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.
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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.”