July 10, 2013
What, no prime rib? Distillery restaurant goes with lighter fare

distillery.JPGWe got the tip the other day from a guy who likes to dine out at Sacramento's more vintage places. Said he was at the Distillery steakhouse Saturday and the waiter said it was the last night the restaurant would serve its full-on heavy-duty dinners. Goodbye to the prime rib plate.

Hard to believe. For 49 years, the Distillery has been a Sacramento dining destination. In the day, it was traditionally frequented by the three-martini-lunch crowd. It competed with the Golden Tee, Coral Reef, Stroh's Neptune Table, Buggy Whip and the Ram.

But a rumor is just that, so I called Ron Alvernaz, the sole owner of the Distillery since day one.

"Yes, I've given up dinners," he lamented. "There's not enough business - just 10 to 24 people a night and it's killing us. Parking is tough and there are so many places to go to downtown."

All is not lost: The Distillery will serve "small dinners" from 5 to 9 p.m. Mondays and Tuesdays, featuring sandwiches (steak, turkey, French dip). "Light stuff that one guy can handle," Alvernaz said.

Also: Lunch will continue from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Mondays through Fridays. And look for Saturday breakfast from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. - quesadillas, linguica, ham, Joe's special.

"I'll be out with a new menu after the summer," Alvernaz said. "It will be lighter and cheaper."

The Distillery is at 2107 L St., Sacramento; (916) 443-8815.

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