Local Eats: Ella in Sacramento

I’ll be the first to admit that we haven’t given Sacramento very much attention since moving nearby. Aron and I have more often gone in the other direction for date nights if we’re up for driving (to nearby Winters, slightly-further Napa, and within-reach San Francisco) or looked close-by in Davis.

But one of our very first after moving out here took us to Ella—Aron planned dinner and a show at a local cabaret—and I’d say it’s been my favorite restaurant in the area (worthy of a driving destination) ever since.

The Selland Family of restaurants, of which Ella is a part of, are huge proponents of Sacramento as the farm-to-fork capital (and it really should be with all of the wonderful farms on its fringe). So while there have been a few items I’ve happily found on the menu at each visit (like, I confess, the bone marrow appetizer), everything is seasonal. Even the cocktails are seasonal—and they’re delicious. (And when I went last, I was pregnant, and they didn’t disappoint on the mocktails either.)

I wish I had photos of the interior—which is lofty and bright with plenty of wood and white and an interesting arrangement of painted shutters hung hight above the bar—but I think it’s notable how it feels like a special place to go without feeling stuffy. There’s a really good write-up, actually, where it’s said that Randy Selland “wants Ella to be high quality and original. He wants the service to be attentive and knowing. And he insists people should be comfortable dropping in on a whim wearing sweatshirts with jeans and fit right in where others are dressed to the nines.” And it seems to be happening.

I’m not sure when we’ll have our next chance at a date night out, but this would be a worthy of a repeat visit.

P.S. Other top eats in Sacramento: Biba and Magpie. (And the story of my first date, ever.)

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