Fish Out of Water

Musings and observations about life from an East Coast native now living on the Left Coast in the California State Capitol since 2004. This fish has made her home in Madison, WI (7 years); Portland, OR (2 years); Las Vegas, NV (7 months); Middlebury, VT (3 summers); Marne-la-Vallee, a small town east of Paris, France (6 months); Middletown, CT (3 years); and Marshfield, MA, the fish's coastal hometown 40 miles south of Boston (17 years).

Location: Sacramento, California, United States


Day 64: Press Bistro

One of our favorite restaurants in Sac is The Press Bistro on Capitol Ave between 18th & 19th:

This site had been home to other restaurant endeavors, including Dragonfly, and I was first introduced to The Press by a former colleague at Kaplan who raved about the new venue.  I had been a bit hesitant to try it, given the reviews I'd read about the more limited menu and what I considered higher pricing, but I was totally won over after my first visit for drinks and munchies in the outdoor patio area:

Although The Press doesn't have any sort of "official" Happy Hour specials, it offers a rotating menu of Tapas at 1 for $4 or 3 for $10 (we usually order the roasted beets with goat cheese, marinated olives, and potato croquettes) along with delicious house-made focaccia for $1, cocktails for $9, and house wine for $6, all of which are incredible values for the quality and especially in comparison to the offerings and price-points of other Midtown eateries.

My favorite cocktail is the unique Salt & Pepper, with gin, grapefruit, rosemary, and salted rim:

Mr. E's preferred cocktail is the Calcino with a salted rim, since he's a tequila fan.  I also adore the house red wine, which is a blend made to be on tap specifically for The Press and isn't available anywhere else.

One of the many customer-service-focused aspects of The Press is that it's possible to order a "half-pour" of the house wine, even though that option isn't on the menu.  One of our servers this evening also seemed unaware of and somewhat resistant to my request, but I was persistent and eventually prevailed, given that Mr. E and I are relatively familiar to many of the staff, including the wonderful owner and Executive Chef, David English.

I happen to have some food allergies (garlic, onion) and limitations (lactose-intolerant, no pig or cow products), and I definitely judge a restaurant not only by the service but also by the willingness of the kitchen and chef to accommodate my restrictions.  The staff at The Press has always been outstanding in this capacity, and not only are the chefs willing to exclude certain offending ingredients from a particular dish, but they also offer delectable alternatives and modifications that make the dish even better than the original (at least to my mind).

Over the past few years, Mr. E and I have frequented The Press fairly often, especially early-ish on Sunday evenings, and we usually opt to sit at the bar or the community table, as those spots are always available for open seating regardless of how many tables might be otherwise booked with reservations for a given date:

When Mr. E planned a surprise dinner to celebrate my 40th birthday, he chose The Press to host the occasion and worked closely with Chef David to make all of the arrangements and plan the menu to suit my tastes.

The food is always high-quality, the team-based service is attentive but not overbearing, and Chef David almost always makes the rounds to check on each table during a service.  For all of these reasons, The Press remains at the top of our list for go-to restaurants for most any occasion, and certainly when entertaining out-of-town guests.


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