Dining News: Public House Theater is Just a Public House For Near Future


Sorry to inform everyone, but as of today our theater will be closed til further notice.However, the pub will still be open.Thank you

Posted by Public House Theater on Friday, March 27, 2015

Public House Theater was forced to close the theater portion of its operations just before they celebrated their first anniversary, they announced on Facebook on Friday.

Sac News & Review's Janelle Bitker has more:

Someone anonymously tipped the Motion Picture Licensing Corporation that Public House was operating illegally, according to co-owner Norma Ward.

Ward said she had been trying to get the appropriate licenses for the past year, but “it’s been a process.”

Read the entire story in Sac News & Review.

However, fans of eating and drinking while dining still have other options while Public House Theater gets the proper permits. They can head out to Rocklin's Studio Movie Grill, which I found to be the most comfortable movie watching experience I've ever had, or wait a while for K Street's Crest Theater to serve food, which is planned after Empress opens.

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Insight Coffee, Magpie Café and others readying to open in new 16 Powerhouse building - As the construction of midtown’s 16 Powerhouse residential and retail complex nears completion after two years, the next several weeks will usher in a slew of business openings along the 16th Street corridor. Insight Coffee Roasters, Magpie Café, Sun & Soil Juice Company and Orchid Thai are building out their respective ground-floor spaces in the new building, which overlooks Fremont Park at the intersection of 16th and P streets. The projected April and May openings follow delayed debuts previously scheduled for December and January. Jessica Rine in Sactown Mag.

Craft beer comes to Fair Oaks - Options for craft beer fans in the Sacramento region continue to increase. One of the newest additions, Fair Oaks Brew Pub, officially opened Wednesday. Located at 7988 California Ave. in Old Fair Oaks Village, the brewery serves craft beer, wine and food. Its menu focuses on pizzas, salads and cured meats and cheeses. A full menu will be available. Sonya Sorich in Sac Biz Journal.

The Trade and its Blue Bottle coffee opens in Midtown - Famed Bay Area coffeehouse Blue Bottle can now be consumed in Midtown. Kind of. The Trade Coffee & Coworking, a coworking office space slash cafe, opened yesterday at 2220 K Street. And the cafe portion proudly carries Blue Bottle Coffee beans, with Blue Bottle-trained baristas. Janelle Bitker in Sac News & Review.

Egg-ceptional Easter brunches in and around Sacramento - Planning to gather the family and friends for Easter brunch? From croque Suzannes to French toast pies, we've got nine egg-cellent ways to celebrate the holiday on April 5. Featuring Fabian's Italian Bistro, The Firehouse, Formoli's Bistro, Grand Island Mansion, Grange, Hawks, Hyatt Sacramento, Original Pancake House and Ten 22. Jason Pham and Jessica Rine in Sactown Mag.

Continue reading "Dining News: Public House Theater is Just a Public House For Near Future" »

Dining News: Track 7 Asks Some Lax Parents to, um, Parent More


Much has been written about what behavior can be expected of parents with children in restaurants.

However, as craft breweries become more mainstream and their clientele changes from beer nerds to families, the same types of problems arise.

Last week, the popular Track 7 Brewery, which now has tasting rooms in Curtis Park and Natomas, had to take to Facebook to plead with the vast minority of parents who don't supervise their kids well to be more considerate of others.


One of Track 7’s top priorities is remaining family friendly, and we need your help. We have received several complaints...

Posted by Track 7 Brewing Co. on Friday, March 20, 2015

Predictably, the thread drew much conversation with absolutists on both sides chiming in that people should never bring kids to a place that serves beer, to others that say that kids are kids and should be allowed to run wild. However, most seemed to be reasonable and understand the balance that can be achieved by being a family-friendly place without it being a free for all.

I checked in with Track 7's Becca Scott, who provided a little more detail on what led up to the request and what's happened since. Here's our e-mail Q and A:

1. Was it a specific incident, or is it just a general feeling that the issue needed to be addressed? If a specific incident, can you describe what happened?

There was not a specific incident. We received several complaints from people that there were unsupervised children playing at both taprooms. We want all people to be comfortable, and we want to make sure that both kids and customers are safe. The intent of our post was to just be a friendly reminder.

