Situated in a historic building in midtown, Kupros Bistro is definitely the best food we’ve enjoyed in a long while. A group of us – three SacFoodies and four of our guests – had the pleasure of tasting nearly everything on the Kupros menu last week. Donna, who was one of the satisfied seven said at the end of our meal, “I’m so happy right at this moment!” Truly, everyone around the table chatted nonstop about Chef Matthew D. Robinson’s delicious, fresh and locally-inspired menu.
So what did we taste? Let’s start at the beginning. Savories!
Bruschetta – Pea Ricotta Schmear, La Quercia Prosciutto, Roasted Onions and Local Olive Oil
Poutine – Hand-cut fries with Cheese Curds in a Short Rib ‘Gravy’
Steamed Clams – Tomato Broth, Leeks, Celery, Bacon
Macaroni and Cheese - Arrogant Bastard, Aged Cheddar
Fried Pickles – With House Tartar
Maria: Can I just say that you must try the Fried Pickles with the House Tartar. Lightly battered and fried, the pickle was surprisingly crisp and not too sour, and the tartar is like no tartar sauce you’ve tasted before.
Liz: We knew the Macaroni and Cheese was to-die-for based on previous visits, so we ordered two servings. It was a good thing we did because, as the group can attest, I was literally scraping the bottom of the second dish – it was that good!
Jenna: While the Macaroni and Cheese is absolute heaven (how can you not fall in love with a piping hot dish of incredibly cheesy macaroni made with Arrogant Bastard Ale?), I found all of the appetizers delightful. The Bruschetta’s fresh, distinct flavors were unlike any Bruschetta I’d had before (in a good way!).
We transitioned to salads, and shared around the table two of the five offered on the menu:
Baby Lettuces – Strawberries, Maytag Blue Cheese, Hazelnuts, Red Wine Vinaigrette
Casale Farms Beets – Chevre “tots,” Arugula, Sunflower Seeds, Sherry Vinaigrette
Maria: Both were delish (who doesn’t love a salad with strawberries, blue cheese and hazelnuts, right?), but the surprising Chevre “tots” which are fried cheese rounds were so super yummy that we were nearly fighting over the last one.
Jenna: I’d say the beet salad won the beauty award of the evening – the slices of both deep purple and rich golden beets looked just as good as they tasted.
Finally, the main course – there were seven of us and seven mains on the menu, so we divided and conquered and ordered each and every one!
Carbonara – Hand rolled Fettuccine, English Peas, House Pancetta, Grana
Steak Frites – Bistro Filet, Truffled Frites, Caramelized Shallot Butter
Portobello Tian – Risotto Cake, Arugula, Red Bell Bisque
Kupros Burger – Grass Fed ½ lb. Chuck, Beer Cheese, House Relish, Hand-Cut Fries
Chicken Due Modi – Chicken Breast, Thigh Ravioli, Char, Cauliflower, Lemon Tarragon Jus
Orecchiette – Bolognese, Onions, Shrooms, Grana
Fish Du Jour – Mahi Mahi with Spring Vegetables
Maria: I live my life searching for the perfect burger. Yes, it’s true. I have very few favorites, but I’ve found one here. Drowning in cheese and seasoned to perfection, the unique element of this burger is the house relish that’s tangy and fresh. Super secret recipe (yes, I asked!), so you’ll have to go in and try it for yourself. Also, I must mention the house-made ketchup that accompanied the fries. One word: Wow.
Liz: I was so happy to be at a table full of “sharers” – I think I tried each and every dish. Highlights for me were the above-mentioned burger, the Chicken Due Modi particularly the huge ravioli that came alongside it and the Orecchiette pasta – never can go wrong with a Bolognese sauce!
Despite full bellies, we couldn’t resist trying three desserts: donuts with cappuccino gelato, chocolate mousse and a delightful apple pastry. The donuts were so light! We asked Chef Matthew about that, and he said he lightly fries and then bakes them.
The service both at the bar and in the dining room was excellent, and the beautifully restored building is really something to behold. It oozes old-world charm but doesn’t feel old. Just confident. Like the menu at Kupros. We’ll be heading back to this new favorite soon, and so should you!
Chef Matthew kindly shared one of his recipes with us, so you could have a little taste of Kupros at home. This sauce, he says, is delicious over asparagus.
Recipe: Gribeche Vin
- 4 hard-cooked eggs
- 2 hard-cooked egg yolks
- 1/2 Tbs. Dijon mustard
- salt and pepper
- 1/2 Tbs. white-wine vinegar
- 1 cup olive oil
- bunch of fresh chervil, chopped
- 1/2 bunch of fresh tarragon, chopped
- 1/4 cup capers, drained and chopped
- 1/2 cup cornichons (tiny, tart pickled gherkins), drained and chopped
- Put the whole eggs and yolks, mustard, and some salt and pepper in a large bowl and mash them well together.
- To this paste add the vinegar and then the olive oil, drop by drop as if making mayonnaise. Keep the sauce creamy by adding small amounts of vinegar or warm water, as necessary.
- Finish the sauce by adding the chopped herbs, capers, and cornichons. Taste and correct the seasoning.
Recipe courtesy of Chef Matthew D. Robinson
1217 21st Street in Midtown Sacramento