May 14, 2007
Midtown's New Hot Spot

"Interactive dining," which Korean restaurants pretty much have cornered in suburban Sacramento, is debuting at Stonegrill in midtown Sacramento. There are differences, however. Instead of cooking their dinner over a grill as at the Korean cafes, guests at Stonegrill spread ingredients across a volcanic rock heated to some 700 degrees Fahrenheit. The selling point is that the technique is healthier than frying in a pan with butter or oil.

Stonegrill also is more upscale than the usual Korean barbecue restaurant, with its cool staff snazzily attired and a spiffy upstairs lounge with a wrap-around mural of the High Sierra. Despite the sleek setting - at 21st and L, in a corner of a new retail/residential complex - it will be interesting to see how Sacramentans respond to the opportunity to cook their own dinner, especially with the lamb chops at $27, a sirloin steak at $23, ahi at $25, and scallops at $27.

The menu also lists, however, several plates prepared traditionally in the kitchen, like gnocchi in a Gorgonzola cream sauce ($12), a Cobb salad featuring lobster ($16) and a burger ($10). According to a banner in the front window, Stonegrill is a joint venture of Nishiki Sushi along 16th Street and Cornerstone Restaurant along J Street. The place is bigger than it looks from the outside, with tables running deep along the 21st Street side of the building and more accommodations upstairs.

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