April 17, 2007
L, for Wine and Gnudi

If Sacramento officials agree it is ready to be occupied, the city's newest wine bar - L, the Wine Lounge and Urban Kitchen - will open Friday at 18th and L, reports Andrea Lepore, a principal in the project.

Executive chef Ame Harrington, formerly of The Kitchen, is putting the final touches to a "modern Californian" menu that is to capitalize primarily on local, seasonal ingredients in plates meant to be shared. While the opening menu is to include such wine-bar staples as cured meats and a cheese plate, it also lists dishes like slow-roasted baby-back ribs, a flatiron steak, a seasonal tartine and a burger with manchego cheese and frites. L also could be the first restaurant in town to offer "gnudi," Italian for "nude," referring to dumplings that basically are naked ravioli, all compact filling without a pasta wrap.

Jonathon Klonecke, a former Los Angeles software engineer, is L's wine director, while the principal partners are Marcus and Kolea Marquez. Marcus Marquez is a former manager at The Kitchen. L will seat 110, all inside, though a back patio also eventually is to open.

L is to be open from 11 a.m. Tuesday through Saturday. Closing likely will be at 10 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday, midnight Fridays and Saturdays, though the hours could be extended nights that the place is busy, says Lepore.

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