Federalist Public House

Dining News: OBO' Italian by Selland Family to Replace Good Eats


In a move that's been rumored for more than 9 months, the Selland Family will be opening OBO' Italian at the spot formerly occupied by Good Eats restaurant/market.

Good Eats closed in that spot in August 2011, after barely a year in business.

I wrote at the time that I hoped a Selland's Market Cafe would fill that spot. It's not exactly that, but the Selland Family describes OBO' Italian as a "a casual, food-centric dining experience and feature a full bar and patio dining, as well as take out and catering." I actually asked Randall Selland years ago about whether he would consider adding a Market Cafe location in the old Good Eats spot, but he said there was concern that it could cannabalize the business of their popular East Sac location.

Chef Kelly McCown, former chef at Ella who spent the last three years with former L Wine Lounge owner at Goose & Gander in St. Helena, has also returned to the Selland Family fold. His first project will be to "help" Selland Family Corporate Executive Chef Ravin Patel open OBO' Italian.

OBO' Italian is expected to open in late 2015, and will be located at 3145 Folsom Blvd.

* Picture taken May 25, 2014.

More News:

South (Southern Restaurant) – Tradition Reinvented - Meet N’Gina. She and her husband are the proud owners of the new midtown restaurant, South (weheartfriedchicken.com). I had the pleasure of sitting down with her and getting to know her as well as what her restaurant has to offer. Kelli Gould in Girls on the Grid.

Asian N Cajun: Awesome sauce - We’re not sure if this is the best example of the Asian-Cajun genre in Sacramento, but it’s a good start. While it’s a great spot for some salty, fried comfort food, it doesn’t quite have the range of flavors that several of the other spots in South Sacramento do (Firehouse and Crab City in particular seem to be doing more fun, inventive stuff). Still, after a few squirts of lemon, the sauce at Asian N Cajun is pretty awesome. Jonathan Mendick in Sac News & Review.

Five new places to get a drink in the Sacramento region - If you want to reward yourself after a busy week, visit one of the many hot spots that recently opened in the Sacramento region. Here's a handy guide to some of the area's additions. Featuring Pre-Flite Lounge, Track 7 Natomas, Cask & Barrel, Dragas Brewing and Pure Life Juice Co. Sonya Sorich in Sac Biz Journal.

Chili's closes Eureka Road location in Roseville - Chili's Grill & Bar has permanently closed one of its restaurants in Roseville. The location at 1516 Eureka Road closed in late January due to a lease expiration, according to a spokeswoman for restaurant operator Brinker International Inc. Sonya Sorich in Sac Biz Journal.

Pre-Flite 2.0 quietly opens downtown - But Pre-Flite lives on, and the second iteration held its soft opening Wednesday at 1011 10th Street, a basement spot that was once an old bank vault. Find the entrance in the graffitied Jazz Alley between J and K Streets—there’s no sign to help you. Owner Jason Yee brought over a bunch of artifacts from the old Pre-Flite, including the stewardess mannekin, odd lamp affixed with origami cranes, posters, signs and, best of all, the former entrance doors. You know, the one that states happy hour is from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and everything costs 65 cents? Janelle Bitker in Sac News & Review.

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Dining News: RIP Sammy's Island Bar & Grill (Again)


Sammy's Island Bar & Grill in Roseville has closed, the restaurant announced on its Web site.

Sammy’s Island Bar & Grill closes its doors

February 16, 2015 – I’m saddened to announce to the Roseville community, our loyal customers and fans that Sammy’s Island Bar & Grill will be closing its doors. We were honored to play a part in their downtown revitalization program and are proud of what we’ve achieved together including raising more than $15 thousand dollars for the Placer Food Bank from our free outdoor concert and events.

As my fans and customers know, when our restaurants are successful we donate our profits back to local charities — that’s always been our overall goal with The Island restaurant but regretfully after almost two years we have not been able to achieve that in Roseville.

I’m very grateful to our staff, family and friends who have supported us. It’s been a great ride.


Sac Biz Journal editor Jack Robinson has a little more context.

Rocker-turned-restaurateur Sammy Hagar has closed his restaurant in downtown Roseville — only five months after it reopened....

