The party’s back on the Sacramento River, but this time with a new set of owners. Crawdad’s River Cantina, a longtime staple of outdoor eating and drinking along the Garden Highway, opens today with a new team headed by Adam Pechal (formerly of Tuli Bistro/Restaurant Thir13en) and Trevor Shults of PourHouse, BarWest and other central city watering holes. Pechal is joined in the kitchen by Paul Caravelli, a former Chicago area chef who appeared with Pechal on ABC’s “The Taste.”
While Crawdad’s typically closes during the winter, the two plan on keeping the restaurant open year-round and becoming more of a dining destination among the usual riverfront merriment. This project marks the first collaboration between Shults and Pechal, with another on the way soon. Pechal is taking over the food program at Shults’ PourHouse and mulling more partnerships.
Meanwhile, the food and drinks flowed at Crawdad’s on Wednesday and Thursday during a series of soft openings. Here’s what you can expect at Crawdad’s 2.0, especially as the outdoor dining season kicks in during the spring:
Guinness Stout will be one of the beverage choices at Evan Elsberry’s “Pick Your Poison” themed dinner.
Award-winning Sacramento chef Evan Elsberry loves to host themed wine dinners. Theyre his way of socializing, since he lives at the restaurant, he says. He matches ethnic cuisines with the appropriate wines, and there are always surprises. In past months, he sold out his Italian, French, Spanish, German and cheese-centric dinners.
Now hes preparing a Pick Your Poison dinner, with your choice of wine or beer to go with the food. It will start at 6 p.m. and end at 9 p.m. March 17, for $75 per person. Reservations are at (916) 452-3896. The previous wine dinners filled up fast, so...
Evans Kitchen is at 855 57th St., Sacramento, in the Antiques Mall; www.chefevan.com.
Choose a wine or beer with each course:
JUST BORN INC./
The Peeps Fun Bus is a harbinger of spring, cruising the U.S. to hand out the iconic chick- and bunny-shaped marshmallow treats.
Easter wouldnt be the same without Peeps, those multicolored chicks that are the harbingers of spring. Appropriately, Peeps have made by the Just Born candy company in Bethlehem, Penn., since the early 1950s.
Look for new incarnations in stores now, with others to come. Like these: Party Cake Peeps that taste like, well, cake; chocolate-dipped marshmallow chicks and bunnies; chocolate-dipped mousse-flavored chicks and bunnies; a Peeps chick in a hollow milk-chocolate egg; individually wrapped dark-chocolate covered chicks; and Peepsters, described as bite-size combinations of chocolate and marshmallow flavored creme.
Meanwhile, try some Peeps trivia, compliments of Just Born.
More than 700 million Peeps are eaten at Easter.
Blue Diamond Growers
This nutrient-packed berry smoothie holds two secret ingredients: Almondmilk and spinach.
March is when the real diet battle begins. Sure, you made those New Year’s resolutions to eat better and lose weight. But how did that go?
Celebrity dietician Ashley Koff knows this scenario all to well.
“It’s better to do small, simple things rather than jump into a diet drama,” Koff said during a visit to Sacramento. “People try to go all vegan or eat no meat; they don’t stick with it. But if you take small steps, you can do a lot to cut your calories and sugar intake.”
Koff keeps particularly busy during March, National Nutrition Month. She makes appearances nationwide to promote healthy, smarter eating as well as keep up with her work as a dietician and nutritionist.
Associated Press video/
With water in short supply in California, a Healdsburg brewery is using new technology to recycle water. Microbes are used to treat the wastewater to generate clean water and energy needed for brewing, the Associated Press reports in this video.
Allen Pierleoni/ email@example.com
Before Mangia restaurant closed, this sandwich board on the sidewalk listed some of the craft brews available inside.
Mangia restaurant at 1800 Capitol Ave. in Midtown has gone dark, announcing its closure Tuesday evening on its Facebook page.
The “gourmet sandwich shop” was part of the Italian-themed restaurant group co-owned by Dave Virga and Mark Scribner, which includes three Paesanos, one Pronto and two Uncle Vito’s Slice of New York.
According to a post on restaurant’s Facebook page, the former Mangia space will be devoted to accommodating special-occasion groups as part of a new banquet program.
“Thank you for your support over the past 18 months,” the post reads in part. “Due to the large volume of requests for large party dining at Paesanos Midtown that we cannot currently accommodate, we have begun the conversion of Mangia into a banquet space for large groups looking for a Paesanos dining experience. Our banquet menu will soon be available at www.paesanos.biz. Look for some of your favorite Mangia sandwiches to make an appearance on the menu at Paesanos and Pronto.”
Catherine Saint Louis knows she’s a fast eater. She hopes the HapiFork can undo some bad habits.
