2225 Hurley Way Ste 101, Sacramento, CA 95825, (916) 568-7171

“Anybody can make you enjoy the first bite of a dish, but only a real chef can make you enjoy the last.”
– Francois Minot

I knew something was up when Mr. S. copped a sly smile and told me not to plan anything for October 8th. October 8th isn't my birthday but it is the weekend before my birthday and it is the weekend that we wouldn't have the kidlets...what he was up to I wasn't exactly sure but I had my suspicions. I'm a horrible secret keeper (awful really) but I'm a great investigator...within a week, I had it figured out---Mr. S. had booked a night at the most exclusive restaurant in town--The Kitchen. To say I was excited was an understatement, I had been wanting to go there for quite awhile but at $125 a head it was pretty out of bounds for my meager budget.

What's the big fuss about this restaurant, you say? Well besides the ridiculously fab food, the major draw of The Kitchen is that they allow you access to the entire restaurant (and they only do one seating, so you never feel rushed.) In fact dinner takes over four hours, so don't make any other plans.

We got there about 7pm and were greeted with a warm smile at the door and the fragrant aroma of rosemary. From there we were given ample time to explore the extensive wine cooler, wander out to the patio garden and take a few laps through the bustling kitchen. The oenophiles had plenty of time to chat with Doug Nitchman, the charismatic in-house sommelier, and everyone got to mingle with Chef Noah Zonca and his friendly crew. At dinner time, everyone took their appointed seats and the entertainment began. Ingredients were introduced (some were even alive), flames quickly flashed in pans in various corners of the counter and everyone seemed mesmerized by the action. Mr. S. and I were lucky enough to have secured some of the best seats in the house (near the end of the counter)---we could see all of the cooking and plating inches from our faces and all of the kitchen goings on. In fact, we even got an impromptu performance of one of the cooks doing the cabbage patch in the back.

The menu for the night we dined (it changes monthly):

First Course
‘Thai Style’ Coconut Milk Soup with Local Crayfish, Walnut Flan and Cabbage Slaw

Second Course
Rabbit, Porcini Mushroom, and Vegetable Pot Pie with Tomato-Corn Butter and Aged Sherry Gastrique

Sushi • Sashimi • Crudo

Third Course
Maine Lobster Bolognese and Warmed Egg Yolk with Butter Poached Black Truffle Pasta and Red Wine-Parmesan Broth

Fourth Course
Naturally Raised Veal Porterhouse with Pan Juices

Dessert Course
Valencia Orange Custard Cake with Sorbets, Caramelized Marcona Almonds and a Caramel-Orange Glaze

Everything was quite amazing (I think the only dish that didn't completely wow us was the veal porterhouse) but I have to say the third course, the lobster bolognese, was seriously mindblowing. Both Mr.S. and I were still talking about it the next day. (In hindsight, I wish I had gotten seconds of that rustic third course but I was bursting at the seams at the time.) Oh, and that wonderful almond brittle that came with the dessert---good gawd, let's not forget that!  I also loved the fact that The Kitchen will accommodate any, and I do mean any, allergies or dietary preferences. They made every one of my dishes without dairy and every single dish was absolutely delicious. I appreciated that they didn't just sub in a different dish and that I got to eat what everyone else was eating. I noticed that they also accommodated shellfish allergies and those who didn't eat veal as well on the night that we were were there...and the chef didn't grouse once while he was plating ( I know because I was sitting just a few inches from where they were plating). The other interesting thing about The Kitchen is that you can have as many extra helpings as you want. There was a couple from Australia that was there the night we were there that was making their way through 3rds and 4ths of every dish---it was crazy. Neither Mr. S. nor I could figure out where they were putting it all. But hey, good for them---I guess they were getting their money's worth!

So five delicious mouth-watering courses, an amazing intermezzo of sashimi and sushi, a white glove tea service and a goodnight hug from the was a perfect way to close out my 36th year. Although it'll probably take my entire 37th year to work all those calories was worth every bite (and the company I was with was exceptional).  I can see why everyone's so enamored with The Kitchen, I am now as well. Thank you, Mr.S!
1 Response
  1. this is definitely going on our list of places to dine when we visit sacto! oh yum.

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