Paragary's Midtown

Dining News: RIP - Chef's Olive Mix on L Street Has Closed

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Chef's Olive Mix's new second location at 1019 L Street has closed, but its Old Sacramento location remains open.

In a short interview over the weekend, owner Lisa Psakaly said that the location was forced to close due to regulatory burdens.

Because the L street location was an offshoot of the existing Old Sac location, Psakaly's plan was to drive the olive oil bottles and spouts from the Dowtown to Old Sac locations nightly for cleaning and refilling.

However, the Health Department required that she have a three compartment sink, a hand sink and a mop sink installed to do the cleaning on site downtown.

Psakaly says that the equipment would have cost $18,000 to install in the very small store.

At that point, she says she was pushed over the edge and the store was closed.

Chef's Olive Mix remains open at 131 J Street in Old Sac and can be found online at http://www.chefsolivemix.com.

More News:

Maalouf’s closed; diners rushed for one last taste of Lebanon - In the last few years, Maalouf’s father has had two heart attacks and a stroke. His daughter blames the demands of his work, standing at the kitchen’s grill five days a week for 13 years with no vacation. Abdul Maalouf has said for years that he would sell his business, she said, and when a couple of Chicago businessmen recently came to him with a second offer, he accepted it. The new owners plan to offer Middle Eastern cuisine at the same location. Cathie Anderson in Sac Bee.

Paragary's reopens, is beautiful - The space looks amazing—and amazingly different. What once felt like a dark pub is now open and bright, with higher ceilings, larger windows and a Parisian flair. Randy Paragary’s wife Stacy was highly involved in the design, inspired by travels to create a “riff on a French bistro meets English pub meet California modern,” she said. Floor tiles came from Vietnam; modern light fixtures from Los Angeles and Montreal; the walnut hostess stand is actually made from the restaurant’s old walls. The fireplace is gone; instead, indoor diners can appreciate a view of the still-gorgeous patio. Janelle Bitker in Sac News & Review.

Sacramento bar up for national industry award - Joining venues in cities such as New York and Chicago, Sacramento's Shady Lady Saloon is among 10 nominees for one of the cocktail industry's major awards. Sonya Sorich in Sac Biz Journal.

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Dining News: Paragary's Midtown to Open on Friday

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Paragary's Midtown, formerly known as Paragarys Bar and Oven, is scheduled to reopen after a 16 month, $1 million remodel for dinner on Friday.

Initially, the restaurant will only serve dinner as it gets its sea legs, but plans to add lunch and weekend brunch soon.

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The new space, designed in part by Stacy Paragary, is very modern and handsome. She also helped design Hock Farm and Cafe Bernardo Pavillions. Prior to restaurant design work, she had designed commercial office spaces.

The previous Paragary's space was designed to feel like an old English bar, whereas the new space has English, French and California design influences. However, as a nod to their roots, there are still elements of the old walnut bar in the hostess stand and other pieces in the restaurant.

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During a media event on Friday, she told Cowtown Eats that an early estimate for a remodel was $500,000. However, the cost expanded (as anybody who has ever had any work on their house knows) as they refined their vision and started picking out specific flooring, fixtures, etc.

The restaurant is decidedly not a white table cloth destination, and diners should feel free to come in shorts during the hot summer, said Stacy Paragary. Prices for a dinner entree are expected to be between $15 and $25.

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The restaurant also has a large and gorgeous patio. It reminded me of a brighter, larger version of the patios at Hook and Ladder and Riverside Clubhouse.

The Paragary's Team has also worked to update the food and bar program, tapping Scott Ostrander to lead the kitchen and Brad Peters to lead the bar program. Here are their bios, per a recent Paragrary's press release:

Scott Ostrander, formerly chef at Esquire Grill, has been selected to be the Chef de Cuisine at Paragary’s. A Sacramento native, Scott has spent over 12 years working in some of this country’s finest restaurants including stints in the kitchens of Chicago’s Michelin-starred Alinea Restaurant and Yountville’s Lucy Restaurant & Bar. The newly inspired menu at Paragary’s will feature rustic fare inspired by French classics and dictated by local, seasonal ingredients.

