Dining News: Details on Brasserie Capitale at 12th & K


Sactown Mag's Stephanie Towne has some great new detail on Brasserie Capitale, by the owners of Aioli and replacing The Broiler at 12th & K.

Led by proprietor Aziz Bellarbi-Salah (who also owns midtown’s Aioli and The Grand wine bar) and classically trained French chef Christophe Cornet (the former private chef to the Maloof family), the brasserie will replace its predecessor’s dark booths and shadowy corners with sweeping drapes, bright red accents, a cast-metal bar and striking light fixtures, thanks to the “great vision,” says Bellarbi-Salah, of San Francisco-based designer Sherman Warren.

“We are going as bright and light as we can,” says Bellarbi-Salah. “There will be some drama to the place—it’s meant to approach elegance, but still be funky so it can be comfortable. We are trying to [become] a regular, everyday French restaurant, kind of like what you’d find on a corner in Paris.”

Read the entire article in Sactown Mag.

More News:

Sactown Wings festival takes flight Saturday - Now, Sacramento is set to join other cities paying homage to the finger food that’s become synonymous with football, beer and crumpled, orange-stained napkins. The first Sactown Wings festival (2-7 p.m. Saturday) is organized by Nick Berruezo, 34, owner and CEO of XOSO Sport and Social League, a co-ed sports social league for young adults. It will showcase an assortment of wings from local bars and restaurants. Katrina Cameron in the Sac Bee.

Goldfield Trading Post opens for lunch - Good news for country music fans: Goldfield Trading Post in midtown Sacramento officially opened on Thursday. Sonya Sorich in Sac Biz Journal.

The Mill serves specialty coffee in midtown - The owners of a new midtown Sacramento coffee shop list electricity and running water among the best things about their new store. That's because The Mill operated as a mobile cafe before it opened last week at 1827 I St. The 1,200-square-foot store offers an assortment of specialty coffee drinks. The Mill serves Temple Coffee, as well as pastries from Estelle's Patisserie. Zeal Kombucha, which comes from a local company, also is on the menu. Sonya Sorich in Sac Biz Journal.

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Celebrate Centro's 20th Anniversary with $5 Margaritas This Week


Centro, the venerable Mexican restaurant at J & 28th, is celebrating its 20th anniversary this week by rolling back the price of their margaritas to $5, the price they charged when they first opened.

Among the other festivities they have are:

  • Scott Martin (currently at The Press Bistro) who worked at Centro from 1999 to 2008 will guest bartend tonight
  • Meet owners Randy & Stacy Paragary and Kurt Spataro at Happy Hour from 5 to 6 p.m. on Friday

Centro is located at 2730 J Street and can be found online at CentroCocina.com.

To learn more about how Centro came to be, here's more info, per a Paragary's press release.

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Dining News: Cafe Plan B 'Space is Absolutely Stunning'

Plan B Cafe (2)

Cafe Plan B, which opened at the end of February at 20th & Capitol (next to Jack's Urban Eats), got its first visit from a major critic - Sac Mag's Kira O'Donnell.

But the most unusual aspect of the restaurant is its lack of traditional waitstaff – patrons simply select their meal (including beverages) from a Presto touchscreen tablet located on their table (which, by the way, offers games to play if you’re feeling bored). Standout menu items from my visit included ethereal, doll-sized raviolis stuffed with Compté cheese and drizzled with crème fraiche; a dazzling butter lettuce salad embellished with toasted walnuts, Roquefort cheese and sun-dried cherries; and a velvety, elegant crème brûlée.

Read the entire post in Sac Mag.

Ally Gaffan on A Girl & Her Fork also paid Cafe Plan B a visit.

I've always felt a great dining experience can mainly be gauged by three things- a relaxing atmosphere, friendly and efficient service and delicious food. When my friend Misa and I stopped in on Friday, Plan B Café delivered strong on all three counts. The owners of the new bistro have really spruced the place up.

Read the entire post on A Girl & Her Fork.

I've eaten there once - during the week of their soft opening, and loved the place. It's a little pricey, but still a good value for your meal. I also appreciate their tablet-based ordering system. Between ordering the food when you were ready and paying for it right away, I feel like it shaved 7 to 10 minutes off my lunch visit, which is crucial if you're on a tight schedule.

One of my co-workers at there this week and came back raving about the food. I can't wait to give it another try.

More News:

Pete’s Restaurant & Brewhouse: Pizza, Burgers and Beer, Oh My! - The Pete’s Chicken Combo with bacon, red onions and artichoke hearts was ridiculously addicting, and the thick dough was just hearty enough to stand up to the pizza’s creamy garlic sauce. Adding a dash of crushed red pepper flakes didn’t hurt either. Jennifer Resnicke in Style Mag.

More burgers coming to Sacramento? - Another fast-food franchise is eyeing the Sacramento market. Checkers Drive-In Restaurants Inc., which operates nearly 800 Checkers and Rally's locations nationwide, wants to have three to five restaurants in the Sacramento region by 2015. And within the next five years, the burger chain hopes to have 15 to 25 locations here. Sonya Sorich in Sac Biz Journal.

