The Firehouse Restaurant, Sacramento

Three times a year, Executive Chef Deneb Williams of The Firehouse Restaurant refreshes the menu to reflect local, seasonal ingredients. Recently, the Sac Foodies were invited to lunch to taste the restaurant’s new summer fare. The Firehouse has been a long-standing staple of Old Sacramento as a place to celebrate romantic holidays and special occasions, so we were looking forward to getting reacquainted with this elegant venue in a more casual setting.

A few thoughts from Emily:
When we were seated in the courtyard of The Firehouse, I felt as if I had been taken into the Secret Garden. The ambiance is so serene, I didn’t want to leave. In the hustle and bustle of a busy life, it was so nice to sit back and relax in such a beautiful garden and enjoy lunch. The menu that Chef Deneb prepared was full of local and seasonal offerings, perfect for a vegetarian such as me. The Heirloom Tomato Napoleon Salad was my favorite. A unique spin on a summer staple, the tomatoes were thinly sliced and alternately layered with mozzarella and basil to form a tomato and cheese tower. Accompanying the salad was a heavenly balsamic vinaigrette dressing. Chef Deneb was kind of enough to share the recipe with me and I plan on making a double batch and putting it on everything – sandwiches, salads, my toothbrush. Just kidding…sort of.

After our lovely meal, we had the opportunity to chat with Chef Deneb. It was so interesting to hear about his past and the path that brought him to The Firehouse. If you would like to learn more about him, you can read his posts on The Firehouse Restaurant’s blog.

A few thoughts from Edie:
After exploring the new summer menu at The Firehouse, I couldn’t help but order the Mahi Mahi Tacos. Not only am I a huge taco fan but I also love fresh grilled Mahi Mahi in the summertime. The tortillas were filled with delicious garlic-honey-cumin glazed grilled fish and cilantro aioli mango-avocado- cucumber slaw. My stomach was more than satisfied with this meal. For anyone looking to try a refreshing and filling lunch dish I highly recommend these tacos!

A few thoughts from Julie:
Having grown up in Sacramento, I have visited The Firehouse Restaurant numerous times for special events, but it wasn’t until our recent lunchtime visit that I got to see another side of this classic Sacramento venue. After a quick glance of the lunch menu, I was excited to see that every item, with the exception of the Sea Scallops, was under $20! We started our meal with a sample of the Dungeness Crab Cake prepared with toasted cumin-avocado pico and smoked pablano-corn relish. Delicious! We were then treated to an artfully prepared Heirloom Tomato Napoleon and for my main dish I chose the very satisfying Vegetarian Flatbread Sandwich including cucumber, oven-roasted tomatoes, grilled zucchini stuffed in a pita wrap.

As we wrapped up our lunch with some “tomato talk” with Chef Deneb, we learned he was raised vegetarian and first developed his love for cooking with fresh fruits and vegetables at the ripe age of 12. We also learned that it’s not uncommon for Chef Deneb to create a vegetarian version of any of their menu items and for special holiday menus, like Valentines Day, he always offers vegetarian and vegan options!

Also worthy of mentioning are The Firehouse wine tasting events. Previous to our visit, I had been hearing a lot of buzz about these underground cellar tastings, so I was thrilled to get the firsthand scoop from sommelier Paul Marsh as he gave us a tour of the restaurant’s impressive underground wine cellar. Paul hosts wine tastings every Tuesday evening from 5:30 – 6:30. For just $10 you can sample four wines and a food pairing from Chef Deneb.

Photo Credit: Mahi Mahi Tacos and Dungeness Crab Cake photos by Amber from www.AwakeAtTheWhisk.com

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3 Comments so far ↓

  • Amber | Jul 29, 2010 at 8:49 am

    Great story, ladies! It was also fun dining with you all. I hope we get to do it again soon.


  • Christine | Jul 29, 2010 at 3:23 pm

    The Firehouse has come a long way from the days so very long ago when it was THE place to be taken to dinner before the Jr. and Sr. proms. Back then the menu was Steak Diane and many more meat and potatoes dishes, plus a snails in garlic butter app and cherries jubilee for dessert. Pretty classic French-American fare. Your description of their lunch menu and the garden eating area shows just how much things have changed. Thanks for the great write-up.

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