2. I noticed that this warning was added pretty soon after the Natomas location opened. Is there a difference between behavior at the Track 7 locations in Curtis Park and Natomas? I've been to the Curtis Park location many times and find the kids mostly well behaved.

There is not a difference between the Natomas and Curtis Park locations. Comments about unsupervised children have been made about both locations. Most of our customers supervise their children, and their children are well behaved. We have signs at the taproom regarding supervising children, but some people that visit might not even realize this is expected at a taproom. We thought an informative reminder would help spread the word.

We, the owners, have children, and we bring them to the brewery all the time. A brewery is different than a bar. Most people come to have a pint and talk with friends or play a game with the family. We have food trucks every night, and often times families come to have dinner or snacks. It's important that our taproom remains a gathering place for the community where everyone is welcome.

3. How's the reaction been after the post? Have things gotten better?

It is pretty soon after the post, but we have noticed parents bringing games and toys for their kids to play with while at Track 7. The majority of our customers have done this in the past as well. We have games that people can check out, and we have coloring books and crayons that children can use.

So it seems like their gentle reminder has solved the problem, at least for now.

Track 7 Brewing Company is located at 3747 West Pacific Ave. in Curtis Park and 826 Professor Lane in Natomas. They can also be found online at

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Outstanding in the Field returns to Capay Organic for farm dinner - A dinner cooked by Grange executive chef Oliver Ridgeway will be served on the farm at Capay Organic this spring as part of the national tour of Outstanding in the Field, a company that puts on farm-to-table dinners featuring local purveyors. It's one of 82 dinners on Outstanding in the Field schedule across the country, and the only one in the Sacramento area. Mark Anderson in Sac Biz Journal.

'Paint and sip' business opening in Elk Grove - Pinot's Palette, a Houston-based franchise that combines wine and painting lessons, will open its first Sacramento region location this week. Pinot's Palette of Elk Grove features a 1,975-square-foot art studio at 8962 Elk Grove Blvd. Sonya Sorich in Sac Biz Journal.

Linda's Chicago Style Pizzeria opening second location - Chicago-style pizza is coming to Loomis. Linda's Chicago Style Pizzeria will take over the space formerly known as Cafe Zorro, which has closed. Owner Linda Ellington expects to open the business at 5911 King Road in early April. Ellington's sister, Zelda Breslin, is the namesake of Zelda's Original Gourmet Pizza in midtown Sacramento. Breslin died in 2006. Sonya Sorich in Sac Biz Journal.

Continue reading "Dining News: Track 7 Asks Some Lax Parents to, um, Parent More" »

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

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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.

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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.

Continue reading "Dining News: Lots of Good Buzz for Federalist Public House" »

Dining News: Now Open - Track 7 Natomas


Track 7, the Curtis Park-based brewery, quietly opened its Natomas location on Friday.

The craft brewery had hoped to open their second location by New Year's Eve, but a rain-soaked December delayed construction. Give the team behind Track 7 credit. When they announced the new location in July 2014, they predicted a December 2014 opening. They only missed it by a couple weeks, which is very good.

The location is still a work in progress, but apparently, they've done enough to start allowing the public to come to events.

This weekend, they'll be open on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, with food trucks to feed the masses.

The new facility will open with a capacity of 8,000 barrels of beer, compared to their 2013 production of just 1,200 barrels at the Curtis Park facility. The original location will be used for pilot batching and sour beer production.

Their new Natomas warehouse and tasting room is located at 826 Professor Lane.

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Dine Downtown: 4 recommendations to experience Sacramento restaurants - But for those restaurants that are part of the line-up, Dine Downtown is a great opportunity to win over folks and expand their reach. Here are a few good bets, based on my visits (not for the latest special menus, which I have yet to try). Featuring Hook &  Ladder, Biba, Grange and Ella. Blair Anthony Robertson in the Sac Bee.

VIDEO: Dine Downtown in Sacramento focuses on Farm-to-Fork movement - Chefs in downtown say Dine Downtown weeks is a win-win for restaurants and customers. Melinda Meza on KCRA.

