(Mulvaney's Pig Roast Event)
1215 19th St, Sacramento, CA 95814, (916) 441-6022
While trapped on a plane, I once read a funny quote by author, Frederic Raphael, in which he stated, "Great restaurants are, of course, nothing but mouth brothels. There is no point in going to them if one intends to keep one's belt buckled." And after eating at Mulvaney's, one would definitely have to loosen his or her belt in satisfaction of a truly great meal. As someone who has worked both the front and back of the house in the restaurant industry, I'm a strong believer that service in a dining establishment is as equally important as the food itself. Mulvaney's hits the bullseye on both counts. The service was superb and the food blew me away.
Mulvaney's Artisan Cheese Platter with Fig Jam
I got there a bit earlier than my dining companions and was surprised to be greeted immediately at the door by a warm smile and friendly welcome from the hostess. She checked me in and asked if I'd like to be seated or to wait in the bar. I opted for the bar. Yes, I know...typical Ally. The bartender was terrific and I wish I had inquired what his name was. He had such an upbeat attitude and genuine smile. He was helpful in my selection of a chardonnay (great rec-- the Hook and Ladder chardonnay) and spent some time answering my questions about the night's menu. He was so enthusiastic about the night's offerings that it made it hard for me to decide what I wanted because EVERYTHING sounded so good after chatting with him.
Front of the Restaurant
Our server, Taryn, was terrific. She was knowledgeable about the menu, efficient and quite personable. I loved the fact that she remembered small details (like my food allergy) and was able to make suggests to adapt the dishes so that I could partake in them. Never once did she make us feel rushed despite the fact that it was a full house. We began with a tasty amuse bouche of asparagus wrapped in proscuitto with a hint of balsamic vinegar...delicious! Such a simple dish, but it gave you a sneak peek at how Mulvaney's allows its seasonal produce to speak for itself.
We continued our food journey with the house smoked salmon appetizer and a soft New Zealand Pinot. The salmon was smooth in flavor and served with a thick, squishy soda bread and a creme fraiche. My dining companions opted for the halibut and the chicken with biscuits respectively and were kind enough to swap bites. The chicken was roasted perfectly and enveloped in a deliciously crackley skin and accompanied by asparagus and homemade biscuits. The halibut was a first-rate contender. Not overcooked in the least and joined by flavorful looking beans and a light salad. Each dish was presented exquisitely. Myself? I chose the ribeye with fig butter, sans the bleu cheese. I asked for medium-well and the grill cook was spot on. The meat was tender and savory and did a phenomenal job of appeasing my desire for a worthy piece of red meat. The quarter cut roasted potatoes were robust and balanced the tart greens with almonds.
Sea Scallops with Watermelon Salsa Fresca & Green Tea Soba Noodles
If that wasn't enough, we topped off our evening with two desserts...yesssss! Count them DOS desserts. One was a decadent chocolately piece of heaven that resembled a childhood treat--ding dongs. The latter, a bananas foster with vanilla ice cream. The bananas were swimming in a pool of ambrosial delight concocted from brown sugar and dark rum. Our bill was presented to us in a bound book and we were told to feel free to express ourselves and leave a written comment.
By the end of the meal, my arteries were screaming, "God save me!" whereas, my stomach was doing backflips in gratitude. Mulvaney's strives for perfection with it's gastronomical delights and comes through with flying colors. I'll definitely be returning...after I buy a bigger belt.