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.
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.
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.
The term "couch potato" usually applies to lazy people, a description that doesn’t at all befit The Couch's executive chef, who hustles to to his own culinary play calls nightly. To create the bar's couch potatoes, he hand-cuts housemade french fries every day, serving them plain or tossed in a choice of six zesty seasonings. His other elevated bar fare demands a similar level of dedication, from housemade soups to sandwich meats slow roasted in-house, such as barbecue pulled pork and roast beef.
True to its name, The Couch––founded by local Del campo graduates and high school sweethearts, along with their close friend––houses plenty of couches to lounge on, as well as tranquil patio seating. Throughout each feast, nine flat-screen TVs and and two 106-inch projector screens broadcast the latest sports, from baseball in the summer to polar bears playing baseball in the winter. Besides sports, The Couch's weekly entertainment lineup includes karaoke every Wednesday and live music every Saturday night.
The cooks at Sauce’d Pizza & Cocktail House know that the authenticity of a wood-fired pizza can’t be replicated in a standard oven, so they don’t even try. Instead, they heat up their menu’s signature pizzas the old-fashioned way, and, like the architect of the world’s first all-edible skyscraper, top them with surprising fixings such as honey and sliced pears, smoked salmon, or hummus. Paired with the house’s popular mozzarella garlic knots and a tasty cocktail or two, the pizzas evolve into a filling meal best enjoyed alongside live guitar or jazz music.