Read more: New York Times blog - Better eating with smart scales and folks
Jose Luis Villegas/ Sacramento Bee Staff Photo
Bruce and Etty Blackman, owners of Sam's Kosher Style Restaurant & Deli shown in 2004.
Sam’s Kosher Style Restaurant & Deli in Fair Oaks, known for its super-size sandwiches and local roots stretching back more than 50 years, will close at the end of business next Monday, St. Patrick’s Day.
Owner Bruce Blackman, 70, cited personal and health reasons for closing the business, adding: “St. Patrick’s Day has always been my best day, so I thought I might as well go out with a bang.”
Blackman’s role with the restaurant at 8121 Greenback Lane began in 1996, but the restaurant’s history dates back further – more than 50 years to Brother’s Deli in Town & Country Village.
The lineage goes like this: Sam Horan was regarded as one of Sacramento’s top-tier kosher-style delicatessens, receiving his early training in a Detroit deli. He opened Brother’s Deli in Sacramento in 1961. Sam later sold Brother’s and opened his own place, Sam’s, in 1976. After Horan died, his wife, Cleo, maintained the kosher tradition.
The bar is heavy on bourbon, whiskey and scotch.
Co-owner Michael Hargis did much of the design, with work by local carpenter Steve Tiller and locally sourced —or upcycled — wood from New Helvetia Hardwoods.
First Impressions visits dining spots in the region that are new or have undergone recent transitions. Have a candidate for First Impressions? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org .
For months, midtown foodies have been buzzing about LowBrau’s second act, a butcher-centric eatery adjacent the wildly successful midtown craft beer and sausage destination.
Block Butcher Bar opened last week in the MARRS project at 20th and K streets, headed by highly regarded chef Michael Tuohy, whose background is in fine dining but whose skill set includes butchery and charcuterie.
A recent visit after work found a full house in the stylish room that has plenty of warmth and sophistication. Many will consider it one of the most attractive bar/eatery designs in town.
Bethany Mollenkof/ MCT
Get ready for the San Francisco International Chocolate Salon
The San Francisco International Chocolate Salon isnt messing around. If youre really serious about chocolate and serious about having some fun the 8th annual event is a go-to. As Chocolate Salons promoters say, its 55,000 square feet of chocolate, wine and confections.
A ticket buys chocolate tastings from 50 chocolatiers, wine pairings, new product launches, chocolate-making demonstrations, chocolatier panels, a wine and spirits taste-off, presentations by celebrity chefs and chocolate-makers, and random interviews of participants by TasteTVs Chocolate Television program. There will even be chocolate fashion and body-painting.
The all-things-chocolate extravaganza will be from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. March 15 at Fort Mason Center, Marina Boulevard and Buchanan Street, San Francisco; (415) 345-7500, www.fortmason.org.
Tickets are $20 in advance and $25 at the door for adults; $10 for children ages 6 to 12; free for 5 and younger. To buy tickets, watch videos from past events and for more information, visit www.sfchocolatesalon.com.
Allen Pierleoni/ email@example.com
The Sutter Street Grill in Folsom hand-forms its giant breakfast sausage patty.
Sure, Sacramento hosted the weeklong Bacon Fest in January in celebration of that smoky, crispy pork product that almost everybody loves.
But lets not forget about the glory of sausage, despite the old saying, Laws are like sausages it is better not to see them being made.
Breakfast links and patties, bratwurst, bockwurst, bangers, chorizo, linguica, kielbasa and good old frankfurters the list goes on, and theyre all good for carnivores, at least.
If youre looking for a great sausage patty to go with eggs, hashbrowns, toast and a glass of ice-cold milk, try the Sutter Street Grill in Historic Folsom. Its motto: Good ol home cookin. The patty is big, juicy and slightly greasy, with just the right seasoning. Did we say its big? As in huge.
Dutch Bros. Coffee
New location: Dutch Bros. Coffee opens its Granite Bay drive-through on Friday, March 7, 2014. The shop will celebrate with free coffee or other beverages for customers.
Get a free cup of coffee (or other beverage) Friday and you dont even have to leave your car.
Dutch Bros. Coffee opens its newest drive-through location Friday at 8663 Auburn Folsom Rd. in Granite Bay. To mark the occasion, that Dutch Bros. outlet will offer customers a free 16-ounce beverage from 5 a.m. to 10 p.m.
We are beyond excited to open in Granite Bay, said local co-owner Brian Place. We want to serve coffee and our community like no one else around.
Brian and Mattie Place, a husband and wife team, have been a part of the Dutch Bros. family since 2007. We look forward to sharing the Dutch Love, Brian said. Our customers fill our cup.