Dining News: Bottle & Barlow to Open on Saturday

Bottle and barlow

Bottle & Barlow, the buzzy barbershop/bar combo, will open to the public on Saturday, one of the owners announced on Instagram.

Sonya Sorich in the Sac Biz Journal (where I first saw this reported) has a little more on the place:

For the new venue, Giannotti is partnering with Jayson Wilde, who will be at the forefront of the "bottle" part of the business. Wilde's background includes time at San Francisco's Bourbon & Branch.

Barbershop prices at Bottle & Barlow range from $26 for a haircut to $45 for a top-shelf straight razor shave, according to a menu of services posted on Facebook.

Read the entire story in Sac Biz Journal.

The Sac Bee's Blair Anthony Robertson elaborated in an afternoon post:

The staff education alone is unusually intense, featuring eight days of training and a rigorous testing program prior to opening. There were also extensive blind tastings of every spirit in the bar to ensure that quality won out over a label’s reputation...

"There has been a lot of effort and a lot of thought put into everything,” Bazett said. “But at the end of the day, it’s just a high-quality neighborhood bar.”

Read the entire story, including tidbits about the design of the venue, in the Sac Bee.

I'm looking forward to trying the place and maybe on a special occasion, getting one of their straight razor shaves. (Hint to those with a male significant other: A straight razor shave and a drink are a great birthday/Christmas gift. They should make it a gift pack you can buy.)

Bottle & Barlow will be the third high profile restaurant to open in as many days, with Fish Face Poke Bar opening on Thursday and Localis debuting on Friday.

Bottle & Barlow is located at 1120 R Street, and can be found online at http://bottleandbarlow.com/.

* Photo via their Facebook page.

More News:

Knee Deep’s founder and brewmaster resigns to start ‘new project’ - Jeremy Warren, the award-winning brewmaster and founder of Knee Deep Brewing, has announced his resignation from the rapidly expanding company effective Aug. 3. Warren, who could not immediately be reached for comment, is expected to start his own brewery. Blair Anthony Robertson in the Sac Bee.

Sacramento’s Magpie flies to larger location - To the excitement of many, Magpie will feature a burger on its regular menu for the first time. On R Street, the kitchen wanted to be a good neighbor and, despite numerous requests, did not serve a burger because Burgers and Brew was just a couple of doors away. Blair Anthony Robertson in the Sac Bee.

Rustic Riverfront Restaurants - Chevys, Scott’s, Rio City Cafe...you’ve likely enjoyed the meals (and views) there already. Try these more rustic riverfront spots for a taste of something different. Featuring Mi Pueblo Mexican Grill, Gusti's Place, Wimpy's, Al's Place and Swabbies. In Sac Mag.

Wong brothers lay a stake on R Street - At 6,000 square feet, Iron Horse Tavern (the name evokes the trains that once traversed the R Street corridor) is nearly identical in size to Firestone Public House, though it holds far fewer TVs than that sports-centric bar/restaurant...Mason Wong recently spoke to The Bee about the brothers’ latest venture. Carla Meyer in the Sac Bee.

Try it: Piatti’s Margherita Pizza - With hand pulled mozzarella, fresh crushed tomatoes and torn basil on a thin crust, Piatti’s take on this traditional pizza is one that Queen Margherita would be proud of. ($13.00). Kristopher Hooks in Sac Mag.

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Dining News: Now Open - Karma Brew


Karma Brew, which replaced Mochii at 16th & P, quietly opened about two weeks ago.

For now, its open daily at 3 p.m., and closing at 10 p.m. on Sunday, Monday and Tuesday, and 12:30 a.m. the rest of the week.

For now, they feature a short menu, with 5 appetizers, 4 sandwich/salad entrees and two desserts.


Karma Brew also features an abbreviated wine list featuring two whites, three reds and one champagne selection. All are affordably priced between 7 and 10 per glass.