Recently promoted to PRG Beverage Director, Brad Peters, will oversee the bar program at Paragary’s. Brad has over 9 years of experience working at some of the best craft cocktail bars in the city, and is the current President of the U.S. Bartenders’ Guild’s Sacramento chapter. The bar program at Paragary’s will feature seasonal cocktail preparations and techniques using a vast array of French spirits, liqueurs and aromatized wines.

After 32 years in its previous incarnation, Paragary's became a place that you ate with your parents. With the new remodel, the Paragary's team hopes to attract a whole new generation of fans. Given the work they've done with their design and the talent they brought to the food and drink side, I think they have a great chance to be successful.

Paragary's Midtown is located at located at the corner of 28th & N Streets and can be found online at http://www.paragarys.com/sacramento-restaurants/paragarys/.

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Paragary’s restaurant prepares to show off million-dollar makeover - The doors open the week of June 8 to a re-imagined Paragary’s restaurant, and the man whose name is synonymous with this Sacramento institution can’t walk into the place without encountering a contractor who wants to confer with him on one more detail. Cathie Anderson in Sac Biz Journal.

Anatolian Table will close — then reopen - Anatolian Table in Rocklin, one of the few authentic Turkish restaurants in Northern California, will close its doors June 23. Before the lamentation begins, though, let the joy spread: It’s moving to larger quarters nearby, scheduled to open July 1. Allen Pierleoni in the Sac Bee.

A new gelateria is set to open in Carmichael this summer, serving more than just desserts - How sweet it is: Ghiotto Artisan Gelateria will join the likes of Insight Coffee Roasters, Mesa Mercado and The Rind in Carmichael’s new Milagro Centre this summer, establishing a dessert base for the soon-to-be food hub. Jessica Rine in Sactown Mag.

Brussels sprouts on sushi - Vegan sushi often equates to cucumber, avocado and rice wrapped in nori, but Lou’s Sushi has a designated vegan menu that gets more creative than that. Take, for instance, the Vegan #2 roll, which has tempura green beans inside and crispy, salty halves of Brussels sprouts on top. Shoka in Sac News & Review.

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Dining News: RIP Wahoo's Fish Taco on L (At Least for April)

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After being open eight short months, the Wahoo's Fish Taco at the L Street Lofts has closed, at least temporarily.

According to a sign posted on their door, the restaurant will be closed until May 1, and per Yelp comments, the restaurant's been closed since at least Monday.

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I called the restaurant tonight, but the phone number was disconnected. There was no mention of the closure on Wahoo's Facebook page or Twitter account.

The fact that the bar will remain open a couple days a week is telling. When Enotria had a similar limited bar schedule, they explained it was done to keep their liquor license.

Reviews of the place were mediocre. Here's what the Sac Bee's Allen Pierleoni wrote in August:

The Maui onion rings were mundane, the Wahoo’s Bowl of teriyaki-sautéed carnitas was filling, the Kale Kai salad with chicken breast was disappointing.

His critique confirmed the experience I had over two visits early on. There was nothing wrong with the food, but nothing stood out. It was just unremarkable and what you'd expect from a chain.

I'll speculate that when the restaurant reopens, it may not be as a Wahoo's. The location is a franchise (as evidenced by their liquor license), so they can probably switch concepts. As always, I'll keep you updated.

Thanks to Cowtown Eats reader @Cody_Paz for the tip.

Wahoo's Fish Taco is/was located at 1820 L Street.

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Karen’s Bakery star wins big prize at National Creative Decorating Competition - Facing off against some of the top professional cake decorators in the U.S. and overcoming dizzy spells that nearly thwarted her chances, Emily Pille of Karen’s Bakery & Cafe was crowned the grand champion Sunday in the 14th annual National Creative Decorating Competition in Chicago. Blair Anthony Robertson in the Sac Bee.

