Masque Ristorante, the posh regional-Italian restaurant that opened at La Borgata shopping complex at El Dorado Hills in the spring of 2004, has closed. Friday was its last day, says publicist Nancy Mallory.
From the outset, Masque was expected to challenge midtown Sacramento's Biba as the premier Italian restaurant in the region, and during its first two years was both immensely popular and critically acclaimed. Restaurant writer John Mariani of Esquire magazine named Masque one of his 21 best new restaurants in the country for 2004.
But early in 2006 executive chef Angelo Auriana, who after 18 years had quit the highly acclaimed Italian restaurant Valentino in Santa Monica to move to El Dorado Hills, left Masque, and it struggled to regain its early esteem.
Developer Roger Hume, a principal partner in Masque, was not immediately available to comment, and Mallory said she wasn't authorized to speak to the reasons for the restaurant's closure. "I hate to be useless, but I'm useless," said Mallory.