I have always been very spoiled when it comes to Thanksgiving. My ex is a fantastic cook and for nearly a decade I would sit back and relax as he brined, roasted, mashed and casseroled our Thanksgiving feast. Facing my first solo Thanksgiving (I’ll visit my family for Christmas) I knew I wasn’t quite ready to take on the bird by myself. I looked for local restaurants that would be serving Thanksgiving and was delighted to find The Firehouse among them.
Named in Zagat “America’s Top Restaurants,” The Firehouse is the most award-winning, fine dining restaurant in the Sacramento region. Known for the most extensive wine collection in the Central Valley, The Firehouse specializes in delicious cuisine and premium wines, and offers a setting that features storied architecture and design. Visit their website to learn more about this Sacramento dining standard AND view the entire Thanksgiving menu.
So after feeding the dogs at Homeward Bound Golden Retriever Rescue this evening, I changed into a dress and headed to Old Sacramento with my friend Tracie.
When dining with other bloggers, it’s usually fun to order different items and share tastes. While I would have loved to try every option on the menu, Tracie and I were both in the mood for a traditional, if not gourmet, turkey dinner. So we ordered the same and frankly loved every bite. I’ll go into more detail below, but take it as a sign of a great meal that at the end, we lamented it was over so soon….not realizing two hours had already passed us by!
We passed on the Baked Brie en Croute and opted for the Dungeness Crab Bread Pudding. Prepared with leeks, bacon and savory herbs, the crab-topped bread pudding was served with avocado and Veracruz chilpachole and a smoked paprika-tomato Bearnaise. My first bite was perfect. I was FLOORED! Crab, bacon, leeks and avocado blended perfectly for a sweet, salty, spicy, soft and crunchy flavor symphony. It was a wonderful start to the meal.
The Bearnaise sauce was also good, but the paprika overpowered the crab and avocado. I don’t think the dish needed it, so I enjoyed this sauce with the delicious house-made wheat bread on the table. Hands down this was my favorite course of the meal.
Not being a squash fan, we passed on the Delicata Squash Bisque and enjoyed a Harvest Greens salad. This course had a nice nod to the holiday with match-sticked golden beets, dried cranberries and pumpkin seeds. This was a lovely little salad, but alas I jumped in before I snapped a photo.
As I mentioned before Tracie and I had our hearts and mouths set on a traditional Turkey dinner and The Firehouse did not disappoint. However, as I looked around the room, the Slow Roasted Prime Rib, Tuscan Swordfish and Pork Chop Forestiere all looked like worthy options- especially the Prime Rib.
I had also noticed earlier a surprising number of diners leaving The Firehouse with take-home bags. When our plates arrived we understood why. The portions were generous- as if Chef Williams wanted to be sure we had fixings for turkey sandwiches tomorrow. The boneless breast of herb-roasted turkey was moist and flavorful, covered with a light and tasty gravy described on the menu as a sage veloute.
More of a cornbread and sage-sausage dressing gal myself, I found the spiced-apple pecan stuffing to be a nice blend of soft, sweet, crunchy and nutty. In fact, my biggest disappointment of the night was returning home to realize the stuffing did not make it into my to-go bag with the rest of the fixings. The carrot and broccolini that also graced the plate were underdone and quite crunchy, but since they weren’t expected, and still entirely edible, I’ll give them a pass.
We wrapped up our meal with the Pumpkin Trio and then drooled over the stunning visual presentation of the Chocolate Cherrymisu. However, our choice was rewarded with a pumpkin mousse chocolate-dipped eclaire, a pumpkin pie meringue tartlet and a pumpkin cannoli with maple-sage glaze.
I started with the cannoli and ruined myself for the other two choices. The cannoli shell was crunchy and fresh with a definite mapleness to the glaze while the pumpkin filling was bright and tart. Delicious!
The pumpkin flavor was much less present in the eclair and almost lost under the meringue of the tartlet, but both were very pleasant morsels.
All in all, the Firehouse’s four course prix fixe menu with traditional and non-traditional options was a fabulous dining experience and a very good value at $46.95.
Our server David was friendly, knowledgeable, attentive and fun. He recommended and we enjoyed a lovely Miura Pinot Noir (Monterey, CA) with the meal. The other waitstaff, from the bar to the bussers, were also warm, welcoming and upbeat despite working on a holiday.
So it looks like I’ll be continuing my Princess Thanksgiving tradition for the near term. I hope you were able to spend today with good food, good friends and family. We have so much to be Thankful for each and every day. Thank you for reading!