I paid a short visit for a beer & hummus during happy hour and really liked the vibe. A handful of people - restaurant industry vets, owner Anthony Sadeghi informed me - enjoyed the patio at about 6:30 p.m. It was like discovering a secret fun place before everybody else got in on it. I intend to return for another visit once they're out of their soft opening phase.

Sadeghi says that he's still waiting for a couple things before opening for lunch - such as his point of sale terminal, which he hopes to get sometime this week.


If you're looking for a new and unique spot, give them a try.

Karma Brew is located at `530 16th St., and can be found online at http://www.karmabrews.com/.

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New Pizza Joint Gallops into Midtown - Margherita Pizza and Chef’s Special Pizza with Arugula Salad and Meat Sauce – Trick Pony makes their dough in-house and it’s easy to tell. It has a little bit of a sour bite, reminiscent of sourdough that makes it stand out among other pizzas available in Sacramento. Both pizzas had flavorful sauce and featured fresh mozzarella, which made the pizza super fresh and light. Trick Pony’s wood oven imparts a charred quality that nicely offsets the sour dough giving the pies some depth. Amanda Frew in Sac Foodies.

Claim Jumper in downtown Sacramento - That touch-all-the-bases and offend-nobody menu did little to wow us. The portions were substantial, but many of the dishes, like the battered shrimp appetizer, had the feeling of being prepared, packaged and shipped from elsewhere, and then opened and dumped into hot oil. There wasn’t a lot of personality. Blair Anthony Robertson in the Sac Bee.

Will beer lovers pay to pedal? - Sacramento’s turned into a two-bike town. Make that two competing companies with bikes that are fashioned like pedal-powered party buses...These two bike companies didn’t expect their business plans to cross paths so soon. Chris Macias in the Sac Bee.

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Dining News: Counting Calories at the State Fair


Food at the State Fair is undeniably delicious. But the assortment of fried and smoked delights could be a ton of calories. While I don't think calories consumed the State Fair count, apparently science disagrees.

FOX 40 plays the role of buzz killer and takes a look at just how many calories some of our favorite State Fair treats pack:

  • Fried Twinkies: 420 Calories
  • Funnel Cake: (no toppings) 800 Calories
  • Chocolate Covered Banana: 260 Calories
  • Chocolate Covered Cheesecake With Bacon: 650 Calories

FOX 40 also has the fat content of these treats and the number of calories in a turkey leg and a Krispy Kreme Bacon Cheeseburger (with video), on FOX40.com.

And in case you missed it, my review of Fried Nutella, Fried Cap'n Crunch and Fried Peaches.

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It's BLT Week! - BLT lovers, rejoice! This week, your favorite sandwich is being lavishly (and creatively) celebrated by an impressive lineup of chefs in the region. It’s BLT Week July 15th through the 21st, and the iconic, bacon-laden nosh will be showcased in restaurants such as Mulvaney's B&L, Bacon & Butter, Tuli Bistro, the Golden Bear, Shady Lady Saloon and Hawks in Roseville. Kira O'Donnell in Sac Mag.

First Impressions: Thai Canteen gets off to a promising start - Our spring rolls were nicely deep-fried, crisp and tasty. The pad thai was done with precision and showed all the hallmarks of a very good Thai dish – noodles that were tender without being gloppy, and clear, vibrant seasonings throughout. For starters, the deep-fried corn was a tasty treat...Try it if: You're looking for a new Thai restaurant with urban style, good cooking and great prices. Forget it if: You insist on full table service and more traditional décor. Blair Anthony Robertson in the Sac Bee.

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Dining News: Piatti Swings, Misses in Revamp

Piatti, which closed for several months over the summer for a remodel, reopened in Decemeber.

During that time, they took time to revamp the menu. Nick Deider, Piatti's director of operations who worked more than 5 years at the Thomas Keller Restaurant Group in Yountville where he worked at Bouchon and Ad Hoc, told the Sac Bee in December that, "We've refined things and updated the recipes. (The dishes) have gotten a lot simpler and much more flavorful. Our new chef is Lance Carlini, who was a chef at Scott's Seafood Grill and at High Steaks steakhouse at Thunder Valley Casino Resort."

