Daily Food & Restarant News

Dining News: RIP Italian Stallion Grill, Hello EastSMF Restaurant


EastSMF, by the owners of the now defunct Monticello in Davis, have opened in East Sac, reports Jessica Rine in Sactown Mag.

Like Monticello, EastSMF (the name pays tribute to the restaurant’s East Sacramento location and the capital city’s airport) boasts an ever-changing seasonal menu using produce from local farms, with the bulk coming from Fiddlers Green Farm in Brooks, owned by Jim Eldon, who was a part owner of Monticello. Currently, EastSMF's menu offerings include sautéed mussels in a curry coconut broth; a beet salad with black radishes and a sherry Dijon vinaigrette; buckwheat crepes with “wild and civilized” mushrooms including chanterelle and shiitake varieties, Gruyere and crème fraiche; and a lavender Meyer lemon crème brûlée for dessert.

While the Gruska’s downsized from their Davis locale—EastSMF seats about 40 in the main dining area and about 20 in the bar compared to Monticello's 85-seat dining room—Rhonda says they are happy with the clean, modern vibe of their new location with its open kitchen, mint green walls, and chocolate brown and stainless steel accents. They also have patio seating, something they always wanted but never had at Monticello.

Read the entire story in Sactown Mag.

That spot has housed a number of restaurants. Most recently, it was Italian Stallion Grill, which opened in January 2014 and according to Yelp reviews, closed in April 2015.

EastSMF is located at 3620 J St. and can be found online at http://eastsmf.info/.

More News:

Beer Run: Calibrating our palates with cookies, of all things - coff if you want, but this was serious business. Cookies paired with premium beer, whether it’s a hopped-up and dank IPA, a silky smooth stout or a fruity sour, has become something of a trend. A few weeks earlier, I attended a cookies-meets-beer event at New Glory Craft Brewery and the cookies were all but gobbled up and gone by the time I got there. Blair Anthony Robertson in the Sac Bee.

Maligned for decades, MSG comes back - Plenty about monosodium glutamate, better known as MSG, is puzzling and peculiar. Indeed, many would argue that the ongoing assault on this ubiquitous flavor enhancer is just wacky. MSG has its defenders, including some of Sacramento’s top mainstream chefs, but unless you’re a hardcore foodie or culinary insider, probably everything you’ve heard about MSG is wrong. Is it possible that many of us have expended far too much time and energy through the years awkwardly asking about it at Chinese restaurants, avoiding it whenever possible and repeating claims about it that have long since been debunked? Blair Anthony Robertson in the Sac Bee.

Thai cuisine takes a few unusual turns at Sawasdee - Sawasdee’s take on green papaya salad (som tam) held wonderful heat and texture. The shredded papaya had been traditionally prepared in a mortar with tomato, long bean, garlic, peanuts and lime juice in well-orchestrated harmony. “This is a great combination of flavors,” Norm said. Agreed. Allen Pierleoni in the Sac Bee.

New local coffee shop in the works, with a familiar face - A co-founder of Insight Coffee Roasters has left the company and plans to open his own local cafe next month. Lucky Rodrigues left locally owned Insight last October. The decision was driven largely by a desire to spend more time with his family, according to Rodrigues, who said he wasn't sure of his long-term career plans at the time of his departure. "I just kind of jumped off the cliff," he said. Sonya Sorich in Sac Biz Journal.

Local coffee shop closing in February - A local coffee shop with indoor play areas for children will permanently shut its doors in February. Java Mama Folsom confirmed the decision on its Facebook page. The store at 2776 East Bidwell St. opened in January 2014. Its final day of business will be Feb. 26. Sonya Sorich in Sac Biz Journal.

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Dining News: Updated Opening Dates for Malt & Mash, El Rey at 7th & K

Malt and mash

Malt & Mash and El Rey by Bob Simpson and Trevor Shults, will open in March, they announced in a help wanted ad on Craigslist.


El Rey, opening early­ March, will feature a high­ energy, cocktail driven dining experience with tacos anchoring the menu.

Malt & Mash, opening mid­ March, will be an intimate Irish pub that pays tribute to the building's historic past

The hiring fair will be from Wednesday, Feb. 10 to Friday, Feb. 12 starting at 10 a.m. each day at The Assembly at 10th & K.

Click here for more information.

Back in September 2015, the venues were expected to open in November, but as we know, restaurants almost never open on time.

When they open, Malt & Mash and El Rey will be located at 715 K Street.

