First Bite: East Sac’s Cielito Lindo


I had the pleasure of dining at a new restaurant recently in East Sacramento. Cielito Lindo Mexican Gastronomy, which occupies a free-standing brick building which has housed Kentucky Fried Chicken, PGR Thai Noodle (whose closure saddened me) and, most recently, an establishment called California Burrito that came and went so fast I didn’t have an opportunity to check it out. Cielito Lindo’s owner and cxecutive chef Ramiro Alarcon – formerly of downtown’s Tequila Museo Mayahuel  – is celebrating Mexico’s rich, deep culinary history by offering a creative approach to a wide range of regional Mexican dishes. Don’t expect Tex-Mex fare at this colorful, cheery establishment – instead, tuck into Alarcon’s lusty, complex Mole Poblano con Pollo, whose fork-tender chicken is swathed in a luscious, traditional mole sauce and sprinkled with toasted sesame seeds; or the irresistible little “Empanaditas de Salpicon con Papas,” palm-sized pastries stuffed with beef, vegetable and soft potato in a feisty, slightly sweet chile ancho sauce.