Dinner at Ella

Remember when I said one of David’s birthday surprises was a dinner at Ella Dining Room & Bar? We went there last Saturday.

I figured since we are big fans of The Kitchen and we had a nice lunch at Selland’s, it would be nice to try another restaurant of the Selland Family’s.

PARKING

The place offers valet for $5.00, but you get it for free with a Facebook login per their Facebook page. Otherwise, they’ll tack on that $5.00 to your bill.

AMBIANCE

For our 7:15 PM reservation, the place pretty packed. It’s a classy, dimly-lit place with wood shutters decorating the ceiling. We were seated in a tiny table for two, and our first thought was “How are they going to fit our food here?”

The tables are slightly close together, so you don’t need to ear hustle too hard to know what the table next to you is talking about.

MENU

David and I checked out the menu days prior, because we’re excited and we like to plan out our meals whenever possible. We decided that the entrees didn’t wow us, but we did find a number of appetizers that sounded amazing. It also helped that the price of two appetizers is roughly the same as one entree.

In order to not crowd our small table, the server arranged for one small plate to come out at a time.

Here’s what we had in the order we enjoyed them:

CRISPY YUKONS, MOJO PICON, AVOCADO, CHARRED NARDELLO PEPPERS, CORIANDER DRESSING 17

MIXED HERB SALAD, CAPERS, SHALLOTS, CARAMELIZED ONION BUTTER, SMOKED BATARD 16

APPLE HILL GOLDEN DELICIOUS, SALTED CARAMEL, SHARP CHEDDAR BISCUTS 22

CHORIZO BREAD PUDDING, MADEIRA PAN SAUCE, SANTA ROSA PLUM, DRESSED ARUGULA 17

The octopus was tender, we could cut it with a butter knife. The bone marrow was exquisite–very buttery and rich. The foie gras was melt-in-your-mouth yumminess. And the quail was flavorful thanks to the chorizo stuffing. We were full and satisfied by the end of the meal.

DRINKS

Their libations were just as pricey, but the choices were interesting. David ordered himself the “Usual Suspect” while I grilled our server about whether I should pick the “Elderflower Gimlet” or the “Ella Old Fashioned”. She regaled us with a tale of ordered three of the Old Fashioned when she started working for Ella, so I went with her suggestion.

I was really taken by the huge, clear block of hand carved ice that was floating in my strong drink. David was also surprised that my drink was stronger than his, and joked that tonight, he got the girly drink.

IRISH WHISKEY, SCOTCH, LEMON, BITTERS 12.5

FEATURING ELLA’S OWN SINGLE BARREL SELECTION OF STRAIGHT KENTUCKY BOURBON, DEMERARA, BITTERS, CITRUS 19.5

BILL

For four scrumptious appetizers and two strong drinks, I was billed $112.58. With tip (and 5% of the tip going to the kitchen staff), I spent about $135.00 that night.

The food was definitely special, so I think the price was fair. I don’t know where else I could ever get that much bone marrow and foie gras elsewhere in Sacramento.

VERDICT

We absolutely *LOVED* every dish. We are interested in going again, as their menu does change every month. It just so happened their September entrees weren’t interesting to us, but at least their small plates were fantastic. Perhaps next time we’ll bring our parents along.


Photo credit: https://www.facebook.com/pg/elladiningroomandbar/

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