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Birthday dinner in Sacramento

My son-in-law is turning Big 40 in May - we'd like to take him and daughter to a really great
food place that is not too stiff but pretty spectacular because you only turn 40 once. In
Sacramento or environs.

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  1. Noticed in your earlier posts that you like Waterboy (me too), but didn't particularly enjoy Ella. I do like Ella, so it is with a bit of caution that I suggest Selland's The Kitchen

    I haven't been in Sacramento on my birthday, but if it happened, this would be at the top of my list.

    4 Replies
    1. re: souvenir

      Hi Souvenir, We moved to Sac in October from Englewood NJ - just outside Manhattan. Have
      certainly heard about The Kitchen but haven't been. Must say the sample March menu looked
      delicious. (However, my husband who is a bit finicky doesn't like menus where there is no
      choice M;ay have to someday go without him.) Certainly we'll try Ella's again. Didn't not
      like it = just did't love it. What do you know about Hawk's in Granite Bay?

      1. re: tafttiger

        hawks is very good. mulvaneys? ambiance in carmichael?

        1. re: tafttiger

          Yes, it sounds like The Kitchen wouldn't be a good option for your husband.

          I haven't been to Hawks yet, have heard good things about it. Checking out the food and drink menus currently posted on their web site, I am reminded I need to try it!

          Another place I haven't been to in quite some time, but have had some nice celebratory meals there is Enotria. Not for a big birthday dinner, but more for catching up with friends I haven't seen in a while.

      2. might want to take a look at restaurant 13 http://thir13en.com/

        its by the same people who do tuli bistro. i was pretty impressed with them during restaurant week. its a weirdly configured space, so depending on the party size it may or may not be practical.

        1. Since you were not impressed with Ella, that is off the list. Grange is okay, I don't care for the food. 13 is good but I don't know if it is special enough. Enotria can be touch and go. I thought it was good but my good friend got horrible service where the server didn't know anything about the food and so so food. I haven't been to Hawks yet. Ambiance would fit the bill of special (don't let location put you off).

          To throw it out there, why not drive the hour and go into the Napa Valley for a special dinner, There is a plethora of not stiff but super nice restaurants to choose from, in fact you could make a day out of it. Bottega and Redd come to mind.

          1 Reply
          1. re: septocaine_queen

            We have fantastic restos here..no need to go out of town any longer. :)

          2. Hi Souvenier - In the mid-town area I would consider Press Bistro, and second the recommendationf for Hawks in Granite Bay. A bit further out but worth the effort is Carpe Vino in Auburn.

            1. I also recommend Hawks. I go there regularly and it's always really good. And, if you are into tasting menus, you can probably talk to the chef about modifying the tasting menu for your husband. I believe they have a chef's table option that might be a nice way to celebrate.

              Also, Ella has a new chef who started in Feb, I think. I went there a few weeks ago and was very pleasantly surprised by how good everything was.

              1. Hearing The Porch is good and a fun spot too. We love Ravenous out on Greenhaven. Delish! Recently ate at The Waterboy and loved it. Biba...nothing at all wrong with Biba!! We have had really great dinner's at Spataro's as well and Mulvaney's.

                I've heard great things about Ambience but have not been yet. We have also really enjoyed Paragary's Bar and Oven...their patio is awesome and would be great for a 40th!

                Taste..in Plymouth...outstanding if you really want to travel.

                2 Replies
                1. re: melly

                  Just got a tip from a reliable palate that Lounge ON 20 is very delish! Upscale and reasonable.

                  1. re: melly

                    If you go for distinctive ambience, you might consider the Delta King. After all, how many restaurants are aboard a paddlewheel riverboat?

                2. Thanks to all for your advice. We ended up at Hawk's. Liked it a lot but it wasn't love. Ordered
                  ahi which had a short rib ragu on top of the fish. It didn't quite make it. Pricey - as we knew it
                  would be. Would probably go there from time to time if we lived closer. As it is . . . not necessarily a keeper for me. Other recent places - my husband and I had Mother's Day at the Porch (on the
                  porch) - liked it a lot. Soft shelled crab - yum. Being a recent east coaster, May means that dish
                  to me and haven't found it on any menu until the Porch. Tonight we ate at Press Bistro for the
                  2nd time. We'll be back. Trying Ella's again next week - we'll see what the new chef has done.