Brunch at the Porch - The Porch has been my favorite restaurant in Sacramento for the past couple of years, but somehow I had never made it in for brunch. I now know how much I was missing out. Last weekend some friends and I stopped by for some midmorning munch and drinks at The Porch, and the end result was me taking a big post-brunch nap due to the delicious food-coma that ensued. Megan Foster in Sac Foodies.

A city of beers - So, I was curious about Sacramento’s efforts to sell its burgeoning beer reputation. Turns out, the Sacramento Convention & Visitors Bureau is all over it. “Obviously beer is big everywhere these days, but we feel like Sacramento is historically California’s beer capital,” said Nick Leonti, the director of tourism. Blair Anthony Robertson in the Sac Bee. (Second item.)

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Dining News: Paragary's Bar & Oven Delays Reopening Until April

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Paragary's Bar & Oven has delayed its reopening until April, reports the Sac Biz Journal's Mark Anderson.

Paragary's Bar and Oven, the namesake restaurant in restaurateur Randy Paragary's local culinary empire, is just starting to be put together again as a new restaurant. A remodel of the old building at 28th and N streets in midtown Sacramento was supposed to go down to the studs...

Paragary, who has opened and remodeled restaurants for years, says it will be open in April for dinner service. A couple weeks later it will start serving lunch and Sunday brunch.

Read the entire story in the Sac Biz Journal.

It's not unusual for restaurant construction (or really any construction) to face delays. In mid-January, the Paragarys team told Cowtown Eats that the expected to reopen the restaurant in March. Before that, they had hoped to be open in January 2015. The original plan when they closed in February 2014 was to be closed 2 months.

Whenever Paragary's does finally reopen, I look forward to paying their remodeled digs a visit.

More News:

Pangaea raises its game to stay among city’s best pubs - The addition of Venditti nearly a year ago, just as the competition was starting to gain on Pangaea, has made this charming neighborhood beer destination something exciting and special all over again. It’s still a tremendous place to enjoy craft beer, even if the acoustics can make meaningful conversation a challenge at times. But now it’s a real restaurant, with a menu that will appeal to all kinds of folks, from foodies to fussy eaters. Blair Anthony Robertson in the Sac Bee.

Dragas Brewing prepares to open in Rocklin - A new microbrewery in Rocklin wants to separate itself from the traditional bar scene -- so much, in fact, that it includes purse hooks for its female guests. "We wanted to make something that was women-friendly," said Dan Acuff, chief operations officer for Dragas Brewing Industries Inc. Sonya Sorich in Sac Biz Journal.

California Craft Beer Summit & Brewers Showcase - Sacramento will welcome craft beer enthusiasts and beer masters from across the state at the California Craft Beer Summit and Brewers Showcase on September 11 and 12, during Farm-to-Fork week. This first-of-a-kind event will provide a chance for brewery owners, beer lovers and home brewers to experience a hands-on education on the craft brewing process, from farm to glass. Leia Ostermann on Girls on the Grid.

10 Sacramento restaurants that keep their eyes on the fries - My fellow restaurant reviewer Blair Anthony Robertson and I see a whole lot of fries in our travels. We consulted to come up with a few we find most intriguing. We rated them on appearance, texture and flavor, with a possible 10 points in each category for a possible total of 30 points. Allen Pierleoni & Blair Anthony Robertson in the Sac Bee.

Krush Burger plans Rocklin restaurant - Krush Burger is expanding its reach with an upcoming Rocklin location, which will be the company's fourth restaurant in the Sacramento region. The new restaurant will cover 2,500 square feet in Rocklin's Blue Oaks Marketplace on Lonetree Boulevard, according to Krush Burger co-owner Davin Vculek . It's expected to open by late April. Sonya Sorich in Sac Biz Journal.

