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Biba's - Is it still fantastic?

Hi Hounds,

I'm returning to the Sacramento area after a ten years. Is Bibs'a still the best place to go, or has someone new came to town?

Thank you.

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  1. Although I like Bibas the "hottest" restaurant in Sacramento for true foodies in the area is The Waterboy. That is where all the chefs in Sacramento eat according to the Sacramento Bee.

    2 Replies
    1. re: dgb

      Thanks DGB. What do you like to enjoy at The Waterboy?

      1. re: dgb

        I have been extremely disappointed by Waterboy lately. Great service, but the food - meh. Two friends of mine had a really bad meal there after coming up from Oakland, too, and they really know food ... I think the hot restaurants in Sacramento these days are The Kitchen and Supper Club. They're not cheap - both are more expensive than a meal at Biba - but both sound incredible.

        I had a good meal at Biba two months ago - I think it's still quite good. Good bar, great service, some of the best gnocchi and pasta in general anywhere in the country.

      2. Biba is still VERY GOOD. Some kitchen changes, but still outstanding food and incredible service.

        1 Reply
        1. re: bennyboy1

          Thank you bennyboy1. What would you say is the best thing on the menu?

        2. Biba is probably still the king (or queen) in Sacramento. However, the Waterboy, in my opinion is the best in the area. Biba's is a bit stuffy and is often frequented by special occasion diners who only go because of the occasion. It tends to add an air of formality that I don't care for. The food however remains excellent. Biba has remained steadfastly Northern Italian and the food is first rate. Waterboy is much more casual and the service is first rate. The food is fantastic,especially the sweetbreads and the fresh fish of the day. Overall, I think they are the two best restaurants in Sac.

          2 Replies
          1. re: HungryinSac

            Thank you HungryinSac. It seems like I'm going to have to try to get reservations at both places!

            1. re: DowntownHound

              Actually, if you are not into formality, try sitting at the bar at Biba. You can get the entire menu there and you don't need reservations. Plus you get the added benefit of listening to the pianist.

          2. Try the asparugus w/proscuitto at Biba's

            1. have the lasagne if it's the right day! it's too die for

              1 Reply
              1. re: toncasmo

                Wow... sounds like I might have to enjoy two meals at Biba's!

              2. I had lunch at Biba's last week - still fabulous as ever.

                Another place you may want to consider that is on my "to do" list is Mulvaney's Building and Loan...lots of buzz (like the Waterboy) but without the foody self indulgence you see in entirely too many places (including the Waterboy from time-to-time).

                1 Reply
                1. re: popgunandy

                  Mulvaney's = mediocre. Does not live up to the hype, I don't think. I had one meal there, and two friends - who had really been looking forward to it, as the Mulvaney's folks had catered a special event for them and done a really great job - had an even less stellar experience. The room is pleasant and the staff wonderful, but the food was nothing special - certainly not worth the price.

                2. I had dinner at Biba's not long ago. If you love red bell peppers, have the braised rabbit dish. The gnocci was to die for. The sweetbreads were not as good as The Waterboy's.

                  I love The Waterboy for the sweetbreads, the cesar salad with the best anchovies ever, and the risotto. I've only eaten lunch there.

                  I'll tell ya though, if you want some good eats and don't care about the atmosphere...go to Vientiane in West Sac and have the stuffed chicken wings, the lemon grass chicken, the green papaya salad, and that wonderful soup. It was really some of the best food I've ever tasted. I crave those stuffed chicken wings every day. Perfect. A group of 8 of us met there and we had a feast..for 13.25 each.

                  1. Biba's is still my hands-down favorite; the food, service, setting-everything is beyond reproach and is understated elegance at it's best.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: rosielucchesini

                      Thank you rosielucchesini,

                      I'm glad to hear it's exactly the way I remember it!

                    2. Dined here last night. Service was incredible, almost like magic.

                      Had the bruschetta appetizer along with the carpazio. the Brushetta was incredible. Not a big fan of raw meats so the other left me a little flat.

                      My salad was fantastic, a pepper salad with olives of all kinds.
                      The others ordered a green salad with pears. Should have been more pears, I think. the flavor really came out with the pears, and there weren't enough to last the lettuce.

                      As for the entrees...a mixed bag. One ordered lamb chops. they were battered and were not a favorite.

                      Another orderd the seetbreads (on appetizer menu) orderd as a dinner. Pretty good but they said they were ot as good as the Waterboy......Not crispy enough and too saucy.

                      my dinner was great, I orderd the mixed grill, pork loin, chicken and a sausage with cabbage. The pork loin was to die for. The chicken also was great as was the sausage. The cabbage (the server said when I ordered it was more like Saurkraut)was really the best cabbage thing I have ever eaten. A little like Saurkraut, but not really. But thanks to the server's warning I opted to have mashed potatoes in case I did not like the cabbage. The mashed potatoes were the best I have ever eaten I think.

                      All in all one fo the best dining experiences I have had in LOOOOOOOOOONG time. As for my partners they are not big on sauces so their opinion is somewhat skewed, but they loved it.