Ally
2000 Capitol Ave, Sacramento, CA 95814, (916) 498-9891

Since my Thursday night dining excursion, I've been pondering whether the Waterboy is slipping a bit... it's always been one of my all time favorite Sacramento restaurants but on my last visit, it failed to be the specimen of culinary pleasure that I've come to expect over the years.

I ended up getting there a bit earlier then my dining companions and although I was seated promptly, it was a good ten minutes before I was asked if I would like to order a drink. Not a good way to start off the meal, especially when there were only two or three tables occupied and being busy wasn't an excuse.

We had one friend flake, so I got to dine with two handsome men by myself. Lucky me! ;-) My dining companions and I ended up starting off dinner with the Running Tigers Syrah and two appetizers- the steak tartare and the sauteed sweetbreads. The syrah was on the full-bodied side and if I wasn't mistaken, flaunting a hint of spiciness. The Niman Ranch steak tartar came with shoestring like herb fries, although tasty, proved to be quite difficult to scoop the tartare with. We ended up dipping the fries in the sapid aioli (the condiment being an unanimous table favorite) and using our dinner bread for the tartare in true peasant fashion. The sauteed veal sweetbreads were scrumptious; the rich marsala danced on my tongue in a happy jig...the bacon, mushrooms and tomatoes intertwined themselves in a delicate union of sweet, tangy and smooth flavor simultaneously enhancing the succulent veal treat. Had I not been accompanied by two gentlemen, I would most definitely been sopping up the remnants of the sauce with my bread, in an unladylike manner.

For our second course, we opted to pair our entrees with a bottle of the Whitehall Lane cabernet. Out of the two wines that we ordered, I much preferred this one. The Whitehall Lane was fruit-like and exhibited an extremely smooth finish. (Its heady vapors coupled with its intense ruby hue was mesmerizing, just the type of wine that would be a perfect recommendation for a luxurious, romantic dinner date.) My dining companions chose to order the night's fish special and the rack of lamb. I took the road less traveled and decided upon the Seared Dayboat Scallops. Though designed more for aesthetics then to satiate one's hunger, these scallops were divine. The plump seafood medallions were not overcooked in the least. Coupled with a tomato-saffron risotto that was could stand on its own merits, the dish was "all that and a bag of chips." The garnish of miniature pickled beet wedges, I could have done without.

We concluded with a chocolat tart and a glass each of the Lagavulin 16 year scotch. The scotch tasted a bit "off" to my palate and the dessert, which I only indulged in a bite of, came across as lackluster. To be honest, I can safely say that I've had better tarts from Bel-Air.

Throughout our dinner, we received exemplary service from the secondary service staff (the busboy and the server's assistant). On the other hand, our server was courteous but at times, I felt as though she came across as impatient and distracted. Additionally, she kept fiddling with the blinds behind our table throughout the evening which I found a bit distracting.

Overall, the experience was enjoyable...just not as exemplary as I recall it being. Perhaps it was an off night for the establishment, but with Sacramento slowly becoming populated with high end, fine dining options they need to be more consistent or else they may start losing their loyal customer base.
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