As Valentine's Day approaches, we've got some sweet news on the urban winery scene. Rail Bridge Cellars, which operates its tasting room in the Elks Tower penthouse, is on the verge of expanding to create a sister restaurant. Look for Rail Bridge Wine, Food and Fine Spirits to open in about three months on the ground floor of the Elks Tower (11th and J streets, downtown Sacramento).
This new eatery will offer small-plate food items, an extensive wine selection and retail bottle shop.
"It's like David Berkley meets Selland's," said Michael Gelber, managing partner for Rail Bridge Cellars, referencing two eateries synonymous with local gourmet food.
(Note: The former David Berkley Fine Wines and Speciality Foods on Fair Oaks Boulevard will soon turn into a Cafe Bernardo).
For history buffs, Rail Bridge Wine, Food and Fine Spirits will overlook a vintage swimming pool that's been empty for decades, but now houses events including a bash for Midtown Cocktail Week and even a dance workshop. While Rail Bridge Cellars' winemaking facility is just outside downtown on North 16th Street, Gelber said those operations might relocate to the Elks Tower basement.
Also on tap: A new music series at Rail Bridge Cellars' tasting room kicks off March 9. Dubbed the "Speakeasy Series Unplugged," these intimate concerts and wine tastings for a maximum of 48 people will he held on second and fourth Saturdays through Nov. 9. Longtime local music promoter Jerry Perry will book the acts.
The first edition of this music series sold out for all but one show last year. Stay tuned for the 2013 lineup.
Dinner at Revolution
Speaking of Sacramento urban wineries, Revolution Wines at 28th and S streets in midtown will host a special Valentine's dinner Thursday. Its bistro will offer a four-course menu paired with Revolution's wines.
Here's a taste of the menu: an appetizer of scallops and baked polenta; mixed greens salad; braised short ribs for an entree and blackout cake for dessert.
A prepaid reservation is required. $65, $55 for Revolution Wines club members. For more information: (916) 444-7711.