Photo via Facebook.

More News:

Fieldwork Brewing Co. to open Midtown taproom - Get ready for more craft beer, Midtowners. Fieldwork Brewing Co. is coming to the Handle District. It’ll be the Berkeley bewery’s first additional taproom, taking over the skinny, 1,436 square foot space between the Press Bistro and Zocalo at 1805 Capitol Avenue. Co-founder Barry Braden said they’re shooting for a summer opening. Janelle Bitker in Sac News & Review.

Sacramento Bacon Fest 2016 - Sacramento Bacon Fest 2016 closed out a week of bacon-covered goodness with its 5th Annual Chef’s Competition. Twelve of Sacramento’s favorite chefs donned their aprons, gathered their knives and headed to Mulvaney’s B&L to battle it out for the coveted title of Bacon Fest Champion. Of course, on the other side of the kitchen, Sacramento feasted on some of the best bites in the city. We gathered. We ate. We conquered. Bacon Fest, we miss you already. Jose Barajas in City Scout Mag.

There’s still time (maybe) to book a perfect Valentine’s meal - People who truly care about Valentine’s Day made their plans before the clock struck 12:01 a.m. Jan. 1. The rest of you are unmotivated or simply don’t love enough. But we’re here to guide, not judge. So we have rounded up remaining dining – and entertainment and lodging – options for Feb. 14 and the Long Weekend of Love, or what single people call Presidents Day weekend. Carla Meyer in the Sac Bee.

National Tater Tot Day taken seriously at Tank House - National Tater Tot Day was Tuesday, Feb. 2, and there are a few things you should know, including this: We eat 70 million pounds of them every year….In observance of Tot Day, he and his crew have added six more variations, to be sold only on Tot Day. All eight will be $6 per serving. Allen Pierleoni in the Sac Bee.

Wine Symposium brings crowds, expense accounts to downtown mix - If you ambled into your favorite downtown restaurant Wednesday for lunch, you probably walked away moments later with your tail tucked between your legs, suddenly aware that 14,000-plus wine industry folks were all at lunch simultaneously. Restaurants large and small were packed on P Street, jammed on J and crowded on K like no other day on the calendar. All because of the 22nd annual Unified Wine & Grape Symposium, an event that attracts delegates with lanyards on their necks and expense accounts at the ready. Blair Anthony Robertson in the Sac Bee.

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Dining News: Skool on K Sets Opening Date

Skool sac

Skool on K, the Sacramento outpost for a San Francisco-based seafood restaurant, is scheduled to open on Friday, Feb. 12, it announced on Facebook.

Here's how Skool describes themselves:

Skool Restaurant - a new Californian fish-focused restaurant that consists of two husband and wife pairs, Toshihiro and Hiroko Nagano and Andy Mirabell and Olia Kedik.

Skools cuisine is fish focused and embodies a variety of unique clean flavored dishes cooked with Japanese ingredients. Skool also offers a variety of meat, gluten free and vegetarian dishes.

We aim to create a bountiful, ever-changing community of great food and company.

The restaurant has yet to post a menu on its Web site, but assuming its menu is similar to its San Francisco sister restaurant, appetizers will start at $8, and entrees will cost between $20 and $30. I wouldn't be surprised if real estate costs allowed the Sacramento restaurant to be a little more affordable. Time will tell.

When it opens, Skool on K will be located at 2319 K Street and can be found online at http://skoolonkstreet.com/.

Previously: San Francisco Seafood Restaurant Opening in Midtown

More News:

Bay Area brewer opening Sacramento taproom in midtown - Berkeley-based Fieldwork Brewing Co. will open a taproom in midtown Sacramento, the company confirmed on its Facebook page Wednesday night. It's scheduled to open this summer at 1805 Capitol Ave., which is next to Zocalo. The new taproom will offer a rotating variety of beers, according to the Facebook post. A listing on LoopNet says the space covers 1,460 square feet. Sonya Sorich in Sac Biz Journal.

Expansive - Two local restaurants opened new locations this month. Korean spot YD House opened its second restaurant called YD Tofu House (5609 Freeport Boulevard). There’s no extra emphasis on tofu at YD Tofu House, though. Janelle Bitker in Sac News & Review. (Second item)

Breakfast of Champions - When you need a sugar rush to start your day. Featuring Sweet Dozen, Ettore’s European Bakery, Nido, Freeport Bakery and Estelle’s Patisserie. Marybeth Bizjak in Sac Mag.

