December 5, 2007

People have asked, so here's some updates on changes under way on the Sacramento dining scene:

- Tuli Bistro, under construction for nearly a year at 21st and S, is to open for breakfast, lunch and dinner this coming Tuesday, Dec. 11, reports owner/chef Adam Pechal. Breakfasts will be simple, consisting of chalkboard items such as a Cheddar and chive waffle sandwich, but lunch and dinner will be more extensive. Pechal's largely Mediterranean- and Southern-inspired dishes include pasta carbonara ($14.50), bouillabaisse ($16), wood-roasted quail stuffed with jambalaya ($15), pizzas, salads and sandwiches such as the monkfish po'boy with "Southern slaw" and chipotle remoulade ($8.95). It's small, seating just 16 inside, most along the counter, but the patio will accommodate 36, weather permitting. Pechal, a 1997 graduate of the Culinary Institute of America at Hyde Park, N.Y., has put in stints with Bistro Don Giovanni and Bouchon in Napa Valley and at such local restaurants as River City Brewing Co. and Esquire Grill. He's also been catering. Tuli Bistro is to be open 7 a.m.-10 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 7 a.m.-11 p.m. Fridays, 11:30 a.m.-11 p.m. Sundays.

- Ginger Elizabeth Chocolates, taking shape next to L Wine Lounge and Urban Kitchen along L Street at 18th, now isn't expected to open until early January, though chocolatier Ginger Elizabeth Powers may be able to pull it off between Christmas and New Year's, thereby capturing a bit of the important holiday traffic. "Basically, we're running 30 days late. The building permit took a long time," says Powers. She's not discouraged, however, vowing to have the shop open in time for another important chocolate holiday, Valentine's Day.

- Ju Hachi, Taka and Susan Watanabe's Japanese restaurant at 18th and S in midtown Sacramento, under construction for a year, now is expected to be ready for sushi enthusiasts in January.

- G.V. Hurley's, a restaurant with an "American comfort food" focus, moving into quarters formerly occupied by Radio Shack along J Street between 27th and 28th, now is expected to open sometime between Feb. 1 and March 1, says manager Erick Johnson. In a display of neighborly cooperation, the restaurant's executive chef, David Hill, formerly of Horseshoe Bar Grill in Loomis, has been using the kitchen of Peter Torza's nearby Gianni's Trattoria to test dishes.

- Sofia's on 11th, formerly Sofia, at 11th and H, has reopened after a brief closure, complete with liquor license, something initially in doubt.

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