Appetizers
January 21, 2013
Sacramento's restaurant scene rolling with more recognition

Sacramento's restaurant scene continues to shed its Stuart Smalley status. For too long, in the looming shadow of San Francisco, the mantra around town seemed to be, "We're good enough. We're smart enough, and doggone it, people like us!" After all, this city is surrounded by some of the best agriculture found anywhere, and Sacramento teems with the culinary talent and vision to put these ingredients to their proper use.

So, how cool it was to see the San Francisco Chronicle run a package of stories on Sacramento in its Food & Wine section on Sunday. The lead piece, "Sacramento comes of age," tracked the rise of Sacramento's farm-to-fork scene along with interviewing some of its key players. The piece was written by Ed Murrieta, a former Sacramento Bee staffer and longtime food writer. Companion pieces included "A tale of 2 farmers markets," which focused on the Davis and Sacramento Downtown Farmers Market," and a spot-on feature about Sacramento's cocktail scene.

Murrieta's lead feature also contained this great nugget of news: Mark Liberman of AQ in San Francisco is looking to open a restaurant in Sacramento. Liberman is formerly of Folsom, and AQ has since earned a James Beard nomination under his watch. We'll keep you posted with more of this tantalizing prospect for Sacramento's restaurant scene.

The good times continue. The Kitchen was recently awarded 5 diamonds by AAA for its third year in a row. This is among the most prestigious ratings in the service industry, with only seven restaurants in all of California that can claim 5 diamond status. That puts The Kitchen with the likes of Benu, French Laundry and Restaurant Gary Danko.

Go 916!

FROM THE BEE:

* Dining review: Folsom kid makes great in S.F.; will he return home?

FROM THE SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE:

* Sacramento growing a taste for local food

* In Sacramento's cocktail scene, a nexus of local talent

* Popular Sacramento market under freeway

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