November 28, 2007
From Sacramento to Granite Bay, Change

News to me...

...Under the new ownership of Renee Nash and Carol Morehouse, the Granite Bay restaurant Spoons has a new executive chef, Jess Millborn, a new menu, and a new program of special events, which includes wine tastings on Friday nights, jazz on Saturday nights, and pizzas on Thursday nights, when they fire up their outdoor oven. On Dec. 9 they are to add Sunday brunch, and in January they are to resume cooking classes. In keeping with their "American bistro" theme, they've revised the menu to offer dishes both traditional and fashionable, the former including a grilled cheese sandwich ($6) and meatloaf with mashed potatoes and gravy ($12), the latter including grilled rib-eye steak with a housemade steak sauce ($24), a wild-mushroom risotto ($11.50), and a soup of roasted butternut squash and apple ($4.50 and $6.50). Spoons, 8230 Auburn-Folsom Road, Granite Bay, is open 7 a.m.-8 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday, 7 a.m.-10 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays; (916) 797-2233.

...Dunni Iredia, a registered nurse and longtime avid home cook, has opened Taste of African Cuisine in a former furniture warehouse in south Sacramento. Though the restaurant has been open since earlier this fall, she and her husband Osato will preside over their "grand opening" from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday. Iredia says her "natural, fresh, home-style" cooking draws inspiration largely from West Africa, Nigeria in particular, where her mother and grandmother both ran restaurants. The menu is divided primarily into rice, bean, yam and plantain plates, plus several combination platters. Individual dishes include rice with a choice of curried chicken, beef or goat ($9.95), yam porridge with African spinach ($10.95), and a plantain stew with a choice of chicken, beef, goat or fish ($9.95). She expects the restaurant's signature dishes to include "jollof rice" seasoned with habanero chile peppers, tomatoes and garlic, served with a choice of chicken, beef, goat or fish ($9.95); "suya," a kebab of chicken, beef or goat rolled in a spicy peanut-based flour before grilling ($5.95); and black-eyed peas prepared in several ways, such as with plantains with a choice of chicken, beef, goat or fish ($9.95). Taste of African Cuisine, 75 Quinta Court (off Stockton Boulevard south of Mack Road), is open 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday, 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, 1-8 p.m. Sundays; (916) 525-2600.

...Sacramentans look to be as hungry for crepes as they are for cupcakes. Murad Bshara opened his Crepe Escape along Freeport Boulevard only in October, but already he's working on a second location, this one to be at 5635 H St., quarters that have been housing the coffee shop Gino's, and before that Muffins Etc. That site, however, isn't expected to be ready for customers for another three or four months, says Bshara. In the meantime, anyone with a hunger for crepes savory or sweet, as well as omelets, salads, sandwiches and pasta dishes, can find them at the existing Crepe Escape, 3445 Freeport Blvd. It's open 7 a.m.-10 p.m. daily; (916) 444-6579.

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