Dinner in Sacramento
I'm a big fan of the locally raised, farmer's market, Chez Panisse style cuisine and will be in Sacramento on Wednesday. Are there any Chowhound recs out there for me?
In terms of ambience it's over done, it is definitely overpriced but I still like to go to the Firehouse in Old Town. Dishes are well executed and sometimes innovative. Wine list is extensive and it is an experience. By the way around the corner there is an old stern wheeler which on Sunday serves a damn credible buffet.
Ella and The Firehouse both serve reasonably good food, but they're not especially focused on sourcing things locally.
Grange is a new place that very much has that focus, although I've heard the food isn't that impressive. Of course, a lot of people say the same about Chez Panisse; understatement and simplicity are never going to grab headlines. I mean to try Grange soon, but can't vouch for it in the meanwhile.
Mulvaney's B&L has a pretty strong farm-to-table ethic, and Patrick Mulvaney is witty and adventurous. I recently had a dinner that included a grilled pork heart dish that was the product of a conversation about offal between the producer and the chef, followed by a Big Lebowski-inspired White Russian panna cotta shaped like a bowling pin and named "The Dessert Abides."
But my favorite is The Waterboy. No, you're not going to learn the provenance of every sprig of parsley, but Rick Mahan knows his local sources and puts the ingredients he gets from them together beautifully.
Hope this helps. Please let us know what you end up doing and what you think of it.
Old Sacramento Merchants: Firehouse Restaurant
1112 Second St, Sacramento, CA 95814
2000 Capitol Avenue, Sacramento, CA 95814
Ella Dining Room & Bar
1131 K Street, Sacramento, CA 95814
Mulvaney's B & L
1215 19th Street, Sacramento, CA 95814
926 J Street, Sacramento, CA 95814