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Autumn Cruz / Sacramento Bee Staff Photo

Typical lunch fare at Bidwell Street Bistro is an Angus burger and a grilled portobello sandwich. The menu will change soon, when the bistro becomes Bacchus House.

Bidwell Street Bistro to become Bacchus House

Published: Thursday, Apr. 17, 2014 - 11:36 am

Bidwell Street Bistro in Folsom is changing ownership again. The new proprietor is Eric Adams, owner of Bacchus Elegant Events catering and event-planning of Sacramento. Here’s how it’s playing out:

Veteran restaurateur Richard Righton originally opened the bistro in 2000, hiring imaginative executive chef Wendi Mentink. Righton currently owns 36 Handles British-style pub and the neighboring Relish Burger Bar in El Dorado Hills.

Last August, Righton sold the bistro to Charlie Castellani, who said yesterday he sold it to Adams because “it’s time to move on.” The principals are waiting for the paperwork to be finished before the deal is closed. Adams hopes to open his incarnation, to be called Bacchus House, “sometime in June, as a rough estimate.” Meanwhile, the bistro remains open for business as usual at 1004 E Bidwell St.; (916) 984-7500, www.bidwellstreetbistro.com.

We always liked the the bistro’s menu (and wine list), from the quiche Lorraine to the Muscovy duck confit. The best gazpacho ever was from one of Mentink’s original recipes. Her chilled heirloom cherry tomato soup was fragrant with basil, smooth with avocado relish and chunky with watermelon and shrimp. Her flash-fried calamari was tops, as well.

But the menu will change, Adams said earlier today, and a Sunday champagne brunch will be added. “We’re going to continue (as a bistro) but we’ll be doing a lot of affordable tapas, so (diners) will be able to take a culinary tour around the world,” he said. “We’re going to be adamant about (doing business with) local purveyors. (Executive chef) Victor Octavio is coming in (from Bacchus catering) with a lot of fresh ideas.”

The dining room “might get a slight facelift,” Adams said, and the California-centric wine list “is still in transition. We’re meeting with vineyards and brokers right now.”

A lot of activity and big plans, for sure, but where does all this leave former executive chef Mentink?

“The bistro meant so much to me and I’m going to miss it,” she said. “But I have no regrets and change is great. I’ve taken a job with Nugget Markets in the large kitchen at the Roseville store. I'll be starting as a second chef and will move up to chef de cuisine when a spot opens up.”


Call The Bee’s Allen Pierleoni, (916) 321-1128. Follow him on Twitter @apierleonisacbe.

Read more articles by Allen Pierleoni



About Appetizers

Chris Macias has served as The Sacramento Bee's Food & Wine writer since 2008. His writing adventures have ranged from the kitchen at French Laundry to helping pick 10 tons of zinfandel grapes with migrant farm workers in Lodi. Chris also judges regularly at food, wine and cocktail competitions around Northern California. His profile of a former gangbanger-turned-pastry-chef was included in Da Capo's "Best Food Writing 2012."

Read his Wine Buzz columns here
cmacias@sacbee.com
(916) 321-1253
Twitter: @chris_macias

Allen Pierleoni writes about casual lunchtime restaurants in The Sacramento Bee's weekly "Counter Culture" column. He covers a broad range of topics, including food, travel, books and authors. In addition to writing the weekly column "Between the Lines," he oversees the Sacramento Bee Book Club, in which well-known authors give free presentations to the public.

Read his Counter Culture reviews here
apierleoni@sacbee.com
(916) 321-1128
Twitter: @apierleonisacbe

Blair Anthony Robertson is The Sacramento Bee's food critic.

Read his restaurant reviews here
brobertson@sacbee.com
(916) 321-1099
Twitter: @Blarob


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Note: The Appetizers blog switched blog platforms in August 2013. All posts after the switch are found here. Older posts are available using the list below.

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