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The Press Bistro, Sacramento

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I took my wife to the Press Bistro last night for dinner, and we were pleasantly surprised with our meal. We knew that the chef was previously head of the kitchen at Ella's, so our expectations were fairly high. We are not wine drinkers, so I can't speak to the wine list, but they have a cocktail list full of interesting combinations. I started with a Mr. Peabody, which featured light and dark rum, muddled pineapple, thai basil and a balsamic reduction. I enjoyed it, it was similar to a mai tai, but with thai basil, which I love.

My wife started with the baba ganoush tapa plate, and I had the crispy lamb meatballs with yogurt sauce. They were both good starters, I especially liked the meatballs, which were crispy on the outside, juicy on the inside and paired perfectly with the yogurt sauce.

I had a summer corn soup as a starter, while my wife had a Lyonnaise salad minus the bacon, since she is eating vegetarian at the moment. I'm a sucker for corn soup in the summer, and this version was good, garnished with grilled corn bits and some fresh chives. It was smooth and tasted simply of corn, not complicated by bacon or other strong flavorings. The Lyonnaise salad was good according to my wife, although she didn't touch her croutons because they were oil soaked.

They had a nice summer vegetable risotto as a vegetarian entree, and my wife enjoyed it. It was a white risotto with some squash and other veggies folded in, garnished with shaved parmaggiano and some basil oil. I went with the grilled porkchop with green beans, bacon and carmelized onions. I was very pleased with my entree, the pork was juicy, flavorful, and cooked perfectly. The green beans still had crunch, and the sweet onions and salty bacon pieces went well together.

We were too full for dessert, but the options looked good. If you like Ella's, but are looking for a more casual, slighty cheaper restaurant, I suggest you give The Press a try.

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