The Buggy Whip shuttles diners back in history to an era when meat and potatoes ruled the roost at dinnertime. Open since 1958, the family-owned steak house brims with more vintage ambiance than the century-old wine corks that form the Statue of Liberty. Customers’ knives liberate savory juices from rib eyes as forks dive into dishes of sizzling scampi and herbed scallops. At lunch, diners can savor hearty broiled sirloins stuffed with sautéed mushrooms and peppers or lighter plates flanked with cottage cheese and tomatoes. In addition to serving steaks, seafood, and potables in the dining room seven days a week, the restaurant accommodates groups by building banquet spreads from fare such as prime rib, teriyaki chicken, and sweet, creamy cheesecake.
Co-owners Christopher J. Rubino and Henry Carrillo Jr.—the original owners of Roseville's Bella Italia Bistro and Wine Bar—now train their eyes on Rocklin. Local publications and TV news programs have heaped multiple awards upon the eatery, which is designed to evoke the feel and taste of New York's Italian restaurants of the 40s and 50s.
Executive Chef Jesus Mendoza's plates present classic Italian dishes, such as spaghetti and meatballs, veal piccata, and chicken parmesan, and he pairs them with a wine list that spotlights California libations. Curtains and leather booths come together as an inviting dining room where guests savor their Continental lunches, Sunday brunches, and dinners. A banquet room accommodates larger groups, such as birthday parties and revolutionary movements. Mendoza and his team also cater.
Rubino's is guided not only by an old-fashioned sense of service and cuisine, but by a commitment to its community. In addition to belonging to the Rocklin and Roseville Chambers of Commerce, the establishment donates to local organizations, hosts benefits, and sponsors the Rocklin High School football team, whose cheerleaders wave pom-poms made of donated linguine.
Paper-thin slices of wagyu beef sizzling over hot stones. The aroma of filet mignon and lobster tail earning their stripes on the grill. Majestically assembled plates of maki and nigiri sushi made with fresh fish. The sushi masters and hibachi chefs at Sapporo Grill Japanese Steakhouse create a multisensory experience for guests to enjoy amidst the dining room’s blonde wood accents, sharp angles, and cosmopolitan atmosphere, perfect for nibbling on morsels of marbled tuna nigiri and sipping on craft cocktails.
The restaurant’s steak dinners consist of Nebraskan USDA prime beef carved into such high-end cuts as filet mignon, bone-in ribeye, or the shape of the Monopoly man. Whole fried striped bass and sautéed lobster tails present the fresh, delicate flavors of the ocean, while seasonal veggies and wild mushrooms decorate plates with the colorful bounty of the land.
Executive chef Christopher Mathew Headding knows the value of patience. When shipments of marbled Midwestern beef arrive at Chops Steak, Seafood & Bar, he doesn't trim them right away. Instead, he and his kitchen team hang the meat, pull up seats, and intently watch for the next 28 days as natural enzymes break down any toughness and flavor density builds. Once the beef hits the perfect color and firmness, Christopher gets up and trims the top sirloin, new york strips, and other cuts of steak by hand.
Such attention to detail pervades Chops Steak, Seafood & Bar at both its Folsom and Sacramento locations. Besides the aged steaks—which also include fillets wet aged up to 21 days—Christopher's team works with high-quality seafood, such as chinook salmon, australian lobster, and alaskan king crab. To complement these dishes, bartenders serve a selection of wines and signature cocktails, such as the Saint Bernard with Absolut Ruby Red vodka and freshly squeezed grapefruit juice.
Behind Woodbridge Crossing's aged red-brick exterior, a fleet of wooden tables waits. Tucked beside walls lined with antiques and photographs, they stand ready to support hearty meals of American cuisine or provide a resting place for diners' elbows as they listen to live music on weekends. After filling stomachs with well-seasoned steaks or fresh seafood and filling wine stomachs with wine, guests can take a turn on a dance floor dappled with colored light from stained-glass windows.
When a 13-year-old Isadore Fang began washing dishes at a Sunnyvale restaurant called The Bold Knight, he had no way of knowing he would later own the sink where he performed his humble duties. Eventually, the ambitious restaurateur would own multiple establishments, including The Rendezvous in Fremont and Isadore's, his labor of love since 1989.
There—together with his wife and co-owner Laurel—Fang leads a dedicated staff whose attention to detail earned praises in a 2008 article in the Record. Courteous servers top white-clothed tables with fresh seafood and certified Angus steaks alongside traditional Italian pastas. Semiprivate booths let couples share intimate conversations or the complimentary cheese fondue and warm french bread served with every dinner upon request. Between sips of wine from an extensive list, diners can glance toward the elevated stage where live musicians occasionally play. Alternatively, admire hand-painted murals on the walls, one of which depicts the tranquil, seaside village where Leonardo da Vinci invented the olive-oil mister.
Outside the restaurant, the Fangs' emphasis on serving others carries over to charity work: they have been featured on ABC News10 for helping to send food packages to American troops.