Did it pay off? Sac Bee restaurant critic Blair Anthony Robertson didn't seem impressed.

We left our three recent visits to Piatti in the upscale Pavilions shopping center a bit baffled by the remodel and underwhelmed by the inconsistent food – some good, some misguided, some poorly executed, nothing excellent and little we'll ever remember.

The room, the cooking and the decent but unexceptional service don't go nearly far enough. Amid the many ups and downs, what's clear is that Piatti has fallen further behind the standards set by both the new and established restaurants in east Sacramento and midtown just a few miles away.

Piatti's does enough to qualify as a neighborhood restaurant for Italian cuisine ranging from marginal to good, but it certainly isn't the dining destination we anticipated.

Read the entire review in the Sac Bee.

Click here for more posts about Piatti.

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Assembly on K to open in late March - Assembly, local restaurateur Randy Paragary's latest baby, is almost ready for visitors. "This is adult entertainment," Paragary said. "Other cities have ammenities like this and there isn't anything like that in downtown now."  The concert venue at 10th and K streets is set to open Friday, March 22, said Callista Wengler, marketing director for Paragary Restaurant Group. Cover band Pop Fiction is set to perform at 10 p.m., and the night's show is free to the public, Wengler said. Karen Wilkinson in Sac Press.

SactoMoFo 6 food truck festival coming April 27 - Ah yes, it's starting to feel like spring, the sun's shining a bit more and Daylight Savings is about to start. You know what that means ... time for a food truck festival! SactoMoFo 6 is on board for April 27, and will be held once again at 6th and W streets in downtown Sacramento - the site of the Sunday farmers market. More than two dozen trucks from northern California are being booked, including such first-time SactoMoFo participants as Roli Roti. Many of the perennial favorites will also be whipping up their food truck fare, including Chando's Tacos, The Chairman and Krush Burger. Chris Macias in the Sac Bee.

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Dining News: Tako Korean BBQ is 'Good, Playful & Affordable'


In his weekend restaurant review, Sac Bee restaurant reviewer Blair Anthony Robertson takes a look at Tako Korean BBQ, now that it's gone through its opening growing pains.

The kimchi quesadilla ($5) is my favorite item on the menu, a tour de force of color, texture and flavor that stands tall and proud at the intersection of imaginative and seriously good.

It's a quesadilla in size and shape, transformed to a new dimension by crunchy, fermented Napa cabbage (created from scratch by Cho's mother), perfectly toasty tortillas and gooey cheese. The purple finishing sauce drizzled over the top gives it creamy texture and visual appeal – it's made with blueberries.

And if you go with the highly recommended spicy pork as an add-on ($2), you have one of the greatest little meals going.

Tako Korean BBQ knows what it's doing with meats and these folks understand flavor. The bulgogi (marinated beef) has a gentle sweetness on the palate.

Read the entire review in the Sac Bee. (Read my Instant Reaction here.)

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Piatti Sacramento: Welcome Back! - Sunday evening, Andy and I had dinner at the newly remodeled Piatti Ristorante on Fair Oaks Boulevard in Sacramento. The restaurant (which had been closed for 4 months) has just reopened after a replacement of the flooring, ceiling, lighting, bar top and furniture. Kristy DeVaney on CaveGrrl.

Temple Coffee House - What a revelation it was to discover I could enjoy the taste of coffee without adding cream or sugar.  In the past, if I ever had to drink a regular cup of coffee, I would find myself dissatisfied by the lack of flavor and bitter taste.  It wasn’t until I discovered Temple Coffee House and sampled their award-winning coffee that I truly learned to appreciate the wonderful flavor-potential of these rare, natural coffee beans. Ana Marie Aguas on Sac Foodies.

