Dishing the news about the Sacramento area food scene

Highly anticipated Mother set to open on K Street

01/06/2014 12:44 PM

01/06/2014 4:01 PM

Michael Thiemann and company are within days of opening Mother, the vegetarian restaurant on K Street that has already whetted appetites and wowed devotees during a series of pop-up dinners in recent weeks.

Thiemann, the well-traveled former chef at the 4-star Ella Dining Room and Bar in Sacramento and the Tyler Florence Restaurant Group in the Bay Area, can definitely cook. It actually seems misleading, if not unfair, to refer to this soon-to-open restaurant at 1023 K St. as “vegetarian,” what with all the connotations that brings up. A better description would be a restaurant that celebrates vegetables without featuring meat, for this is not about food politics. It’s about how a kitchen seeks to do great food that reflects and defines the local culinary and agricultural landscapes.

“One of the things I kept on saying early on is let’s not put ‘vegetarian’ on anything we say because it does have a stigma to it, even though I’m proud to serve entirely vegetarian. The whole restaurant here, we’re all meat eaters,” Thiemann told me recently by phone.

If I’m halfway right about Mother, it could soon be the kind of restaurant that not only delights and entertains customers but does so in a very special, very Sacramento way — and without apology. This is a new era on the food scene, one when talented chefs return to a place called home and have the chutzpah to make a go of it without any sense they are inferior to what’s kicking in San Francisco or the Napa Valley. Thiemann is one of those chefs — confident, ambitious, sincere, proud of his hometown and, best of all, he really appreciates the bounty of the Sacramento region.

There’s already plenty of buzz about this place. I asked about it on Twitter this morning.

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