So I realize that my blog has become not only a place I can share my jewelry but also my foodie adventures. I really love traveling and finding new restaurants so from now on I will be focusing on food a lot more. In general, I am trying to blog more but honestly I spent the last few days in Wine country after Sacramento using every moment to eat explore, thus I was too full to blog. Seriously. I love my life.
Now that I am home, I cannot wait to share the restaurants I enjoyed. But first, let’s complete that trip to Sacramento. I did a lot of Yelp research before making a reservation for our final night. With the plethora of good restaurants in Sacramento, I wanted to make sure I picked somewhere special. Ella Dining Room and Bar seemed like the perfect choice. I know it seems that I love and gush about every place I talk about here, but seriously–this place was amazing! From the decor to the service to the spot-on execution of fresh dishes, the entire experience was magnificent.
Ready to go!
State Capitol Building on our walk to the restaurant.
Love the outside seating here. One thing I noticed about Sacramento though–where are all of the people? It seems like no one lives downtown at all. No biggie, I just thought there would be more “action.”
Old pastel shutters lines the bar and the ceiling. It was like having dinner in an Anthropologie store–and I mean that as the highest compliment.
How cool is this?! Not only was it beautiful and creative, the stacked tables were highly functional. Love!
I started with their signature cocktail, a Gin & Tonic. This is no ordinary Gin & Tonic though. They combine their own Homemade Rainforest Qui Ni Ne Tonic, 209 Gin, Sugar Cane Syrup, Sparkling Water and Fresh Citrus Juices. This baby is so good that even if you are not normally a fan of Gin & Tonics, this version just might convert you. It happens to be my favorite cocktail so I was in heaven.
*Fun fact–Our server told us that the powder used to make the homemade tonic is normally used to cure Malaria!
Wood Oven Meatballs with Roasted Tomato Sauce and Sheep’s Milk Ricotta. This appetizer was spectacular. The meatballs were perfectly moist and actually very light. The sauce had an amazing depth of flavor (three cheers for roasting the tomatoes!) and the sheep’s milk ricotta was fluffy, creamy perfection. We could have ate just these for the entire meal.
This salad was a mixture of Watercress, Endive, Pancetta, and Point Reyes Blue Cheese. I have had a love affair with blue cheese since I was about 6 (no joke) so this salad was perfect for me. The salty pancetta paired nicely with the sweet strawberry-rhubarb dressing and the watercress and edive were chopped perfectly.
I don’t know about you but, for me, there is nothing worse than receiving a salad with giant leaves and then making the awkward attempt to fit the entire leaf in my mouth in a polite way. I always look like I have never eaten in public before. Hot! I suppose I could cut it up, but that would take away from my eating time and at the end of the day I just believe every salad should be chopped, thank you very much.
My husband ordered the Roasted Beef Tenderloin with Sauce Diane, Pommes Parisienne, and Creamed Blomsdale Spinach. The beef was cooked perfectly (Medium Rare, please) and the sauce was rich without overpowering the meat. Honestly, the highlight of this dish was the little potato pillows from heaven on a bed of creamed spinach. Amazing!
I ordered the Pappardelle, Poached Egg, Crispy Prosciutto, and Preserved Lemon Butter Sauce. After snapping this photo, I cut the egg, allowing the yolk to mix in with the rest of the dish. I have to be honest. As much as I love to eat, I rarely finish my entire plate because most restaurant servings are too large for me. I always end up taking the rest home, because I hate waste but this time was an exception. I cleared my plate. Everything about this dish was executed to perfection. The pasta was homemade (makes all of the difference in the world). The lemon butter sauce combined with the egg to make a sweet, light, and creamy sauce which combined magnificently with the salty prosciutto. My husband and I both agreed this was the best dish of the night.
We ended the night with the Salted Caramel and Chocolate Tart with Homemade Coffee Ice Cream. Incredibly rich and “disappeared” before I knew it. What. A. Meal.
Bottom line: Ella is a restaurant where simple, fresh food is done flawlessly, without pretension. Please visit this lovely establishment if you are ever in the area. You will not be disappointed.
I can’t wait to share the other places I tried! Stay tuned…
P.S. I am thinking of compiling mini guides to different cities and the restaurants I have visited. Is this something you might be interested in? Let me know!