Two high-profile restaurants in the Sacramento area have new chefs and new menus:
At Enotria Restaurant & Wine Bar in North Sacramento, new chef Anthony Brenes is retaining the restaurant's focus on seasonal Mediterranean and California cuisines while adding his own personal touches. One appetizer, for example, is "fries with eyes" - smelt dipped in a batter made with pale ale, fried and served with a lemon aioli. A new entree he singles out as representative of his style is "duck two ways" - roasted duck breast with a warm spinach and arugula salad, and a tamale of duck confit with a pumpkin-seed mole, goat cheese and pomegrante glaze. Brenes, who grew up in West Covina and graduated from the California Culinary Academy in San Francisco in 2000, has put in stints at restaurants in San Francisco, Los Angeles and Barnard, Vermont, where he spent two years at the posh resort Twin Farms. He moved to Lincoln in January to be closer to family already in the area and because he wanted out of Los Angeles, where he most recently had been cooking.
At the Placerville restaurant Sequoia, housed in the landmarrk Bee-Bennett Victorian on a wooded slope overlooking an historic cemetery, Enotria's former executive chef, Christian Sieck, has retooled the menu to give it more of his own Mediterranean, Latin and Asian sensibility. The new Sequoia menu includes the signature paella he popularized at Enotria, along with wild-mushroom ravioli, basil-encrusted salmon, skirt steak marinated in a housemade Chinese barbecue sauce, a seared ahi salad, and sauteed sweetbreads. After 10 years, Sieck left Enotria this summer, initially to help open the restaurant Toast in Granite Bay.