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Dining News: Paragary's Bar & Oven Reopening Delayed

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Paragary's Bar & Oven, which closed in Feb. 2014 for a major facelift, has delayed its reopening until March, Cowtown Eats has learned.

Paragarys had initially hoped to be closed only two months, but the project will ultimately last at least 13 months. As recently as August, the owners hoped to have the restaurant open by January. Unfortunately, $600,000 remodelings take time. This is how the restaurant group's PR staff explained the delay:

We did encounter some permit delays that slowed things down a bit. The building that Paragary's is located in is over 100 years old and houses our corporate office upstairs, so we had to make sure that everything was updated to meet current structural and electrical requirements before we could continue construction.

The restaurant had been open 26 years prior to the current construction. It's taken longer than hoped, it's better to get it done right than just done quickly.

I was hoping to get to eat there during Dine Downtown again. I at there several years ago and was pleasantly surprised by the quality of the cuisine. I look forward to giving the remodeled digs another visit when they reopen.

When Paragary's reopens, it will be located at the corner of 28th & N Streets.

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Two new juice shops open in Sacramento area - A new calendar year didn't end the Sacramento region's obsession with fresh juices. Two new juice shops opened over the weekend. Liquidology opened in East Sacramento, and Pressed Juicery opened at Fountains at Roseville. Sonya Sorich in Sac Biz Journal.

Asian Sweet Treats Part 2 - Frozen Delights - Often it seems like Sacramento is one of the last to the party in terms of some food trends. In this case, we are the leader and these Asian treats will become more in the mainstream market - not just a favorite with Asians, but with anyone with a sweet tooth. Asian snack food chains Quickly and Lollicup have been spreading, so it's easy to imagine that more of these Asian snack trends will as well. The first one was Vampire Penquin, which opened in Little Saigon and quickly became popular as word spread of their new treats...Next on the scene was Chelo, located in the Filipino mall at 611 Mack Road...Two more frozen treat places are Snowbee Tea Station and Snobites. Catherine Enfield in Munchie Musings.

Don’t pound beers, beers won’t add pounds - Can beer be part of the equation when you sit down to scribble out your do’s and don’ts for 2015? Can you say goodbye to the beer belly without bidding adieu to the beer? I have good news. The answer is yes. Sort of. Blair Anthony Robertson in the Sac Bee.

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Dining News: Why Chando's Tacos has the 7th Best Burrito in America

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In June, Nate Silver's Five Thirty Eight Web Site data-driven Web site hired a burrito correspondent to determine who had the best burrito in America. Silver is probably best known for his elections prediction blog run for the New York Times, where he successfully predicted the 2012 presidential election with stunning accuracy.

Based on five categories worth 20 points each - tortilla, meat, other ingredients, presentation and flavor profile, each burrito was rated on a scale of 1 to 100 by their special burrito correspondent Anna Barry-Jester.

Unfortunately, Chando's Taco's didn't make it out of the first round due to an unlucky draw. However, when sorting by straight numerical rating of first round scores, a Cowtown Eats analysis reveals that Chando's Tacos, with a score of 91, is tied for their 7th highest rated burrito in the country.

Here are the top 10:

Rank
Restaurant Name
Score
1 La Taqueria 98
2 Al & Bea’s Mexican Food 96
3 (T) Taqueria Cancún 94
3 (T) Manuel’s El Tepeyac Café 94
3 (T) Athenian III 94
6 Delicious Mexican Eatery 92
7 (T) Chando’s Tacos 91
7 (T) Taqueria Tlaxcalli 91
7 (T) Tortilleria Y Taqueria Ramirez 91
10 (T) Rosa Maria’s Drive-In 90
10 (T) La Azteca Tortilleria 90

For more about their rating methodology or to find out who wins their tournament, visit fivethirtyeight.com/Burrito.

I've actually never tried a burrito from Chando's, but since math tells me that they're one of the best in the country, I'll make that my order the next time I'm in.