Sugar surge: Three new sweets shops opening in Folsom - If you have a sweet tooth, there’s no shortage of options in Folsom. The city is welcoming at least three new dessert shops. Featuring Fluffy Snow Desserts, Candy Mine and Sugar Daddies. Sonya Sorich in Sac Biz Journal.

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Dining News: More on Capital Dime


Once Sactown Mag broke the news on Capital Dime last week, the other area news outlets rushed to get more details on the place.

First, Kibkabe Araya in Sac Press:

The owners of Ink Eats & Drinks in Midtown plan to open a new restaurant on 18th & L Streets around mid-July.

Dime, which will be in the L Wine Lounge and Urban Kitchen’s old spot, will serve $10 entrees of American bistro-style comfort food, according to Christina Arntson, Ink’s assistant general manager and consultant for Dime...

Open seven days a week, the restaurant will serve lunch and dinner starting from 11 a.m. to 1 a.m. with the bar staying open to 2 a.m. Downstairs will be the main dining area while upstairs can be rented for private events. The condos in the building will receive exclusive room service.

Read the entire story in Sac Press.

The Sac Bee restaurant critic elaborates in a chat with Noah Zonca, former chef at The Kitchen, who is invested in the restaurant.

As Zonca told me last night, things changed rather dramatically since our first chat. He was acting in an advisory role and, the more advice he imparted, the more attached he became to the Dime's mission and concept. Originally, it was going to be an a la carte, farm-to-fork menu with everything $10 or less.

But when Zonca started putting it all together, he realized the menu wouldn't be interesting enough, competitive enough and, most importantly, it wouldn't really express quality farm to fork ingredients in their best light at that pricepoint.

So Zonca is expanding - and elevating - the menu. And now his investment - financially and otherwise - has increased dramatically. He's no longer silent. He was working on a scallop dish with housemade Thai curry when we spoke again.

Read the entire story in the Sac Bee.

A couple other bits of confusion surrounding the new restaurant. 

  • Opening Date: There seems to be a little disagreement about the timing of the opening. Chris Macias reported in the Sac Bee on Wednesday evening that it would be late June. The Sac Bee restaurant critic reports that they hope to have it open by July 4. And Sac Press reports that it will open mid-July. As the opening date firms up, Cowtown Eats will stay on top of it.
  • Actual Name: What's the actual name of the restaurant? The Sac Bee refers to the restaurant as both "The Dime" and "Dime." Cowtown Eats was told in late may that the restaurant would be called "Dime." Sactown Mag refers to it as "Capital Dime." Sac Press gives us a tidbit of info, and it appears that the concept will be called "Dime," with this location referred to as "Capital Dime." The owners "hope to expand the Dime franchise in the future," reports Sac Press.

More News:

More Farm-to-Fork Week details emerge - More details are emerging for the first annual Farm-to-Fork Week, which will be held this September, including news that the tickets for its signature event — the Sept. 29 dinner on the Tower Bridge — will go on sale on the Farm-to-Fork Capital website at 9 a.m. on July 1. Tickets will be $175 per person. On Sactown Mag.

Refrigerator Fire Prompts Evacuation at Leatherby’s Ice Cream - Leatherby’s Family Creamery was evacuated Friday evening after a reported refrigerator fire. Metro Fire tweeted that only white smoke was seen, and that the fire was in the “plug area” only. Ian McDonald on FOX 40.

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Dining News: Capital Dime to Replace L Wine Lounge, Open This Month


Sactown Mag's Rob Turner has the scoop on Capital Dime, the new restaurant at 1801 L Street, which will replace L Wine Lounge.

It’s been two years since L Wine Lounge & Urban Kitchen at 1801 L Street closed, but the empty bi-level space will be reborn within two weeks as Capital Dime, a new restaurant and bar owned by Noah Zonca, previously the longtime chef at Randall Selland’s highly regarded restaurant, The Kitchen, and Rick Lobley, co-founder of local clubs and restaurants like Ink and Empire.

The name of the new eatery—which implies the number 10—hints at its price point and ambition, according to Lobley, who says most dishes will be around $10, and he’s aiming for food, service and atmosphere that are “a perfect 10” in quality.

Read the entire story in Sactown Mag.

I stopped by there last month, and back then, their goal was to open the first half of June. I suspect that target has slipped. I'll keep an eye out for more info. (Note: Photo was taken 5/25/2013.)

More News:

Tasty Nibbles and Fruit-Infused Tequilas at Centro - I like to drop into Centro for appetizers and the bar’s flavorful, interesting fruit-infused tequilas, which range from the Anniversary Blend, which gets its kick from the addition of fresh pineapple, strawberries, mango and kiwi; to spicy, chili-spiked concoctions and (a recent inspiration) an early-summer peach and vanilla bean-infused tequila. Kira O'Donnell in Sac Mag.

Eviction fight before business burned - Just days before an April 29 fire shut down Crepe Escape on Freeport Boulevard, landlords Jeffrey and Shih Ying Tu secured a judge's ruling that they could evict the restaurant's owner. "They didn't pay their rent," said Shih Ying Tu. "We've had a lot of problems. It's been for about two years now. They keep paying installments. … A few times, it's OK because I know the economy is not that good. Everybody's money is tight." Cathie Anderson in the Sac Bee.