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Continue reading "Dining News: Now Open - Track 7 Natomas" »

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

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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 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: New Chef at Revolution Wines


Chef Rachel Kelly recently left Revolution Wines for South, which serves "contemporary Southern cuisine, heavy on seasonal vegetables and driven by historical inspiration."  (BTW: South passed inspection and will be open for dinner starting on Tuesday and lunch starting today.)

Replacing Chef Kelly at Revolution Wines is Teddy Gibanov. Here's his bio from Revolution Wines' Web site:

Theodore attributes his initial love of food to his family's Russian heritage, which exposed him to the culture of hospitality and entertainment early on in life. He spent summers as a teenager washing dishes at his brother's job -- Old Ship Saloon in San Francisco -- & was inspired by his time there to pursue a life in cooking. After working at various grill jobs, where he made steady progress learning the creative aspects of running a kitchen, Theodore was hired as Lead Line Cook at Public House in San Francisco, which first introduced him to cooking in fine dining situations. Theodore moved back to Sacramento in 2012, where he worked for Roxy Restaurant until he was taken under the wing by Rachel Kelley here at Revolution Wines. He was quickly put in charge of the happy hour menu & then promoted to Sous Chef soon after. As Kelley's natural successor, he took over the kitchen here in November 2014.

Since we're on the topic of Revolution Wines, make sure you check out their Friday Night Special where they pair a glass of wine and an entree for only $15.

I've tried it several times and been impressed every time. I hope that the changes in the kitchen won't affect this wonderful deal. It's great for dates, date nights or a laid back evening with friends.

Revolution Wines is located at 2831 S Street and can be found online at

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Sacramento chef Oliver Ridgeway earns spot on Saveur 100 - Noma in Copenhagen. Daniel in New York. Benu in San Francisco. Alma in Los Angeles. Pok Pok in Portland. These are some of the most widely-celebrated restaurants in the world. Not suprisingly, they made the Saveur 100, the pristine magazine’s annual list of 100 noteworthy restaurants, people and food trends. For the first time—at least in its online archive history—the magazine put a Sacramento chef on that list: Oliver Ridgeway of Grange Restaurant & Bar. Janelle Bitker in Sac News & Review.

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Continue reading "Dining News: New Chef at Revolution Wines" »

Dining News: RIP Cafe Soleil


Cafe Soleil will close on Friday, the restaurant announced on Facebook.

Here's the full text of their post:

Loyal Soleil Customers,

It it with a heavy heart I announce that Soleil will be closing it's doors on Friday December 5th. Please come by this week if you want to grab a delicious meal one more time and use your gift certificates.

The Ix Family sends a sincere thank you to all of your support over the years. The customers and memories will always be cherished.

This is a wonderful local family business that will be greatly missed by the community. We will always be thankful for the amazing food, service and thoughts of Nicole and her beautiful family that made our week days brighter and our tastebuds happy.

The Sacramento Bee's Ryan Lillis fills in some more of the details:

Yesenia Ix said changes to Cesar Chavez Plaza have made it difficult for the cafe to remain open.

The city has spent millions of dollars renovating the park in recent years. The work disrupted business at Café Soleil, as fences surrounded much of the park, Ix said.

“People turn away whenever they see a fence,” Ix said.

Read the entire story in the Sac Bee.

For those who want to pay one last visit to Cafe Soleil, it is located at 917 9th St.

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Chocolate bread pudding for the season - Chef Tom Patterson at Fabian’s Italian Bistro makes an unusual version, which will be on the menu through December and perhaps beyond. The base for his chocolate bread pudding is soft challah bread, which takes off from there with the additions of chocolate mousse, ganache, cream, egg, cinnamon and sugar, topped with vanilla gelato and brittle orange “clear” caramel ($8.95). To paraphrase the famous quote from Charles Dickens’ novel “Oliver Twist,” “We want some more, please.” Allen Pierleoni in the Sac Bee.

Old Soul Co.'s 'The Sauce' Debuts This Month - I was delighted to discover a unique beer recently that was produced collaboratively by Old Soul Co. and Ruhstaller of Sacramento. “The Sauce,” a coffee-infused Porter, debuted this month as a limited release (only 230 cases were produced), and is offered in a custom 22-ounce bottle. Kira O'Donnell in Sac Mag.

Continue reading "Dining News: RIP Cafe Soleil" »