Get ready to dig in. Restaurateur-chef Randall Selland will open another Selland Group restaurant, this one in the El Dorado Town Center and modeled after the popular Selland's Market Café in East Sacramento. He also mentioned the possibility of opening one or two other restaurants later in 2012.
"Our new restaurant should be open by the beginning of January," he said. "It will be a duplicate of Selland's Market Café on H Street, but with a very cool look. The same design firm that did Ella (Dining Room and Bar) is designing this one. It will have a very traditional country-French bistro feel to it."
At 4,200 square feet, the new place will be 1,000 square feet larger than the existing Market Café, and carry a similar array of foods. It will occupy a street-level corner space in the New Orleans Building at Town Center.
Foodies in the El Dorado Hills-Folsom area have anticipated the new Selland's since rumor of its coming began to spread two years ago. Then word came in May that the restaurant would open by Thanksgiving.
"We started talking with the people at Town Center in March 2009, but didn't sign a lease until May 31 of this year," Selland said. "My wife (chef-restaurateur Nancy Zimmer) and I don't move really quickly. Research and demographics mean nothing to us. Instead, we go and sit and watch the people (traffic) at whatever spot it is."
The Selland Group is made up of Selland and Zimmer, and their adult children, Tamera Baker and Josh Nelson. It owns the Sacramento fine-dining restaurants Ella and The Kitchen, and the informal but top-shelf Selland's Market Café at 53rd and H streets
The café has been wildly popular with foodies and neighborhood families with children since opening in 2002, and with good reason. The hot entrees, cold salads and hand-crafted desserts and other baked goods are imaginative and expertly prepared from quality ingredients.
Real cooks dash around the stainless-steel and tile kitchen, preparing fare such as seared ahi salad, salmon-cucumber salad, mac 'n' cheese, meatloaf, carnitas, crab cakes, chicken breast with mushroom sauce, marinated prawns and teriyaki chicken thighs ($3.50 to $18). The offerings in the cafe's retail wine shop are extensive.
The coming of a duplicate Selland's Market Cafe has stirred excitement in El Dorado Hills and Folsom, home of many devoted foodies. For instance, the recent opening of a Whole Foods store at the Palladio Center in Folsom was a major event that brought in a crush of shoppers.
"The outpouring of support from (those communities) has blown us away, and we've humbled and very excited," Selland said. "You would think we were drilling for water and there was none up there."
As for further expansion of the Market-Café concept, Selland said, "We're seriously looking at the Market at Pavilions and Good Eats (spaces). We're negotiating a new lease at our (H Street) location, but let's just say it's not going very well. So there is a chance that by August of next year we'll be somewhere else. Or, if (lease negotiations) work out, there's the possibility we would open something at (the Good Eats site) and in the Pavilions, and still keep our present location."
The Market at the Pavilions shopping center went dark July 1, followed by the closure of Good Eats in east Sacramento the weekend of Aug. 13.
"Both landlords would like to see us there," Selland said. "We've been talking to (Pavilions owner) Donahue Schriber about that space for a long time. And when Good Eats abruptly closed, we were the first (restaurateurs) to be called by the building's owner (the Cordano and Mikacich families)."