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Dining News: Buffalo's Breakfast Pizza a 'Guilty Pleasure'

I love pizza. I love eating breakfast food for any meal. No restaurant combines those two concepts as well as Buffalo Pizza & Ice Cream, located on 21st St. In an office I used to work in, Buffalo Pizza was the treat we got delivered whenever we celebrated a birthday.

Here's Sac Mag's Jonathan Mendick take on the place:

The eatery has all the quirky characteristics one might expect a local foodie to love: a unique product (breakfast pizza) and a small location (actually, it’s take-out or delivery only, no dine in). It also has limited hours (7 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday through Saturday). There are no tables, no fancy decorations and no credit cards accepted here; all of these give way to make room for Buffalo to deliver heavily on creativity and taste...

The eatery has all the quirky characteristics one might expect a local foodie to love: a unique product (breakfast pizza) and a small location (actually, it’s take-out or delivery only, no dine in). It also has limited hours (7 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday through Saturday). There are no tables, no fancy decorations and no credit cards accepted here; all of these give way to make room for Buffalo to deliver heavily on creativity and taste.

Read the entire review in Sac News & Review.

More News:

Staff pick: Low Brau satisfies meat lovers and offers vegan options - Satisfying meat lovers when choosing where to eat may often imply that a vegetarian’s preferences are out the window, but carnivores and omnivores alike can enjoy the laid back restaurant that aims to please each and every customer: Low Brau. The restaurant is relatively new to midtown Sacramento and opened on Jan. 1 of this year. Energy runs high throughout the German-themed restaurant as friends, families, dates and business partners chatter as they indulge in greasy food and beer. Hope Roberts in the Sac State Hornet.

A Magazine For Beer Lovers - Hops to Table, a free bimonthly magazine launched in February by publisher and homebrewer John Zervas, bills itself as the “ultimate source for all things beer and food.” The inaugural issue included articles on the history of Rubicon Brewing Company; advice on beer and food pairings; and a homebrew recipe for a pale ale featuring Citra hops from Yakima Valley. “We’re trying to make beer as fun and accessible as possible. That’s really the focus of the magazine,” says Zervas, who founded Hops to Table as a labor of love. Catherine Warmerdam in Sac Mag.

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Dining News: Rock vs. Country

Two restaurants fronted by musicians entered. One was the clear victor. Sac Bee restaurant reviewer Blair Anthony Robertson took an entertaining look at the Toby Keith's I Love This Bar and Sammy's Rockin' Island Bar & Grill.

Sometimes the results can be awesome, giving us a sense of the celebrity's genuine personality and approach to having a good time. But sometimes these places can feel too corporate, too contrived, too watered down to be anything but an Applebee's with dated moves borrowed from the glory days of Hard Rock Cafe.

This week, we're stepping away from fine dining, even taking a breather from serious eating, and pitting our region's two newest celebrity restaurants against each other. Toby Keith and his version of Midwestern man-food vs. Sammy Hagar's take on Hawaii's casual cuisine. Both joints are big and loud, and often feature live music.

Keith has a restaurant in Folsom; Hagar's is in Roseville. We were looking for a good time with friendly, informal service and the appropriate level of glossy affectations like framed photos, concert costumes and other celebrity memorabilia. Yes, we'd like the food to be tasty, but it didn't have to be edgy or thrilling. We hoped for a sense of who these guys are and what they see as their ideal place to have a drink, grab a meal, enjoy some music and some laughs.

Here, they go toe to toe, in a no-holds-barred culinary cage fight featuring two celebrities who know how to have a good time.

We'll look at the great, the not-so-great and the outright lame.

I don't want to spoil the review, but it looks like Rock wins over Country in this battle.

Read the entire story in the Sac Bee.

More News:

Changes for Chops - This summer Geoff Flynn and his partners in Chops steakhouse plan to freshen up their restaurant across the street from the Capitol on L Street. "You'll see some of the bigger light fixtures and things to get more light in there," he said. "It won't be a full-scale change, but it will be enough that when you walk in, you'll notice something different." Cathie Anderson in the Sac Bee.

Burgers go wild at Cookie's Drive-In - Though most drive-ins are now memories, tiny Cookie's in east Sacramento keeps on keepin' on, and taking risks you wouldn't expect. For example: Daring diner Tom Negrete mentioned the other day that Cookie's had recently added camel to its lineup of unusual burgers, so we drove over for a taste test. He's the Sacramento Bee's director of innovation and news operations. Cookie's has been family-owned-and-run for 28 years. Staffing the kitchen last Friday were owner Paul Chuk and his adult children, Joyce and Jesse. The menu board shows the usual suspects – chili dog, Philly cheesesteak, fried shrimp and fish, fried mushrooms. But we were there for the low-fat, high-protein camel, buffalo, kangaroo and ostrich burgers, with a traditional hamburger as the control in our "science test." Allen Pierleoni in the Sac Bee.

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