Chef Embraces a New Type of Restaurant

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In this crazy economic climate, opening a restaurant isn’t an easy feat. That’s why Mark Liberman, a Sacramento chef who’s worked at some very high-end restaurants in San Francisco and Las Vegas, has come up with what he calls a new restaurant concept: Twice a week, he’ll serve a four- or five-course prix fixe menu out of a rented commercial kitchen at G and 16th streets. His first dinner—a spring garden vegetable meal for $55 a person—is tomorrow night (Friday, May 14), followed by a meat and fish dinner on Sunday (May 16) for $65. Liberman is running a shoestring operation: just him and a server. There’s only one seating per night, and room for just 16 diners, who must bring their own wine. (There’s no corkage fee.) Liberman has an impressive résumé: He’s worked at DB Brasserie and L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon in Las Vegas and at La Folie and Forté in San Francisco, and he recently competed in the semifinals of the Bocuse d’Or USA. Now back in Sacramento, where he has family, he started a company called Black Sheep Butchery, to teach whole-animal butchery classes. He hopes eventually to open his own restaurant. “I’m just trying to get the ball rolling,” says the 32-year-old chef. In the meantime, you can take his May 20 butchering class, where he’ll demonstrate how to butcher a 200-pound hog, or sign up for one of his dinners by calling (916) 337-7249 or e-mailing mark@blacksheepbutchery.com.