7600 Greenhaven Drive, Sacramento, CA 95831. (916) 399-9309.
If you follow my blog, you know that Mr.S. and I walked out prior to ordering our meal at Chez Daniel because of some pretty horrid service issues Saturday night...but our night didn't end there. It was 7pm, we were dressed up, now stuck without reservations on Valentine's Day weekend and I was getting pretty hangry (a cross between angry and hungry...you know the feeling). While he was driving, I kicked off my heels and starting racking my brain for restaurants to call...we tried Waterboy- booked, Mulvaney's-booked and then I tried to think outside of the Grid--that's when I thought of Ravenous Cafe. I hadn't been out there in a few years (I ate at Ravenous last back when it was owned by Mark Helms, it's since been sold to Wade Sawaya) but had been curious to check it out again and hey, tonight would be as good of a night as any, right? I dialed and was greeted on the other end by a cheerful voice and was told that they could certainly accommodate us. We headed out to the Pocket area with our stomachs growling.
We walked in and the vibe of the restaurant was so different then what we had just experienced. Customers were seated, eating and smiling. We were immediately welcomed and directed to our table, a nice two top by the window. Within seconds menus and waters were delivered and in mere minutes I had a glass of wine in my hand. Quickly, I could feel our Valentine's evening turning around and some of the night's tension starting to wash away. Justin, our waiter, who turned out to also be the fellow who I spoke to on the phone was terrific...he was friendly, courteous and efficient. We were well taken care of from start to finish.
Mr.S. was ravenous so we started off with two simple appetizers- the Brussels sprouts with thick-cut bacon and also the mushrooms sauteed in garlic, wine and olive oil. Both were good sized portions. I favored the Brussels sprouts which were nicely cooked all the way through (a lot of places miss the mark on that), while Mr. S. was quite enamored with the mixed mushrooms. For dinner, Mr. S. opted for the Coq Au Vin Blanc...it must have truly been a winner chicken dinner because he ate all of it and didn't even offer to share a bite! I decided to go all out and order the braised lamb shank in a cocoa lamb jus. Remember the fussy aunt in the movie, "My Big Fat Greek Wedding," that said, "What do you mean he don't eat no meat? Oh, that's okay. I make lamb?" Well, I bet if the lamb tasted as good as this lamb shank did then all vegetarians would eat lamb...good lordy, this lamb was good. The meat was tender and the sauce was absolutely heavenly. The dish was supposed to come with some roasted baby carrots and some garlic-leek mashed potatoes but unfortunately they were out of the mashed potatoes and had subbed in roasted mini-potatoes. I'll be honest, I was a bit devastated...I LOVE garlic-leek mashed potatoes and I was looking forward to sopping up some of that delectable jus with it. Our waiter, Justin, seeing my pitiful look apologized and offered to give us a dessert on the house. I'm not much of a sweets girl, so I let Mr. S. choose and he picked a chocolate mousse adorned with fresh raspberries and blueberries. Sweet Baby Jesus, that mousse was amazing! I took one small scoop thinking, "Eh, I'll have one eensy taste,"...next thing I knew, Mr.S. and I were having spoon wars over the last bite. He actually made a comment about wanting to pick up the parfait glass and lick it clean---that folks, tells you how tasty it was. Lucky for me, he's a classy guy and restrained himself from such actions.
So our initial plans to eat at Chez Daniel may have turned out be the suck but Cupid must have liked us a little because we landed at Ravenous where we ended up having an absolutely wonderful evening. Thanks Ravenous for saving our Valentine's Day dinner, we owe you one and we'll definitely be back...and this time you better have those mashed potatoes! ;)