Named the city’s best new restaurant by the Sacramento News & Review and dubbed 'a work of culinary artistry' by the Sacramento Bee, Red Lotus is a hip Asian-inspired eatery that spotlights China’s shareable dim-sum dishes, emphasizing small, passable plates while easing the financial burden of taking one bite from every entree on the menu. Peruse Red Lotus’s selection of diminutive dishes, such as the pan-roasted magret duck breast, served with japanese cucumber and scallion-stuffed steamed buns, a sweet and spicy glaze, and a house hoisin sauce ($9.50). Or opt for the chili shrimp with candied pistachios, serrano chili, and a sweet aioli sauce ($9.50). Drive your eats down the esophageal expressway with a handcrafted specialty cocktail ($7+) or a glass of sake ($8+).
The chefs Grill Master’s Steak House don’t believe you can have too much of a good thing. That’s why they prefer to serve their robust dishes, such as slow-roasted prime rib, juicy USDA-certified porterhouse steaks, and steamed Chilean mussels sautéed in Riesling, by the pound. Even the specialties they don’t serve in gargantuan portions radiate with heartiness, including bowls of from-scratch New England clam chowder and blackened, sautéed, or broiled farm-raised rainbow trout.
To complement these meat- and seafood-based feasts, bartenders pour a generous selection of cocktails, wine, and beer, including several handcrafted microbrews and one macrobrew that can't even fit inside the restaurant. These drink gurus also channel the kitchen's bigger-is-better philosophy with the Grill Master's Monster, a hefty, ice-chilled libation comprised of juices, club soda, and shots of tequila, rum, and triple sec.
Recognized time and again as one of Sacramento's finest fish markets, Fins Market & Grill slaps down never-frozen filets of swordfish, salmon, mahi-mahi, and catfish. Catering to those looking to fill their own larders as well as those in search of a quick bite, the fishmongers preside over a menu of fish tacos, seafood salads and sandwiches, and hearty entrees with scalloped potatoes or rice pilaf as well as their brimming fish market. Flown in from across the country daily, the bistro's selection gives guests access to seafood freshness and diversity without the burden of living on a houseboat captained by Ernest Hemmingway.
Considering it draws from both Chinese and Japanese culinary inspirations, it's not surprising that Lotus Fusion's menu boasts a dizzying and diverse selection of dishes. Luckily, the menu is categorized by dish type: patrons can jump to the chicken section to find cashew nut chicken, or keep scanning until they find the seafood section, which includes both honey walnut shrimp and scallops in garlic sauce. There's an entire segment devoted to chow mein and chow fun dishes, with noodles that might entangle veggies or barbecued pork. There are 20 specialty sushi rolls, such as the Gorgeous roll, a complex, nine-ingredient concoction that includes tempura asparagus, spicy tuna, crab, fresh salmon, and a set of headshots.
Sandra Dee has been a chef since she was 9, when she first helped her mother and grandmother—both accomplished home cooks—create zesty creole recipes for their Sunday get-togethers. Today, she continues that familial spirit, running the kitchen of her own barbecue restaurant with help from her husband, Jeffrey, their sons and daughters, and one nephew. Within her brick walls, covered on the outside with murals of jazz legends such as Etta James, Sandra Dee slow cooks barbecued beef tri-tips, pork loin, chicken, beef links, and other meats, flips barbecued veggie burgers, deep-fries catfish, and serves up sides of potato salad and hush puppies. To wash down savory bites, tenders pour beer, wine, and specialty cocktails, such as the mojito and Old Fashion Manhattan—a mix of bourbon and sweet vermouth that still occasionally wears pantaloons.
On The Bread Store's yellow exterior, vivid murals greet approaching customers. A cutaway scene depicts tables of people eating happily amid abundant pots of white flowers, while on the building's side, a little boy with baguettes on his back reaches up to a smiling chef tossing bread from between blue shutters. In the store, the aroma of fresh-baked croissants, herbed ciabatta, and three kinds of sourdough bread fills the air. Bakers grab bread from a case to create cubans, which twist the formula for the traditional sandwich with a cloak of caribbean aioli and grilled ciabatta, or the hot pastrami on rye with marinated onions and horseradish spread. While noshing on soups in sourdough bread bowls or purchasing loaves for famous ducks that refuse to go onstage, patrons unwind in an airy white room with a violet wood-paneled wall, where tiny fairy lights hang from rustic wooden ceiling beams.: