Saturday, January 12, 2013

#DineDowtown Fat City......aka: Sacramento's birthday present to the foodie in me!

Most people aren't happy having birthdays in January. I am one of them. No one wants to party and they are all broke. This situation has been resolved with Sacramento's Dine Downtown. Twenty-nine restaurants create full meals for $30/person. They do it as a draw during the slow season. I prefer to think they are helping me celebrate surviving another year on this planet! Either way, choosing the restaurants to visit during the 10 days is the hardest part........... until you get to their menus.

I have a couple reservations set already this year but am hoping to sneak in one or two more places. Last night was Fat City in Old Sacramento. As I discussed back in 2011, I am not a restaurant reviewer, just a person who enjoys food. But here is what I think........

Set in Old Sacramento, Fat City is the most casual and American in the Fat's Family of Restaurants. Most people "know" of Frank Fats on L Street as a dark men's type club where big deals are wheeled. Fat City, in contrast, has a lot of windows and brick creating an open, welcoming environment.

I was a little disappointed that the Dine Downtown menu was not presented with the dinner and drink menus. We had to ask for it. 

My first struggle came with the appetizer. I am not a beet person and while I have survived eating beets this past year it isn't something I ever expect to make a habit of........and with the other options, who really needs to?!?! That left me with 3 amazing options. I struggled, but pulled myself away from the French Onion Soup and ordered the Shrimptini.........because hubby ordered it and I knew I could sneak a taste of his! Our dining companion choose the Tomato Basil Crostini.

The Shrimptini was you see all that shrimp? The dish came with a cocktail sauce that was nice and spicy. The spice was balanced out by the inclusion of smooth avocado. I was very happy with my choice!

I didn't take a photo of Jeff's French Onion Soup but that wasn't because it was lacking anything. I loved that they used a wide, shallow dish so that there was ample real estate for the cheese to be melted on top. I loved the bites I stole so much that I think I might go back and order it for lunch. The onions had a slightly sweet taste to them. Great contrast to the tang of the cheese!

Our friend was sweet and willing to share her Tomato Basil glad we invited her! For me, the fresh mozzarella was the highlight of the dish. I was surprised at how great it taste after seeing it cubed..........guess I expected crumbles. It sounds odd, but there was too much topping on the crostini and it was difficult to eat without losing some of the cheese and tomatoes. Please don't take that as a complaint! I was happy to scoop it up with my fork.

For our main course, our friend and I chose the Stuffed Dover Sole while hubby chose the Osso Bucco. Once again, we were all very happy with our choices.......though I would have been perfectly happy with any of the four options on the menu.

The Dover Sole had been cut thinly............mimicing a crepe.......and then stuffed with more seafood. Oh my it was tasty! Add the sauce and delicate potato gnochhi and you have a decadent entree.  My friend and I both ate our entire entree......I don't even think I offered hubby a taste.........which was fine because THIS is what he was served:

It is easy to say that the Osso Bucco was the dish of the evening. Impressive presentation only eclipsed by the tenderness and flavor of the pork.  The mashed potatoes and carrots served with the meat were good........but you remember the meat! And the serving was large enough that hubby was able to share.....and have enough to enjoy again for lunch today.

I wonder if I should warn you.........we had 6pm reservations and hubby got the 2nd to last order of Osso Bucco. I don't know if this is normal but be prepared!

Yes........our $30 meal included dessert. I wasn't going to pass on the Banana Cream Pie. Hubby managed to steel himself and get the Chocolate Cream Pie. Both were excellent with the puff pastry textured crust being the highlight. I was a little underwhelmed by the bananas. I expected a slightly more ripened banana with a stronger flavor. I had my leftovers today and the bananas had ripened and the pie had that taste I was looking for!
The three of us left the restaurant full and happy after a delicious meal. The atmosphere makes this a great choice for a date, group, or family meal. Whether you have plans to take in the Dine Downtown experience, or are just looking for a nice place for dinner........I can thoroughly recommend Fat City!

And now off to find my next menu to drool over.......

No comments: