture.

While we're on the topic if this spot...

Trick Pony replaced the very popular Tuli Bistro run by Chef Adam Pechal. Coincidentally, I spotted Chef Pechal dining at Ravenous Cafe in the Pocket last week. Chef Pechal could be heard from several tables away loudly discussing his upcoming restaurant in East Sac. This is the second time I had heard about Chef Pechal's new restaurant. On January 9, I ate at a Treehouse popup, where Treehouse Chef Kevin O'Connor congratulated Chef Pechal (who had joined him in preparing the meal) on his new venture during his public remarks. I followed up with Chef Pechal via e-mail in January, but he declined to elaborate at that time. More on this as it becomes available.

More News:

Going off-menu is spot-on at Lotus 8 - With all that in mind, we called around and learned that Lotus 8 Chinese restaurant in Folsom relishes the challenge of off-menu orders. That’s thanks mostly to managing partner Kirby Wen, who came to the United States 30 years ago from Toishan in southern China.“When we opened (in 2013) we didn’t take that approach,” said Wen. “We offered just what we had on the menu. Then some customers started asking, ‘Can you make this dish or that dish?’ That happened often enough to make me think, ‘If there’s a demand for (off-menu items), maybe we should do them. That (concept) got incorporated into our cooking system. Now we encourage our customers to (order off-menu) because it expands their repertoires beyond sweet-and-sour and pork fried rice.” Allen Pierleoni in the Sac Bee.

HoiCin Cantonese Restaurant: Ten years after - HoiCin is a welcome change from the everyday Chinese menu, and as Washington said, “You could do a lot worse than to take them to HoiCin for one of the more interesting Chinese dinners.” Someday I plan to return to finally try the crab. Hopefully before another 10 years gets by me. Garrett McCord in Sac News & Review.

Cilantro's Mexican Restaurant moving to new location downtown - Cilantro's Mexican Restaurant, which for 10 years has filled a space near Sacramento's Downtown Plaza, is moving to the home of the Shenanigans nightclub downtown. Sonya Sorich in Sac Biz Journal.

VIDEO: Dishin’ With Tina: Zac Jack Bistro - Tina is getting a taste of a local favorite, Zac Jack Bistro. On Good Day Sac.

VIDEO: A new spin on French Toast - Chef Jay Veregge for restaurant Ten22 shows us how to make a sweet French toast. On KCRA.

VIDEO: Sunday was National Grilled Cheese Day - Sunday was National Grilled Cheese Day, but the FOX40 crew got an early start. Certified Cheese Specialist Jeremy Mosher of Whole Foods whipped up some unique combinations Balsamic Blueberry Grilled Cheese Sandwich and Apple & Sriracha Grilled Cheese. Paul Robins on FOX 40.


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