Fatties only: King Cake - New Orleans native Charlie Harrison will make one ($15-$25) for Old Soul Co. and Freeport Bakery offers a plain or praline version ($15.95-$20.95). They come with miniature babies baked inside. Ann Martin Rolke in Sac News & Review.

Coffee Plus - When you go to a coffeehouse in the morning, generally the most you can expect is a scone or a muffin to go with your pour-over or single-origin espresso. Not so at Old Soul Co., Bloom Coffee & Tea and The Mill. Marybeth Bizjak in Sac Mag.

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Dining News: LA-Based Angel City Brewery Enters Sacramento Market

AngelJust as Sacramento craft brewers are expanding regionally and beyond, craft breweries from other areas are entering the Sacramento Market.

Angel City, whose brewery is located in the Arts District just six blocks from LA's City Hall, was founded in 1997 by Michael Bowe, a homebrewer who won the prestigeous “California Hombrewer of the Year” award in 1995 and 1996.

The brewery has since been purchased by Alchemy & Science, an "independently operating” subsidiary of The Boston Beer Company, which brews Sam Adams.

The two beers hitting Sacramento are the Angel City Pilsner and the Angel City IPA, which received an 85 from Beer Advocate. The Pilsner did not receive a rating from BA. To give you a sense of scale, Track 7's popular Panic IPA has an 86 on Beer Advocate.

Locally, their Web site says the beers can be found at:

  • The Grange
  • University of Beer
  • Rio City Cafe
  • Kupros Bistro
  • Alley Katz

I haven't tried these beers, but it's always good to have more choices.

For more information, visit http://angelcitybrewery.com/.

More News:

Pizza Port arrives - Pizza Port has arrived. One of California’s most coveted craft breweries has made a retail foray into the increasingly crowded Sacramento craft market. I spotted Pizza Port’s distinctive cans recently at Curtis Park Market and Capitol Beer & Taproom. The latter will host a Pizza Port launch party/tap takeover Feb. 11. Hook & Ladder has it on draft. If you’re curious about a brewery that has won numerous medals at World Beer Cup and twice captured “Small Brewpub of the Year” at the Great American Beer Festival, be sure to check out these beers. Blair Anthony Robertson in the Sac Bee.

Old-school excellence: Biba’s - Now that construction at the nearby Sutter Medical Center has finished (and before construction on both a new hotel and the new B Street Theatre venue begins) it’s the perfect time to rediscover this pinnacle of fine dining or eat there for the first time. Garrett McCord in Sac News & Review.

Simon’s says ‘not guilty’: Former employees accuse owner of stealing tips, unfair business practices - Three former employees have sued the 16th Street mainstay and its renowned proprietor, Simon Chan, in an unfair business practices lawsuit that’s potentially headed for a summer trial, says plaintiffs’ attorney Gaurav Bobby Kalra. Kalra filed the suit on July 9, 2014, in Sacramento Superior Court. The 14-page complaint alleges that Chan made servers pay for customer credit card fees out of their own pockets, garnished their tips to pay undocumented workers under the table, and fired or “constructively discharged” the three plaintiffs after they protested. Raheem F. Housseini in Sac News & Review.

Woodland’s Main Street gains momentum - Foodie experiences have popped up in downtown, including fine dining at Morgan’s on Main, sandwiches and beers at Stack’d and Brew’d, and new ownership of the Savory Cafe. Ellen Garrison in the Sac Bee.

Bumping up minimum wage helps workers, costs businesses and customers - There’s a price to be paid for raising the minimum wage. At one local Mexican food chain, it’s 14 cents a taco. Businesses and nonprofit groups have been adjusting to the state’s new $10 minimum wage since it superseded the old minimum wage of $9 an hour on Jan. 1. Some have raised prices or fees. Others have cut back hours. And many are thinking about the increases still to come. Hudson Sangree and Mark Glover in the Sac Bee.

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Dining News: Vampire Penguin Natomas Sets Opening Date

Vampire Penguin, the fast growing shaved snow and desserts eatery, is scheduled to open its new Natomas location on Feb. 20.

The Natomas location will be the seventh outpost, with locations serving South Sacramento, Downtown Sac, Elk Grove, Berkeley, San Mateo and Reno.

Vampire Penguin also briefly had a store in Davis, but it closed after less than a year.

The restaurant's main attraction its unbelieveably light shaved snow. Much like a Cold Stone, diners can chose their own flavor combinations or choose from specials curated by the staff.

