Saturday, March 19, 2011

The Kitchen. An Incredible Dining Experience

If you're from the Sacramento area, you may have heard of The Kitchen. If you're not, you probably haven't. So let me tell you what it is not. It is not a restaurant. It is not a hurry-up-and-eat-so-I-can-seat-the-next-growling-stomach. It is not like anything you've ever done before. No, what The Kitchen is is an experience. And two of our favorite people in the entire world (Troy and April Franklin) took us there for a mystery date.

We stepped foot into a beautiful dining room, tables littered about with white linens, a U-shaped bench  around the cooking area (also where we sat), candles, a wall of wines, a full service kitchen in back (they encourage you to walk through it too!). Once all ~50 people arrived, they locked us inside, pulled the draperies closed, and the entertainment began.

Me and Ben

Me and April with Troy in the background
Ben and Troy

The menu is fixed, organized into Acts like this:

ACT I was an overview of our evening, with introductions, and information about food. The food began with ACT II. Thai Style Bisque and Quail Confit with Black Rice, Coconut Milk, Fresh Turmeric, Fuji Apple and Chives. Sound good?

It was heaven.

ACT III came along. A Warm Salad of Sanger Lamb Sausage, Good Egg, Artichoke, Blood Orange, Frisee, and Brioche.

They prepared every dish before us.


That, also, was heaven. Did I mention you can order more servings? Of anything? Decisions, decisions, decisions...

Then came INTERMISSION. A beautiful spread of Sushi and Sashimi awaited us. There was even real wasabi. 
By the way, this real wasabi was over $100/lb!

ACT IV. Maine Lobster Carbonara with Lardo, Tarragon and Duck Broth. Okay, just so you know, Carbonara is one of my favorite things. If you've ever had it, you know it's usually paired with a pork product. Needless to say, I was overwhelmingly curious to know what it would taste like with lobster. The answer? AMAZING! Also, in case you're wondering, Lardo is pork fat. Croutons of fried pork fat.
I didn't think anything could trump bacon.

Live lobster!

Masters at work...

Remembering the flavor makes me salivate.

ACT V (no, we're not done!). Brown Butter Poached Beef Tenderloin with Potato-Gruyere 'Puffs', Porcini Mushrooms and Cabernet Reduction. You could opt to add Fois Gras, which April and Troy did. It tasted like butter.

ACT VI was a nice 'pause' for our stomachs: a white-gloved tea service and fresh brewed coffee.

Until ACT VII came along with Bittersweet Chocolate Tart, Sweet Lime Custard, Candied Pecan 'Dos Leches' Ice Cream and Strawberry Cream.

Then midnight chimed, and we turned into pumpkins. Well, not really. But we certainly felt round!

What an incredible dinner. After such an experience with so many incredible flavors, Ben and I decided we are forever ruined. Thanks April and Troy for an amazing night!


  1. Mmmmmmmm looks delicious!!! At the comic convention yesterday, Chris and I attended a panel called "Food and Comics" and it was basically talking about how creating food and stories is a similar process, and great meals should have a well-thought-out story arc. Seems like this place did just that!

  2. How appropriate!...I think in honor of studying the story arc, I will spend more time enjoying the 'food arc'. :)

  3. What an education, experience and palate delight! But frankly my dear, it looks like you have your arm on backwards:)

  4. @RH.... hahaha. I thought the same thing when I saw the picture. I thought, "why is her hand sticking out of her shoulder?" However, still a gorgeous pair.
    The food adventure definitely sounds yummy! Can't wait for you to take me sometime. Thanks for sharing.

  5. What an amazing meal! And I loved seeing the photos of you. Thanks for sharing!

  6. HA Aunt Ruthie and Uncle A! Yeah, it does look like someone attached my arm backwards. :) And yes, Uncle A we'd love to take you there. Perhaps once Ben's done with D-school?

    And Beth, you bet! I love the food you share as well :)

  7. A night to remember forever! What special friends you have. Enjoyed reading about your adventure, thanks for sharing.

  8. Sure, Norma! Thanks for reading :)


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