A new season of busyness is upon us. Not only are the holidays a hectic, whirlwind of activity, we’re experiencing a high number of new restaurant and bar openings, plus an increasing number of event invites, AND we’re expected to support everyone and everything equally. Balance is tough. And if you’re a mixture between introvert and extrovert, like me, rather than try and wade through a muddled slew of information, I’d rather have a concise and quick breakdown of what’s going on around town. There is definitely something for everyone in this town, even if it means just grabbing a bottle of wine and making an easy bite at home, or trying the newest seasonal dish at your favorite restaurant. So here are a few of our picks and info for this week:
Deal of the Week
- Wine Wednesday at Allora in East Sacramento. If you’re looking to split a bottle of wine with a friend or take detailed notes as you study for your Level 1 Sommelier, or both, Elizabeth Rose, co-owner and resident Advanced Sommelier at Allora can guide you in the right direction of any of her carefully selected wine cellar. The best part? On Wednesday ALL wines are 50% off. Wednesday nights can get a bit packed now, due to this special, so call ahead and book a reservation.
Dish(es) of the Week
- In true Sacramento fashion, our Indian summer lingered around until well past its welcome, and then, *snap,* we’re back to shivering in the 35 degree mornings waiting for our car heaters to kick in. Screw any plans for a salad for lunch, and head over to the best place in town for a warming soup or stew at DeVere’s Irish Pub Midtown (or Davis if that’s where you are). Executive Chef Wes is a master at preparing balanced pub fare, and gave us a rich clam chowder, savory turkey pot pie – with the flakiest of puff pastry toppings- and a classic, luscious French onion soup to try. We also recommend any of Trevor’s craft cocktails paired with the soup for a truly balanced meal.
Up and Coming Chef/Restaurant of the Week
- There’s a love for home baking, and then there’s a LOVE and drive for learning and refining one’s recipes to the point of excelling at them. Daniel Stephan, a long time front of the house industry warrior, found his true calling making artisanal loaves. He just announced his new position as Head Bread Baker at an exciting concept opening up soon in El Dorado Hills, called Osteria Moto. In a quick interview with Dan, he told us that “He will begin charge of the bread program, and all loaves will be baked in house… it will be a challenge as it is a first time position for him in a kitchen, but he’s ready to take it on. Eventually, they hope to open up a cafe next door with other baked goods and pastries, as well as offer loaves to go.” When asked what sets his bread program apart, he said, “he is more of a traditionalist baker, and uses a sourdough starter to naturally leaven his bread. He also tries to source most of his grains from local farmers and millers.” It makes me feel better about eating several slices knowing that his bread contains far more nutrients than I could ever get in a store bought loaf! His toothsome loaves can have anywhere from 20-100% whole grains, and he hopes to help create a better connection to the community through bread. His recommendation for locally grown flour is Capay Mills. Stay tuned for Osteria Moto’s opening soon!
Fall Produce/Farm of the Week photo by Ken Raif
- The Sacramento region is home to one of the oldest, and richest farming regions in the state, and our restaurants, farmer’s markets, and stores weekly offer the newest seasonal produce grown right here. There are few excuses for not sourcing most of your produce from local sources, and we wanted to highlight one of our favorite farms in the area: Twin Peaks Orchard, based in Newcastle. This orchard has been producing fruit for over 100 years, and has stayed in the family for just as long… some of their fall offerings include persimmons, pomegranates, and my favorite, mandarins. I love to eat these as a quick snack, or add them to a salad with goat cheese and walnuts. But if you want a really creative taste of these mandarins, head over to Binchoyaki to try their smoked mandarin sauce on top of their oysters. Incredible!
If you read to the bottom, congratulations! And thank you. We hope to share our takeaways on what’s happening around Sacramento, and other communities, weekly. Next week will focus on fall cocktails from DeVere’s, home cooking tips from Dane Blom at Grange, and an interview with a local artist, TBD. This week’s post fueled by The Mill and B-Side.