Previously, they had tweeted that they planned to soft open on Feb. 13, but that tweet has been deleted. However, if you're in the area, you might want to check in and see if they're ready a couple days before their official opening.

When it opens, Vampire Penguin Natomas will be located at 3620 North Freeway Blvd (near the Buffalo Wild Wings and Buch Hut Deli) and can be found online at http://www.vampirepenguin.com/.

More News:

The Parlor Ice Cream Puffs - This desserterie with locations in Fair Oaks and Roseville, best known for its melt-in-your-mouth ice cream “puffs,” began serving milkshakes on Friday, Jan. 15. Tori Masucci Cummins and Anna Petkovich in Sactown Mag. (Fourth Item.)

Quick Bites in the Capital Region: 5 hotspots for fast-casual dining - Sacramento is teeming with local restaurants and semi-local chains that aim for value and efficiency. Here are some of our favorites, featuring Thai Canteen,  Buckhorn Grill, Krush Burger, Tako Korean BBQ and Duc Huong Sandwiches. Tyler Forvé in Comstocks Mag.

Meet the folks behind V. Miller Meats - Shank, shoulder, sirloin, riblets and legs. Sausages, porterhouse, spare ribs, tenderloin, chuck, patties and skirt steak. What do these have in common? They describe the by-products of whole animal butchery. Eric Miller and Matt Azevedo of V. Miller Meats recently opened their specialty whole animal butcher shop in East Sacramento. One of only about thirty across the United States, the pair believe that Sacramento is an excellent location because of the rapidly expanding specialty eateries, farmers markets, local farms and culinary shops in the Sacramento area. Corky Oakes in Valley Community News.

Icing on the Cupcake opens in Midtown, long live cupcakes! - Wait, aren’t cupcakes dead? Apparently not quite yet. Icing on the Cupcake opened a new Midtown outpost at (1730 J Street), taking over a chunk from the former Gifted Gardener space. Janelle Bitker in Sac News & Review.

Counter Culture: Exotic flavors, uncompromising heat at Indo Cafe in Old Sacramento - Jim is from south Texas and works the front of the house. Tessa is the cook who grew up in Tegal, a city in the Central Java Province of Indonesia, and came up in the family restaurant, learning Indonesian and Chinese cooking from her mother. The from-scratch dishes have a distinct homemade feel and are from family recipes. Jim and Tessa source many of their imported seasonings from local Asian and Mexican supermarkets, and many vegetarian dishes populate the menu. Allen Pierleoni in the Sac Bee.

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Dining News: Whired Wine at 4th & L Sets Opening Date


Whired Wine whose name is a combination of both WHIte and RED wines, is scheduled to open on Feb. 8, it announced on Facebook late last week.
Sactown Magazine's Tori Masucci Cummins fills in some of the details:

San Francisco restaurateur John Marco and his wife Vicky transformed the intimate space, a former jewelry store, into a wine bar with a modern, industrial vibe and chic details like a central chandelier and colorful paintings by local artists such as Rafael Delgado, and a moniker that combines “white” and “red...”

To that end, Whired Wine will be serving up local craft beers, selections of sake and a small plates menu that includes a panini with brie, pear and prosciutto, or a cheese and charcuterie board with choices like Tartufo salami and Point Reyes Farmstead cheese. Chef Cecil Rhodes, who runs Cecil's Taste Food Truck and formerly served as head chef at Bella Bru in Carmichael, will helm the kitchen.

Read the entire story in Sactown Mag.

2016 will be a very busy year for the blocks adjacent to the arena. I expect many, many other restaurants to open by the time the Kings play their first game at the Golden One Center this Fall.

Whired Wine is located at 410 L Street, and can be found online at http://www.whiredwine.com/.

* Photo via their Facebook page.

More News:

Confidential: Secret menu, Mother - “You should order our kimchi fries.” This is what chef Matt Masera at Mother tells me. Sure. But they’re not on the menu. “They’re on the secret menu.” Nick Miller in Sac News & Review.

Capitol Garage - The popular downtown restaurant debuted a new menu Jan. 18 replete with vegetarian and vegan options. Head chef Raphael Kendall (whose own vegan diet inspired the menu) is dishing out new meatless options like zucchini noodles with roasted carrots, red pepper, and chimichurri, or the carrot hash, topped with sautéed broccoli, rainbow chard and fried eggs. Tori Masucci Cummins and Anna Petkovich in Sactown Mag.

