5 Faves: Book Club Dining

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When preparing to discuss a book club selection, it’s always fun to find a restaurant that sets the right mood. Here’s five eateries you can “match” with your current read:

Romance Novel
The Firehouse

This opulently appointed restaurant oozes romance, from the chandeliers, white tablecloths and lavish old paintings in the elegant dining room to its magical outdoor courtyard. The perfect venue for your favorite bodice-ripper, The Firehouse also dishes up some of the most sophisticated fare in the city.
1112 Second Street, Old Sacramento, (916) 442-4772; www. firehouseoldsac.com

Autobiographical “Tell-All”
Lucca Restaurant & Bar

Nab the large round table in Lucca’s bar, order up one of the establishment’s delicious house cocktails and prepare to spill it all – the similarities between your life and the protagonist’s are worth discussing. Fortify yourself with the kitchen’s wildly popular zucchini chips and skillet roasted mussels and savor Lucca’s chatty, convivial ambience.
1615 J Street, Sacramento, (916) 669-5300; http://www.luccarestaurant.com

Mystery Novel
McCormick and Schmick’s

The sumptuous dining room at McCormick and Schmick’s reminds me of an upscale speakeasy, with its twinkling, tiny table lamps, old brick walls and wood-lined, private booths. Crowd your book club members into one of these deliciously cozy booths, draw the curtain and demand to know who read the last page first.
1111 J Street, Sacramento; (916) 442-8200; www.mccormickandschmicks.com

Historical Novel
Heyday Café

Placerville, one of our region’s captivating gold rush towns, is steeped in colorful history. Visit cheery Heyday Café, located on Main Street in one of the town’s original buildings (the rustic Douglas fir floors are over 150 years old!). If you time it right, you can sit around the restaurant’s community table, situated in the center of the tiny eatery. Heyday is known for its fabulous wine selection, and it offers up some thoroughly modern and creative food that’s well worth the drive.
325 Main Street, Placerville, (530) 626-9700; www.heydaycafe.com

Political Thriller
Cosmo Café

One of the key features of this stunning restaurant is its fascinating (and amusing) collection of political caricatures – the goofy faces smirk and grin at diners as they tuck into their Reuben sandwiches, organic roasted beet salads and house-smoked sausages. Cosmos’ robust, earthy cuisine is great fodder for a bookish, lively conversation.
1000 K Street, Sacramento, (916) 446-9800; http://paragarys.com/go/prg/locations/cosmo