By now you’ve heard about plans to drive cattle across the Tower Bridge to kick off what regional leaders hope will be an annual signature festival. You’ve heard about how that same bridge later will be the venue for a fine-dining event. Sacramento’s initial Farm-to-Fork Festival boasts an array of events to appeal to the spectrum of folks interested in the local food movement and where this region fits into it.
From a walking tour that shows off the historical food ties of Sacramento to farmers markets to museum exhibits with complementary themes, the festival will focus on food, how it got here, how it’s made and who enjoys it. A full listing of events is accessible online (farmtoforkcapital.com).
Bee writers Blair Anthony Robertson and Chris Macias explore the events planned by restaurants and wineries as part of the weeklong festival.
Let’s say you missed getting a seat for the dinner on the bridge. Maybe you have a thing about eating atop landmarks or you know full well that the shade of Tower Bridge yellow washes out your complexion.
Fret not. There are plenty of other dining events in the coming week that look promising. (Organizers report 50 restaurants have planned special events or promotions during the week.) While the bridge feast is the focal point of the festivities, many restaurants have stepped up to give their take on what farm-to-fork means and, more important, how it tastes.
I’ve picked a few of the best bets.
As Matt Chong, one of the partners at Broderick Roadhouse, wrote to me in an email, “Many foodies from our region missed out on the sold-out Tower Bridge Dinner, prompting us to put together a fun alternative at a friendly price of $45.” They’re calling this Sept. 29 multicourse affair “Off the Bridge.”
By now, you shouldn’t be surprised that a place such as Broderick Roadhouse, which started out with a food truck called Wicked ’Wich, is farm-to-fork. These guys do it the right way and this looks like a really good event: Locally sourced Mangalista pork and lamb, complimentary wine and an after-party beginning at 8 p.m. featuring food trucks, brewers, distillers and vinters, as well as live music. And since the Tower Bridge will be closed — and filled with 600 diners, plenty of talented chefs and lots of excellent servers — you can get to Broderick in West Sacramento by taking the I Street bridge. You can buy tickets at offthebridge.Eventbrite.com. 319 Sixth St., West Sacramento. (916) 372-2436.
In my review of Dawson’s several months back, I was critical of this restaurant’s pricing. That issue seems to have been resolved. During Farm-to-Fork Week, this upscale eatery at the Hyatt Regency will serve a three-course dinner (with a vegetarian option) for just $30. That’s an excellent deal and the menu, including steak, salmon or a tomato puttanesca as the main-course options, sounds terrific. These dinners will be on the menu today through Sept. 29. 1209 L St., Sacramento; (916) 321-3600.
On Sept. 27, executive chef Oliver Ridgeway of Grange will partner with guest chef Mark Dommen of Michelin-starred One Market Restaurant in San Francisco for a special dinner event that highlights the local bounty. This five-course dinner is $75 and, given the combined talents in the kitchen, is one of those shouldn’t-miss events during this very busy week. You’ll have to take this one on faith and track record. I called the number listed with the dinner and the person answering the phone had no idea what I was talking about. 926 J St., Sacramento; (916) 492-4450.
This isn’t a restaurant, but Soil Born Farms has ties to so many of our best restaurants. Its event Saturday, the 11th annual Autumn Equinox Celebration, is one of those must-see mainstays for foodies. Tickets are $60 and benefit the farm’s nonprofit Urban Agriculture & Education Project. For that price, you get to roam the 1.5 acres at this urban farm at 3000 Hurley Way, Sacramento. (Its other location is in Rancho Cordova and is not part of this event). (916) 363-9685.
Hook & Ladder Manufacturing Co. is doing a variety of prix fixe dinners from Monday to Friday this coming week. Each dinner will showcase a different purveyor and prices are expected to range from $35 to $50. Even better, the restaurant is giving 50 percent off if you’re a farmer.
I asked co-owner Kimio Bazett how they will know who the farmers are.
“Bring us a small sample of your product or a business card,” he said. “Or really dirty hands and fingernails might suffice.” 1630 S St., Sacramento; (916) 442-4885.
From today through Sept. 27, Biba Restaurant will have three special appetizers added to the menu, including a soup made with the orange flesh of roasted squash; a slow-cooked pork with polenta and gnocchi; and a confit of duck leg with baby chicory, walnuts and farro. 2801 Capitol Ave., Sacramento; (916) 455-2422.
One of the region’s best chefs, Gabriel Glasier of Maranello in Fair Oaks, is doing a dinner on the Sacramento River Train on Saturday. The $150 meal, including wine from David Girard Vineyards and the cost of the train ride, will highlight produce from Del Rio Botanical, the West Sacramento organic produce company. It will be one of the first events of Farm-to-Fork Week..
Contact the restaurant about availability or go to www.sacramentoriver
train.com to buy tickets.
If you can’t make that dinner, Glasier will re-create it, minus the train, at Maranello on Sept. 29. As Maranello puts it, it will be “suburbanly” priced” at $75. 8928 Sunset Ave., Fair Oaks; (916) 241-9365.
Call The Bee’s Blair Anthony Robertson, (916) 321-1099. Follow him on Twitter @Blarob