You’ve been out on three or four dates and are getting nice and comfortable with each other. Here are a handful of restaurants that are relaxed, fun, and perfect for that next (casual) evening out.
Jasmine Mediterranean Cuisine
Your date will love the leafy, laid-back patio at Jasmine Mediterranean Cuisine in midtown Sacramento. This is a great spot to settle in and linger over a cup of tea and a hearty plate of kafta (delectable spiced meatballs) or falafel (crusty, fried chickpea patties stuffed into pita bread with lettuce, tomato and tangy tahini sauce).
2315 K Street, Sacramento, (916) 441-6900
Paul Martin’s American Bistro
With its focus on organic, sustainable and locally-sourced food, Paul Martin’s American Bistro is one of Roseville’s most popular night spots. Waiters are friendly, the food is hearty (don’t miss the Petaluma Farms “brick” chicken with mashed potatoes and fresh herb jus) and the ambience is lively and welcoming.
1455 Eureka Road, Roseville, (916) 783-3600; www.paulmartinsamericanbistro.com
The consummate urban neighborhood eatery, spunky Tuli Bistro is a feel-good, cozy establishment. If you want to be entertained (and learn a few cooking tips), get there early and grab a seat at the long, skinny granite counter which looks directly onto the line. The pizzas are great, as are the delightfully fresh salads, and wait staff will make you feel like a valued regular.
2031 S. Street, Sacramento, (916) 451-8854; http://tulibistro.com
BJ’s Restaurant & Brewhouse, Elk Grove
Boisterous, attractive BJ’s offers up excellent freshly-brewed beer, an energetic atmosphere and an enormous menu. Sample the kitchen’s excellent baby back ribs and compare beer notes: is the meat better with the crisp, light Brewhouse Blonde, or the more complex, rich Nutty Brewnette?
9237 Laguna Springs Drive, Elk Grove, (916) 753-1500; www.bjsbrewhouse.com
Want to go really casual? Belly up to one of Capitol Dawg’s patio tables and order your date a Polish sausage (on a poppy seed bun) or a “taco-style” Sacramento Dawg (buried in guacamole, sour cream, cheddar cheese and salsa). You can even bring your own dawg – furry canine friends are welcome on the outside patio.
1226 20th Street, Sacramento, (916) 444-1226; www.capitoldawg.com