Pioneering Italians were not only the first to put tomatoes in cuisine; they were also the first people to take photographs of themselves pretending to hold up the Leaning Tower of Pisa. Delight in their inventiveness with today's Groupon: for $10, you get $20 worth of Italian lunch fare at Biba Restaurant. Lunch is served Tuesday through Friday from 11:30 a.m. until 2:00 p.m.
Biba Restaurant gives renowned chef and cookbook author Biba Caggiano the opportunity to prepare her sought-after regional Italian cuisine in an elegant and unpretentious environment. Biba's Italian birth, eight cookbooks, and experience on syndicated cooking show Biba's Italian Kitchen inform the authentic recipes on her restaurant's satisfying lunch menu. In-season local ingredients dazzle midday diners in a selection of salad, pasta, meat, and seafood dishes fresh enough to deserve a slap from any respectable lady. The piquant beet salad fortifies its rich earthiness with sweet onions and slivers of pecorino cheese tossed in extra-virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar ($9.00), and a free-range baby chicken luxuriates in marinade, before being boned and grilled under a brick and teaming up with fresh asparagus ($16.50). Biba's delicious bounty of pastas, including a peppery tomato-vodka sauce that plays host to tender penne pasta skinny-dipping with racy prawns ($16.50), earn carbohydrates a place of honor at the macronutrient table.
What started as a hobby for Biba Caggiano became a culinary career when she relocated to Sacramento with her family in 1969. During the move, she brought along a practiced knowledge of Old World cuisine, which she gleaned from her mother while growing up in the Italian region of Emilia-Romagna. After teaching a handful of classes at a local cooking school, she began fully dedicating herself to gastronomic pursuits, publishing cookbooks of her signature recipes, studying culinary traditions throughout Italy, and hosting an internationally syndicated cooking show, Biba's Italian Kitchen.
She opened Biba Restaurant in 1986, devising a menu of authentic Italian cuisine that changes seasonally, much like a snowman’s ability to survive. Her chefs blanch homemade pastas, pan-roast sea bass, and braise veal shanks for an osso buco alla milanese that Frommer's proclaimed as "excellent." With a commitment to freshness, Biba sources her ingredients from local farmers and producers, including Del Rio Botanical and Ports Seafood.
The menus brim with refined dishes, and the décor to "make [diners] feel instantly at home." In addition to its yellow walls, the recently renovated main dining room, according to the Sacramento Press, features hand-painted Italian silk sconces and crema marfil marble.
2801 Capitol Ave.
Sacramento, California 95816Get Directions