The news is a blow to efforts to boost downtown Roseville, where the restaurant served as an anchor.

Read the entire story in Sac Biz Journal.

More News:

Galleria fills planned Sammy Hagar spot with new restaurant - Land Ocean, a locally owned restaurant, will fill the space once expected to be a Sammy Hagar-themed restaurant at the Westfield Galleria at Roseville. It will be the second location for Land Ocean, which is co-owned by Mark Platt and Karoline Platt. It joins a location in Folsom. The Platts also own Sienna, a bar and restaurant in El Dorado Hills. Sonya Sorich in Sac Biz Journal.

Federalist Public House: Not quite revolutionary - Sacramento is currently inundated with pizza restaurants, although they vary widely in style and substance. The team at Federalist wisely hired Shannon McElroy as executive chef, gaining his years of experience as sous chef at the highly regarded restaurant Masullo. While the website might still be under construction, and promises of high-tech ordering have yet to materialize, the pizzas are winners out of the gate—which is fortunate, since they dominate the menus. Coming out at about 13 inches in diameter, these pizzas are great for sharing. They lean Neopolitan in style, with a chewy, slightly charred crust and minimal but high-impact toppings. Ann Martin Rolke in Sac News & Review.

First Bite: Rick’s Dessert Diner - If you haven’t heard, Rick’s Dessert Diner moved recently to a new and much bigger location on J Street in midtown Sacramento. Longtime fans of the landmark establishment will be glad to know that owner Ahmed Eita has carefully replicated the 1950s vibe in this new space, complete with a jukebox, black-and-white checkered floors and a large painting of Marilyn Monroe on a back wall. Kira O'Donnell in Sac Mag.

Try It: A Birthday at Mikuni - A dining experience at midtown’s Mikuni is often raucous and upbeat—but I really appreciated the restaurant’s festive ambiance recently at a family member’s birthday...When it came time to celebrate the birthday guest, restaurant staff members brought out a large prize wheel which she was able to spin, awarding her a pretty pint glass she could take home. Kira O'Donnell in Sac Mag.

The 4th Sacramento Food Film Festival is just around the corner - Four and a half years ago I had a small idea. Have a film festival for all the food documentaries that I never seemed to catch in Sacramento. At the time I figured I would need funding, so if I could get one big sponsor to say it was a good idea, I would pursue. Luckily my friends at Whole Foods Sacramento and they agreed to sponsor. That first year was one day's worth of films and I pretty much handled the entire thing on my own. Catherine Enfield on Munchie Musings.

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Dining News: Lots of Good Buzz for Federalist Public House


Federalist Public House, the cargo container chic beer garden that opened in early December, has been getting rave reviews from both professional food writers and the amateur blogsphere. Here's a sampling of the love they've received in recent weeks:

Chris Macias in the Sac Bee, in late December:

A welcome addition to the midtown grid and worth the wait. The emphasis on seasonal products and local purveyors seems sincere, and the food program is off to a good start. But will it stay comfy during the day when triple-digit temperatures reach Sacramento this summer?

Andrea Thompson then with Sac Biz Journal, in December:

The pizza is great, thanks largely to the fact that McElroy spent four years as sous chef at Masullo Pizza. "The crust is made using a sourdough starter, it has the same chewy structure," says McElroy. And as we know, in pizza, crust is everything.

Kelly Conroy on Girls on the Grid, last month:

But, since it is the new kid on the block and first impressions are important, the restaurant has paid extra attention to creating a community friendly feel that is tucked into an alley like a neighborhood secret. With large tables and open seating, it’s easy to feel like you’re part of something bigger than your own date night. There’s a social buzz that you can feel from any corner of the repurposed container and, even though it gets super loud when the restaurant fills up, that buzz is singing Sacramento’s praises for having another great place to eat, drink and be merry.

When the restaurant was announced by owner and local archetict Marvin Maldonado, he was aiming for an early Summer opening. As is the case with nearly every new restaurant opening, permitting and construction issues led to delays. The opening slipped from Memorial Dayto end of Julyto mid-Augustto Oct. 20, until it finally opened on Dec. 5.

