Chefs Dish on Their Favorite Dishes


Wendi Mentink
Bidwell Street Bistro, Folsom
“I love the patty melts at The Purple Place [in El Dorado Hills]. They use marbled rye bread, and the meat is very flavorful and juicy. With the caramelized onions and the Swiss cheese, it just melts in your mouth. It’s simple and delicious—probably the best patty melt I’ve ever had.”

Lauren Barton
Michelangelo’s Italian Art Restaurant, Sacramento
“I recently tried the cheese plate at 58 Degrees & Holding and really enjoyed it. It gives you the opportunity to taste a lot of different things with distinctive flavors: various cheeses, preserves and nuts. It’s served on a simple white plate, very much in character with the restaurant’s modern look. The ingredients are top-notch, and along with a couple of glasses of wine, it’s a really nice culinary experience.”

Carlos Baez
Bella Bru Cafe, Sacramento
“The duck confit at Hawks [in Granite Bay] is really wonderful. It’s pretty easy to mess up that dish because you have to crisp the skin, and if you do it wrong, the skin will stick to the pan and you won’t have any skin. But they do it perfectly. I’ve also had their herb-roasted chicken, and it is delicious.”

Rebecca Reichardt

Tazzina Bistro, Woodland
“At least once a week, I go to my favorite taco truck, El Paisano, on Main Street [Woodland], near the 113 onramp. I love the chicken tacos because it is rare to find nice, juicy chicken instead of charred, dry chunks. Each taco has two small corn tortillas that are oiled and toasted on the flat grill, braised and shredded chicken in a tomato and chili-based sauce, minced onions, fresh cilantro and a spicy dried chili salsa. At $1 per taco, it is an addiction I can afford!”

Chris Nestor
Ink Eats & Drinks, Sacramento
“The pork Cellentani at Pronto is excellent. It’s braised pork with a habanero pesto, served with noodles and topped with a dollop of sour cream. It’s spicy and has a little bit of sweetness to it, and it’s really good. I go to Pronto quite a bit, specifically for this dish.”