First Bite: Suede Blue

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I recently had the chance to check out Suede Blue restaurant in Roseville, which opened in May 2009. Classy and attractive, the space has the feel of an upscale hunting lodge, with an enormous stone fireplace, soft, dusty grey-brown walls, low lighting and beautifully upholstered booths. High ceilings contribute a wonderful airiness to the ambience, and lots of wood accents add a sense of solidity and coziness. This is the perfect venue for an important first date or business luncheon – waitstaff are professionally clad, yet friendly, and the cuisine is thoughtful and beautifully presented.

Specializing in steaks and seafood, Suede Blue also offers a fun selection of small plates for nibblers, including filet mignon carpaccio (served with chopped egg, capers, red onions and garlic toast); and lobster pierogies (sour cream dough dumplings stuffed with lobster, avocado, goat cheese and scallions, then pan-seared in butter). Several dishes I enjoyed were the lovely pistachio- and almond-crusted sea bass, served atop plump pearl cous cous and flanked by “melted” leeks and wild mushrooms; and the succulent, tender Monterey calamari steak, deep-fried with red onions and peppers. Carnivores will relish meaty dishes like the steak au poivre, a New York steak rolled in cracked peppercorns and finished – tableside! – with a brandy peppercorn sauce. Suede Blue is a great new addition to the Placer County dining scene.

1400 Eureka Road, Roseville, (916) 782-5525; http://www.suede-blue.com