Per the Sac Biz Journal in August, Chef Shannon McElroy (formerly of Masullo) runs the kitchen and Tyler Stacy (formerly the sommelier at Enotria) runs the beverage program.

The address for Federalist Public House is 2009 N Street, but you actually enter the restaurant from the alley. The entrance to the alley is near The Waterboy. Federalist Public House can be found online at 

More News:

Grange’s Bacon Fest burger is one of the best ever - I came for the fries and wound up eating one of the greatest burgers of my life. It was big and beautiful, with a wonderful domed bun and a hefty appearance on the plate. And I could see the bacon peaking out from the sides. This wasn’t ordinary bacon. It was two slices of shockingly thick, amazingly tender bacon from heaven. Blair Anthony Robertson in the Sac Bee.

Breads Worth Seeking Out: The Baker and the Cakemaker, Inc. - I relished a fabulous, sturdy polenta bread recently, crafted by The Baker and the Cakemaker, Inc., an artisan bread bakery located in Auburn. It had a satisfyingly chewy, textural crust and a delicious, wonderfully dense interior. Kira O'Donnell in Sac Mag.

It’s Crab Feed Season in Sacramento! - In case your holiday tradition tragically does not include crab (like mine), no need to worry. There’s a slew of crab feeds in the Sacramento area over the next month or so, which is your chance to eat endless amounts of fresh Dungeness crab. You shouldn’t have to look too far to find a crab feed near you. The Delta Elementary Charter School in Clarksburg is having one on January 31, and the Junior League is holding one on Feb. 20, just to name a few. The bottom of this post includes a more complete list of upcoming crab feeds in the Sacramento area. Lisa Page in Girls on the Grid.

Feast Q&A: Grange chef Oliver Ridgeway off to a hot start in ’15 - The new year is barely underway and 2015 is already shaping up to be an epic one for Oliver Ridgeway. The executive chef of Grange was listed twice in the “Saveur 100,” a compendium of movers and shakers in the food world, now on newsstands. Saveur magazine celebrates a gourmet slice of life, and Ridgeway was name-checked in the latest issue for his recipe of braised zabuton with coffee beans, and for his clever usage of the Joyce Chen Saladacco Spiral Slicer. Chris Macias in the Sac Bee.

Bubbie’s Love Deli & Catering: Always be my bubbie - It surprised me last year when young hipster foodies set their sights on so-called “Jewish food.” They blogged about it, sold it on food trucks and even posted a viral video about it on Buzzfeed. Despite having a Chinese mom with hardly a religious bone in her body, I went to Hebrew school, had a Bar Mitzvah, and ate plenty of food based on my own bubbie’s cookbook from my dad’s side (“bubbie” is slang for a Jewish grandmother, by the way). Then I ate at Bubbie’s Love Deli & Catering, and completely understood why hipsters were making Jewish food the trend du jour. Jonathan Mendick in Sac News & Review.

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Dining News: Early Thoughts on South


South opened on Tuesday, and I stopped by on the way home for dinner. (Sorry - few pictures for this post. It was pouring when I visited. Picture above from their Facebook Page.)

Let me first say this isn't a review, or an Instant Reaction to the restaurant. It's not really fully formed yet.

But I wanted to pass along some of what I observed so you'll know what to expect when you go.

The place is counter service, like Cafe Bernardo. You walk up, they'll give you a playing card and you bring it to your table and wait for your food.


The decor is unfinished. I can't tell if it's on purpose or if they just wanted to get it good enough to pass inspection. The floors are bare, except for a few area rugs. The fit and finish of their counter was rough. But other parts of the restaurant looked like it had received a lot of work. A separate section of the restaurant looked to have actual flooring, and the water station's decor was well designed.

Given what we know about the struggles they've had opening the place, I can't blame them for getting the doors open and improving along the way.

We ordered two entrees.

20141217_025717878_iOSPetey's Fried Chicken served with Southern Style Kale Greens - $13

20141217_025726228_iOSChicken & Andouille Gumbo, Carolina Rice - $12

After the first two entrees, we weren't quite full, so we ordered a side.

20141217_030738453_iOSRed beans & Rice - $5

My favorite dish of the three was the fried chicken. The crust on the fried chicken was top notch. It was thick, salty and crispy.

