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Apr 8, 2007 11:32 PM

Sacramento Italian

Seeking a modest to upscale Italian spot in Sacramento. Probably for a large party before my son's wedding. Good food a must. Thanks

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  1. Which area of Sacto and how large a party?

    8 Replies
    1. re: PeterL

      Good questions as I was about to expand my late nite post. The wedding is at Arden Hills in Carmichel and many will stay close. Party size 50-60. Italian first choice but other ideas welcome that would fit a group of conservative eaters. Nearby hotel based place might do fine.
      Went to California Board and thought Lucca's might do, but it is far from our hotel.

      1. re: gb44

        The problem with the Arden Hills part of Sacramento is that it is the epicenter of mall food. Everywhere you turn there's a Mimi's Cafe, Outback Steakhouse, Macaroni Grill, etc. Has anyone else noticed this phenomenon: that the new trend in shopping centers is to have them anchored by these chain restaurants? I remember when department stores were the anchors, now it's mediocre family dining destinations. These places kill the local eateries that can be real finds. When has anybody said, "Oh my, the never-ending Alfredo bowl at Olive Garden blew me away."? Sorry for the spleen venting.

        1. re: pinpei

          That is very typical these days across the country and is a byproduct of commercial finance and market research. New developments generally require anchor stores to draw people to the develop with big, easily recognized names in order to receive financing for the project. Developers work directly with the corporate chains to locate potential franchise sites to build business. This is a big reason why independent restaurants are not usually the first occupants in a strip mall or power center.

          The other part of the coin is the fact that more people prefer the comfort of an established chain - especially those new to a neighborhood - and the other fact that most people actually enjoy the food at those chains. The Arden Hills neighborhood is unique in that there are lots of people, but few restaurants, and even fewer good restaurants. I think most people who care about food in that part of town are willing to drive to other places.

      2. re: PeterL

        Those were the questions I was about to address when I re-read my post. Wedding at Arden Hills, party size 50-60. We will stay nearby and wondered if a local hotel or restaurant might suit. Conversative eaters make up a large part of the party, but we can move past Italian if necessary. Lucca downtown sounded about right, but it is far away.

        1. re: gb44

          That sounds very difficult. There is nothing near Arden Hills that fits your post. Places with good food large enough for your party will be as far away as Lucca. You might try Espanol on Folsom & 59th, but I do not know if they can handle that many people. Buca di Beppo (Howe Ave & Hurley) is not very Chowhoundish - some people may say not that good at all (not me, I like it) - but it is closer and may hold that many people. Other than that, plan on a drive.

          1. re: Sacto_Damkier

            Buca, while not chowhoundish, may serve the purpose esp. if OP's party has many "conservative" eaters, and Buca serves the food family style.

            1. re: PeterL

              Not sure if this is still on time, but I second the Buca posts. They have a private area upstairs and I have had a very good experience with them with a group of 50 people. Their food is good, not gourmet. Their prices are very reasonable for the inhumane amounts of food they serve you.

          2. re: gb44

            Buca di Beppo is fairly informal...another potential place is Piatti, which is on Fair Oaks Blvd. between Howe and Munroe. It's more formal and I think the place would be able to manage that large of a group.