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Dining News: Hook & Ladder's 'Refined & Ambitious' Vision


Hook & Ladder, by the owners of The Golden Bear, has been open nearly two months. How are they doing? Sac Mag's Catherine Warmerdam takes a look:

The handsome yet understated bar is the domain of beverage director Chris Tucker, who established himself as something of a bartending guru at the now-defunct L Wine Lounge. My aim during a recent visit was to see what behind-the-bar magic he had conjured up for his latest gig. What I discovered was a collection of cocktails, wines and beers that was creative and unpredictable without being off-putting (although I suspect customers will appreciate more detailed descriptions of the drinks on future versions of the menu).

Two of the cocktails I sampled—the smoky, mezcal-based De la Cenizas and the bright, citrusy Bashful Bliss, made from gin, Aperol and Maraschino Luxardo—were pleasantly balanced and, frankly, delicious. Hook & Ladder also offers “cheekies”: one-ounce shots (versus the typical one and a half ounces) of tequilas, bourbons and the like. The so-called social shot, says Tucker, “allows you to buy a round for you and your friends without it all going to your head.”

Read the entire story in Sac Mag.

Looking for other takes on the place? Read the Sac Bee's early review, Sac Mag's Kira O'Donnell and Lisa Page on Girls On the Grid.

As for me, I've had lunch there a couple weeks back. Possibly due to the rain that day, the place was pretty empty. I found the food good, but not yet great. The fried chicken sandwich had potential, but was a little too ambitious with the number of tastes and textures it tried to cram into one sandwich. I really enjoyed the pizza we had, though. It's immediately in the top tier of pizzas in the area. I look forward to having drinks and dinner there again soon.

More News:

Piatti Ristorante has a new look, but what do you think? - The 20-plus-year-old Piatti Ristorante reopened last week after a four-month closure for a complete makeover, I reported in this space last week. We dropped by one recent weeknight for a looksee. The bar was jammed with well-dressed patrons (many of them regulars), the dining room was about half-full, and the servers rushed from the bar station to their tables, carrying glasses of wine and brightly colored cocktails. The place definitely has a sleeker, more contemporary look - though we've heard a few veteran customers call it "stark," "cafeteria-like" and reminiscent of a "dimestore lunch counter." Allen Pierleoni in the Sac Bee.

Dazzling Dogs at El Dorado Hill's Ruffhause Hot Dog Co. - There’s no lack of hot dog eateries in the Sacramento region, but each one I have encountered has been completely and charmingly distinctive. One of the most enticing of the bunch that I have visited recently is located in El Dorado Hills, in the swanky Town Center. Ruffhaus Hot Dog Co. has the feel of a cozy, quirky, and very welcoming English pub. Kira O'Donnell in Sac Mag.

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Dining News: New Helvetia Brewing Co. Now Open

New Helvetia Brewing Company has been teasing us about an impending opening for a while. Originally, they were hoping to open in February, then October and November.

We shouldn't be too judgemental though -- opening any business/restaurant takes much longer than you'd think. Hopefully it'll be worth the wait.

For now, it's open Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays from 5 to 8 p.m. They've yet to enter full production mode, but you can try some of their beers while they ramp up.

For more information, visit their Facebook Page.

New Helvetia Brewing Company is located at 1730 Broadway.

More News:

Review: Enotria Restaurant & Wine Bar - I’m pleased that Bruich has brought his unique talent back to Sacramento and found a home at Enotria, whose stellar wine program will be an excellent complement to the young chef’s creative and undeniably modern cuisine. If you’ve had your fill of farm-focused menus, jump on board Bruich’s Enotria Experience. Kira O'Donnell in Sac Mag.

Piatti Ristorante reopens in Pavilions with a new direction - Piatti Ristorante at the Pavilions center is back in business after a four-month closure for a makeover. What took so long? "We were going to do a small facelift, but instead we decided to completely expand the scope and redo everything," said Nick Dedier on the phone today. He's the Italian-themed restaurant's director of operations. His resume includes more than five years with the Thomas Keller Restaurant Group in Yountville. During that time, he ran Bouchon for a year and Ad Hoc for four years. Piatti certainly has a brighter, cleaner look. Allen Pierleoni in the Sac Bee.

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