The red beans & rice was surprisingly large for only $5. It was actually the same size plate as the gumbo, and it was so much food we couldn't finish it.

A couple warnings. They don't have a license to serve alcohol yet. So if you're an alcoholic who can't make it through one meal without a drink, you should wait a month or so. They have taps already installed, so it's just a matter of licensing.

They're also very early in their process. I'm sure prices, portions will change and decor and service will improve. I'm not sure I would bring my parents to eat there yet, but I'd definitely stop by with friends to support a small business as they get off the ground.

The best analogy I could think of for South is that it's like a talented local band getting started. It has all the ingredients to be successful - a great chef, caring & passionate owners, etc. But they're getting started, and they're not what they'll become someday. If you want to be there at their first shows, now's the time to eat there and support them. (You can also be one of those people who said they supported South before they became a thing.) Or you can wait until they become better and skip the growing phase.

I prefer to support them as they grow up, and I think you should too.

South is located at 2005 11th St, and can be found online at http://www.weheartfriedchicken.com/.

More News:

Freeport Bakery's Challah: Terrific for French Toast - Freeport Bakery makes a beautiful, dense challah...With no prior plans for the braided loaf of bread, we decided to transform it into an impromptu buttermilk French bread for brunch the following morning—and it was fabulous. Kira O'Donnell in Sac Mag.

Federalist Public House combines great pizza with funky architecture in container pub - One thing Sacramento's restaurants don't have a lot of is unique, funky architecture. We have some, but not much when compared to other cities like Seattle, San Francisco or Portland. However, now that Federalist Public House is open, we have a spot that is special -- and that those other cities might not dare to attempt: a covered, open-air restaurant made of shipping containers. Andrea Thompson in Sac Biz Journal.

Grange's Oliver Ridgeway on food magazine's list of chefs worth watching - Oliver Ridgeway, the executive chef at Grange Restaurant & Bar in downtown Sacramento, is listed in a sneak peek of the annual Saveur 100. Saveur magazine hasn't officially released this year's list, but Eater.com published a preview on Thursday. The magazine is expected to hit newsstands Dec. 23. Sonya Sorich in Sac Biz Journal.

Continue reading "Dining News: Early Thoughts on South" »

Dining News: Now Open - Federalist Public House


Federalist Pubic House, the long-awaited beer garden constructed out of re-purposed shipping containers, opened to the public on Friday.

The restaurant features a full kitchen, beer and wine, and bocce ball court.

I made it out there for dinner on Saturday night, and you'll like the place. They held at least two events there in the days leading up to their opening, and the work they put in showed. I'll get a full Instant Reaction up later this week.

When the restaurant was announced by owner and local archetict Marvin Maldonado, he was aiming for an early Summer opening. As is the case with nearly every new restaurant opening, permitting and construction issues led to delays. The opening slipped from Memorial Day, to end of July, to mid-August, to Oct. 20, until it finally opened on Dec. 5.

Per the Sac Biz Journal in August, Chef Shannon McElroy (formerly of Masullo) runs the kitchen and Tyler Stacy (formerly the sommelier at Enotria) runs the beverage program.

The address for Federalist Public House is 2009 N Street, but you actually enter the restaurant from the alley. The entrance to the alley is near The Waterboy. Federalist Public House can be found online at

More News:

Dining review: Rio Linda eatery offers Mexican food that thrills - The flavors are everything I could ask for. There’s balance. There’s boldness. There’s excitement. And yes, there can be inspired utterances, exclamations and profanities. I learned about this place from Lisandro “Chando” Madrigal, owner of highly regarded Chando’s Tacos, where there is often a sizable line stretching down the block for some of the tastiest tacos around. Chando recalled how, when he first tasted the food at Apatzingan, he was so stunned by the flavors he was left to mutter expletives under his breath. Blair Anthony Robertson in the Sac Bee.

Harry’s Cafe: The breakfast club - Harry’s Cafe does many things fairly well: American breakfasts, Chinese food and Vietnamese food. It offers prompt and kind service, quick takeout and it’s a good value for the money. But where it excels—and whats sets it apart from other places in town—are its Asian breakfast plates. Jonathan Mendick in Sac News & Review.

