Sunday, March 22, 2009

Avenue Q and Biba's

Yesterday we went to the matinee production of Avenue Q as part of our Broadway Series season tickets at The Community Center Theater in downtown Sacramento. We weren't sure what to expect other than it was a musical with muppets.

It is adult content muppets! Do go if you have the opportunity. It is hilarious. It's outrageously fun, makes you feel good and there is a wise message at the end. Thoroughly enjoyable afternoon at the theater!

Afterwards we drove about 10 blocks through downtown to get to Biba's for dinner. Above is Tony's a fabulous Italian deli and catering service.

The group of ladies the right are all Mary Kay ladies at a convention of some sort it looks like.

This is St. Paul's Episcopal church. It is a very old stone church. Just beautiful. If it was closer to our house I would be going to this church.

Never been to Rick's Uptown Market but want to stop in some time soon.

Of course we love the old houses downtown.

Sitting in the car waiting for the valet I snapped this picture at Biba. The atmosphere of this restaurant is elegant yet comfortable and very inviting. Everything runs like a well-oiled machine. I was very impressed with every aspect of the restaurant. We sat at the bar and enjoyed a cocktail while we waited for them to start seating for dinner at 5:30 when our reservations were for. The bartender is friendly and more people joined us there coming from the theater as well. They were all regulars. The bartender and other wait staff new them and everything they liked. I was impressed by this as well. We chatted with the other customers too which was fun. A very friendly place that treats you very well.

The food is the very best Italian food I have ever eaten in a restaurant. In fact it could have come from my Nana's kitchen. Truthfully, no disrespect to my Nana who was a fabulous cook, but this food is even better. The wait staff is poised, knowledgeable of the menu and ingredients of the dishes. Everything is impeccable - service, food, staff, decorations, table settings. Biba herself comes in every day around 7:15 PM and walks the restaurant and bar and talks to every guest. We had a delightful conversation with her regarding food of course, and both us being Northern Italians. She loved that I had red hair and blue eyes and we talked how most people do not realize that is common in Northern Italy.

I did not stick to a food plan last night. There was no way I could. David and I split a few courses then had an entree and dessert of our own. We started with a special of the evening, Seafood Cakes, made with halibut, Dungeness crab and scallops, served with a verde sauce which by my taste buds was mostly Italian parsley. There was EVOO on the plate, then the seafood cake and the verde sauce on the side. They split the dish on two plates in the kitchen and we each had seafood cake.

Next we spilt another special of the evening, homemade white fish stuffed ravioli with a garlic, wine, tomato (fresh diced) and butter sauce. Wowzers! These were amazingly good and the pasta so light and tender it melted in your mouth. We could have eaten these all night long.

We had also ordered a roasted beet salad but somehow our waitress forgot to order it for us, so our entrees came out next. We both ordered the ossobucco made with veal shanks and served with soft polenta. I wish we had pictures of both our faces when we took our first bite. That would describe better than I can attempt here with words how delicious this dish was. The sauce was incredibly good and the meat melted in your mouth. The polenta was cooked to perfection, not a lump, clump or rubber feeling in any bite. We savoured every mouthful. I couldn't eat all mine so David finished it.

It was then I mentioned to our waitress that she forgot my salad and she offered to bring a small serving of it out at that time but I decided not to have it at all.

Next came dessert menus. David chose the Zuccotto Fiorentino -- Chocolate coated, dome shaped, rum scented pound cake filled with whipped cream, chocolate, almonds and hazelnuts. It was huge, decadent and delicious. I opted for the Le Pere e il Formaggio -- Bosc pear oven baked in Valpolicella wine, served with roasted pecans and whipped mascarpone cheese. However the waitress seemed to read me well and offered the dish with an imported Gorgonzola instead of the whipped mascarpone cheese. Just the way I prefer it! Every bite was a piece of heaven. Beautifully executed. Of course every plate was presented beautifully as well. I also had and after dinner drink - Delamain Reserve, Del-Familia, a 60 year old cognac. A real treat, so smooth and lovely! Very nice on a rainy evening. David brought a bottle of older Jordan Cabernet Sauvignon for us to enjoy with our dinner which was wonderful as well.
It was a perfect birthday celebration dinner and we look forward to dining there many more times. Ron and Deb - we will have to go the next time you are out visiting. It will blow you away. Good bread too! Yes, I ate a slice!
Thanks to my sister girlfriends who gave me a gift certificate to Biba for Christmas which we used for part of our payment last evening. We had a wonderful, special time!


txpurplerose34 said...

A grand happy birthday celebration. Thanks for sharing; my mouth is watering....Hugs, Vaden

Erin said...

It looks and sounds like a great time. Old Town Sac is right up Rob and I's alley.