Flatland Brewing Company - This new brewery is set to open Jan. 22 in Elk Grove, replacing Handcraft Brewing Company. With six rotating taps, Flatland’s brews will include a double IPA, an imperial stout, the malty Bavarian Copper, the spicy Czech hop-based saison coined Uprising, and the rich, fruit-flavored Royal Quail with caramel and chocolate. Tori Masucci Cummins and Anna Petkovich in Sactown Mag. (Second Item.)

Police: Man Denied Sandwich at Subway Returns to Assault Employees, Smash Window - Sacramento Police say a man who was denied service at a Subway restaurant returned moments later with some friends to smash a window and attack its employees. According to officers, the man was denied service when trying to buy a sandwich at the Del Paso Boulevard and El Camino Avenue store Sunday evening. He returned a short time later with several other people. Ian McDonald on FOX 40.

Happy Hour Hound: Duke's Plates and Pints - Located on La Sierra Drive, near Watt Avenue and Fair Oaks Boulevard, Duke’s Plates and Pints is ready to cater to any football fan, hungry patron or happy hour hound. Duke’s is a casual bar that is small enough for you to grab a quick bite by yourself but big enough to meet with your crew on game day. Amy Serna in Submerge Mag.

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Dining News: Wrap N' Roll Elk Grove 'Closed Until Further Notice'


Just weeks after closing its midtown location to fine tune its concept, Wrap N' Roll Sushi Burrito was forced to close its Elk Grove location after a black Mercedes-Benz with a surprisingly courteous driver crashed through its doors on Thursday afternoon. The Sac Bee has more:

Police said they received a report of shots fired in the area, and the vehicle’s occupants fled the area following the crash.

The vehicle ended up inside the Wrap ’N Roll Sushi Burrito restaurant, but no one was injured. The only customer in the restaurant was at the counter, not in the dining area affected by the crash.

After crashing into the restaurant, three passengers exited the vehicle. The driver apologized to the cashier and all three of them quickly departed before police arrived. Police also say they found one bullet hole in the vehicle.

Read the entire story in the Sac Bee and watch a great video of a tow truck pulling the car out of the building.

Wrap N' Roll Sushi Burrito released this update on their Facebook page on Thursday evening:

After an unfortunate incident took place this afternoon, wrap n roll Elk Grove will be closed until further notice. We're just grateful that everyone made it out okay.

In the meanwhile, for those seeking sushi burrito fixes please visit any of our other two locations Make Fish Poke & Sushi Burrito -9015 bruceville road #100 or our midtown location- 1801 L street #70 to be reopened this Saturday post renovations. We sincerely apologize for any inconvenience!

I'm glad nobody was hurt and hope the business recovers quickly.

Photo via the Wrap N' Roll Sushi Burrito Facebook Page.

More News:

Bacon & Butter's first supper - The theme for Bacon & Butter’s first-ever dinner service was, naturally, bacon and butter...Executive chef and owner Billy Zoellin headed his usual Bacon & Butter team as well as chef Robb “Rossi” Venditti, the caterer who used to lead Pangaea Bier Cafe, and chef Marty Hutton, who recently left Kupros for the food truck life. Janelle Bitker in Sac News & Review.

VIDEO: Baconfest Bites & Brew - Bacon Fest's first-ever bacon cocktail contest is tonight at Bottle & Barlow and Julissa is getting a preview! Julissa Ortiz on Good Day Sac.

Beer Run: Burned out on beer fests? Take it up a notch with Art of Beer - If you’re one of those craft beer fans who’s burned out on beer festivals in the Sacramento area – too many tiny plastic souvenir cups, too many long lines for beers you’ve already seen all over town – maybe what you really need is something a bit more focused. That’s where the Art of Beer Invitational on Friday, Jan. 29, fills a void. It targets the aficionado. Blair Anthony Robertson in the Sac Bee.

Fifth Annual Art of Beer Invitational - Of all the Sacramento-area craft beer events (and there are a lot!), The Art of Beer Invitational is easily one of our favorites. Going down on Friday, Jan. 29, 2016 at The McClellan Conference Center in North Highlands, The Art of Beer brings together dozens of craft breweries with talented artists and tasty eats, all conveniently located under one huge-ass roof. Jonathan Carabba in Submerge Mag.

VIDEO: Out-Of-The-Box Brunch - Nha checks out Fleur de Lis, a new fine dining bar and restaurant in Folsom! On Good Day Sac.

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