Catching up with chef Michael Tuohy, off to lead arena food program - Last week, Tuohy stepped down as chef of LowBrau and Block Butcher Bar, after giving two month's notice. Within weeks, he will officially start in his new role as the executive chef and general manager of the arena's food program, which has been contracted to Legends Hospitality. At Block, charcutier and butcher Brock MacDonald will handle the duties Tuohy leaves behind, while at LowBrau, Marshall Massa will continue to manage the kitchen with additional responsibilities. Andrea Thompson in Sac Biz Journal.

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Dining News: Federalist Public House Targets Oct. 20 Opening


Federalist Public House has targeted Oct. 20 as its opening date, barring any further unforseen delays, a source told Cowtown Eats.

In mid-September, Sactown Magazine's Stephanie Towne reported that it would attempt to open by Oct. 11 -- Second Saturday. It appears that the opening has slipped a little longer.

“The restaurant is unique in that a lot of times, developers may not use shipping containers for an entire restaurant, but in this one, shipping containers were used for the entire structure,” explains Hetrick, who worked closely with Maldonado and Capitol Paint & Construction’s Shawn and Jodie Eldredge to bring Federalist to fruition. “I don’t think there’s anywhere in the United States, and certainly not in California, that has containers for the entire restaurant.” (Der Biergarten, the outdoor beer destination that opened last winter at 24th and K streets, employs covered shipping containers for its tap space and kitchen.)

The containers will house a kitchen area with a wood-fired oven, which will churn out everything from Neapolitan-style pizzas to roasted lamb and chicken for wrap sandwiches (other menu items include charcuterie, seasonal salads and other small plates).

Read the entire story in Sactown Mag.

I hope Sactown Mag is right and that my source is wrong. Either way, I'm excited to give the place a try.

When it opens, Federalist Public House will be located at 2009 N St., or online at FederalistPublicHouse.com.

More News:

Tower Bridge dinner wraps up a bigger Farm-to-Fork celebration - Sacramento’s second Farm-to-Fork celebration, capped by a gala dinner Sunday night on the Tower Bridge, outdid last year’s installment in nearly every way. Even rain – agriculture’s best friend and a welcome visitor to the region over the weekend – seemed to know it should make way for Farm-to-Fork 2.0. Midday sprinkles became brilliant late-afternoon sunshine that bounced off the yellow-gold bridge holding a well-dressed crowd who nibbled on sturgeon-poke appetizers and drank local wine. Carla Meyer in the Sac Bee.

VIDEO: Farm-to-Fork Festivities Conclude with Dinner on Tower Bridge - The two-week Farm-to-Fork festivities wrapped up with a Gala Dinner on the iconic Tower Bridge. More than 30 area chefs, led by Jason Poole of Hyatt Regency Sacramento and Brian Mizner of Hook & Ladder, served a 7-course-meal to more than 700 guests. Rina Nakano on FOX 40.

Capital Dime: The do-over - Brunch is a fantastic event best armed with bottomless mimosas. The biscuits and gravy are a savory start to the morning. Best to avoid the baked French toast; it’s a sugar bomb that could kill a diabetic through skin contact alone. For the most part, the avid bruncher will be quite happy with the menu...Overall, Capital Dime meets the expectations it set for itself: affordable, approachable, farm-to-fork food for the masses. So, you masses, go get a table and enjoy. Garrett McCord in Sac News & Review.

Sweet Tooth Nirvana: Andy’s Candy Apothecary - I spent a pleasurable half hour recently gawping at the colorful, sweet treats available at Andy’s Candy Apothecary on Ninth Street in downtown Sacramento. Brimming with scrumptious items, from dazzling artisan chocolates and jars and basketfuls of hard candies to fanciful lollipops and handcrafted, silky-soft caramels, Andy’s is a delectable treasure trove of goodies. Kira O'Donnell in Sac Mag.

Blast 825 pizza restaurant opens in Roseville - Blast 825, which specializes in quick-fired pizzas, has opened a new location at 1132 Galleria Blvd. in Roseville. Grand-opening festivities are on Oct. 2, with half-price pizzas and salads from 5 to 9 p.m. A portion of some purchases made between Wednesday and Oct. 2 will go to regional charities, the company said. Mark Glover in the Sac Bee.

