Biba Still Dazzles


As the Sacramento restaurant landscape continues to expand, our dining choices become ever more numerous. As a food writer, I’m always tempted to patronize new restaurants—both recently opened establishments as well as eateries that have eluded me in my culinary peregrinations.

But a recent meal at Biba reminded me that it can be very rewarding to re-visit some of our region’s well-established local restaurants. I took a friend who had never eaten at this venerable Sacramento dining institution, and our meal was a dazzler.

The Cappe Sante alla Griglia con Cavolfiore e Uvetta Sultanina appetizer paired fat, juicy grilled scallops with teeny roasted cauliflower florets and sweet and sour raisins – an inspired, captivating combination of flavors and textures, and a lovely introduction to our main courses. The kitchen’s Pizzoccheri con la Zucca—velvety, housemade buckwheat noodles punctuated with chunks of roasted butternut squash and bits and smoked ham—was rustic and absolutely delicious; and the Brasato di Coste di Manzo con Chianti Classico e Polenta, melty-tender, oven braised beef short ribs served up with soft polenta, was wonderfully flavorful and perfect for a crisp fall evening.