Chando's Tacos now has two locations, a taco truck and a third location coming soon in Roseville. Find their exact addresses at http://chandostacos.com/locations/.

More News:

Chando’s Tacos, Paragary’s delay opening dates for their restaurants  - The debut of a new Chando’s Tacos and the makeover of Paragary’s Bar & Oven are taking a bit longer than expected, so diners won’t be able to get a table at either for a while longer. Cathie Anderson in the Sac Bee.

What if no one posted food pics? - Reed initially came up with the idea of not posting food photos after ravishing a bacon burger at Ella Dining Room & Bar. He used to be one of those guys who loved posting pics of trophy meals online. But in this case, Reed posted on Facebook that he simply got so caught up in the burger that he forgot to take a picture. Not taking a picture just might be the ultimate compliment to pay a chef. Chris Macias in the Sac Bee.

Sammy Hagar-themed restaurant to return to Roseville - Legendary rocker Sammy Hagar will re-open his namesake Roseville restaurant with a concert in September. Richard Chang in the Sac Bee.

Buggy Whip steakhouse gets ready for a comeback - An iconic Sacramento restaurant is about to make a comeback. A dining scene fixture for half a century before its 2012 closure, the Buggy Whip is expected to reopen in October at its same location on Fulton Avenue. “We’re back,” said Larry LeSieur, the Buggy Whip’s longtime owner and now general manager. “We have 50 years of goodwill and we’re going to build on it. People know the Buggy Whip.” Debbie Arrington in the Sac Bee.

Sneak peek: Monk's Cellar gears up for September opening - While they’re preparing to fire up the margarita machine again next door in downtown Roseville, workers at a bar and restaurant at 240 Vernon St. are taking a decidedly more low-key approach. Almost monk-like, you might say. “We’re at the other end of the spectrum,” said Andy Klein, who within about two weeks plans to open The Monk’s Cellar next to the revived Sammy’s Island Bar & Grill that's set to re-open about the same time. “I don’t see it as competition.” Ben van der Meer in Sac Biz Journal.

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Dining News: Revamped Blackbird to Open on Tuesday

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The second iteration of Blackbird, now known as Blackbird Kitchen & Beer Gallery, is scheduled to open on Tuesday, Feb. 25, reports Janelle Bitker in Sac News & Review.

The daily dinner menu will remain seafood-focused, but Lampkin is lacing more beer into the food and adding a bar menu to match a more casual, and hopefully lively, off-hours vibe. (There are new wooden community tables in the back, for example.)

“It’s kind of like a no-duh,” Lampkin said. “People would come in asking for fish tacos all night but we wouldn’t sell them after 6 p.m.”

Expect other elevated bar classics, like Lampkin’s “Little Cochina,” a dish of pork braised in porter with avocado mousse, tomatillo pico de gallo, queso fresco and chips on the side. “It’s like nachos, but 100 times better,” she said.

Read the entire story in Sac News & Review.

Related Story: Blackbird Chef Says She Played No Role in Mass E-mail Dismissing Staff

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Get Thirsty: 5th Annual Sacramento Beer Week Starts Feb. 27 - Craft beer and cider lovers, rejoice: your favorite beverages will be celebrated in grand style during Sacramento Beer Week, which takes place from Feb. 27 through March 9. According to Dan Scott, executive director of Sacramento Beer Week, more than 100 breweries, pubs, restaurants and grocers throughout the region will participate in hundreds of events featuring craft beer and cider. Mark your calendars for two “cornerstone” events. Kira O'Donnell in Sac Mag.

Picture a honky-tonk on J Street - Could there be a honky-tonk in J Street's future? The promoters behind live music venues Ace of Spades and The Assembly are working on a new bar, restaurant and live music concept in the former home of Hamburger Patties at 17th and J streets in midtown Sacramento - Cowboys & Angels Saloon. Mark Anderson in Sac Biz Journal.

Continue reading "Dining News: Revamped Blackbird to Open on Tuesday" »