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Dining News: The Complicated Birth of Fahrenheit 250


Like many restaurants, going from inception to launch is never easy. But from the sounds of this long-ish profile of the restaurant in Comstocks Mag (that I've had open for weeks on my computer, but not read until now), the origin story of Fahrenheit 250 makes me respect the work they've gone through to open the restaurant even more.

First, a snippet from the profile by Douglas Curley in Comstocks Mag.

The past two years have been remarkably unpredictable for long-time Sacramento chef Jacob Carriker. In 2012 he went from overseeing a kitchen to managing an entire sports bar and nightclub. He participated in the sale of that establishment to buyers with an entirely different vision for the property, and he suffered the shock and anguish of learning that the previous owner, his former boss, had taken his own life. And it all took place in one chapter of the story of an eatery formerly known as Bisla’s...

The original idea was to form a multi-location restaurant partnership with Bob Bisla. His death changed everything...

For his part, Carriker knew a thing or two about kitchens and menus. He began his restaurant career at Club Pheasant in West Sacramento at the age of 15. He had stints as a cook and head chef at Fulton’s Prime Rib in Old Sacramento, the former Bridges on the River and Paesano’s in midtown. After several months of weekly menu presentations to Sardo and Lettini, Carriker made his recommendation.

“Since we had such a small kitchen and ultimately a very large restaurant, I suggested barbecue,” he says.

Read the entire story in Comstocks Mag.

There was also a recent story about Fahrenheit 250 that focuses on the interior design of the place, by Amy Serna in Submerge Mag.

The atmosphere brings a comfortable yet upscale barbecue dining experience. From the décor on the walls to the red mismatched chairs, the majority of the items inside Fahrenheit 250 were upcycled from Fringe, a Sacramento vintage and consignment store. While helping to decorate the interior of the restaurant, Monk kept three ideas very close in mind: “cool, comfortable and classy.”

The walls are lined with various wood panels originally from an old barn in Auburn, the red chairs are tucked into wooden tables that are topped with mason jars for water, the bar back and silverware “cabinet” is an old printing press. There are vintage benches from Harlow’s and large pieces of a metal windmill that hang on a few walls. The décor makes it feel as if you were eating in someone’s old farm house, making it welcoming and cozy.

Read the entire story in Submerge Mag.

In the Comstocks Mag piece, Chef Carriker says it took him about two months to get used to the cooker. I've eaten there twice - once as they opened, and they were good then, but again during the NBA playoffs, probably in mid-May. It was much better. It was clear that they were learning the ins and outs of the smoker and the meat was even more tender and flavorful. I definitely plan to return to get more BBQ.

More News:

Sactown Wings Event - Love hot wings and ice cold beer? Then SacTown Wings is THE event for you! Held August 23 from 2-7PM in Fremont Park, this festival is the first of its kind in Sacramento and will feature not one, not two, but six Sacramento-based hot wing vendors. Rachel Smith on Girls on the Grid.

University of Beer opens in midtown and ups competition - But what about beer bars (and some restaurants that specialize in beer)? When do we reach overkill? This comes into focus more than ever with the recent opening of University of Beer on 16th Street (there is another location in Davis). This sparkling brew pub/sports bar has 100 beers on tap. Beer snobs will scoff and say that’s the carpet-bomb approach to beer. But it looks like University of Beer intends to be a serious player. I visited during its first week and enjoyed a very nice Petrus aged pale ale in a tulip glass. The bar was loaded with TVs and the acoustics were terrible – LowBrau can no longer hold its head in shame as the noisiest, echo-chamber beer joint on the grid. The crowd was also very young. (The doorman called me “sir,” which made me feel entirely non-hipster. Whatevs.) Blair Anthony Robertson in the Sac Bee.

Federalist’s funding approach as unique as its shipping-container construction - Federalist Public House will also incorporate Leapset, an app and restaurant operation system from Sysco, to manage ordering and customer flow. Among the features: Once an order is placed at the counter, customers will receive a code that enables them to place additional food and drink orders without having to leave their seats. Chris Macias in the Sac Bee.

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