Last weekend, I made my way back to the homeland (aka, the capital city of California), to gather with my family and a plethora of family friends to celebrate an incredible achievement for my grandparents: 60 years of marriage.
A part of me is in complete awe by that inspiring number, but another part of me is just quite simply, inspired… and, frankly, always has been. It was mentioned throughout the weekend how my grandparents so fiercely set an example of love & aloha for our family, and that could not be more true. If there is one consistent with us (besides, of course, an affinity for good wine, which they also instilled in us), it’s the spirit of aloha.
I was born in Sacramento, so going back never quite feels like travel… a bit more like a homecoming. (Yes, I get this same feeling when I go back to the wine country, too. Is it spoiled to consider so many places home?)
Still, this particular trip turned us into tourists — literally, we went down to Old Town Sacramento, the small section of city alongside the river that clings on to the charm of when it was truly a train stop town.
The perks of being in town for celebrations — the anniversary coincidentally coincided with Father’s Day, which allowed me to sneak out to see my dad and his side of the family, too — is also the chance to indulge, more than you might normally on vacation. We were treated some very delicious Sacramento cuisine.
Where We Ate
I’m highlighting 2 of the places we went in this post, primarily because I forgot to get pictures of the crab melt at the third place (Rio City Cafe, if you’re curious).
Il Forno Classico
My grandparents are regulars here — so much so, that they actually knew the waitress we had in the back wine room, which we’d reserved for the party. Granted, this isn’t the only place they know the wait staff — their friendliness with everyone they meet is one of the many reasons we all love them.
As mentioned, our family rented the back wine room for the dinner party. The wine flowed, so did the bubbles, and the food. We had three delicious courses. The first of burratta, calamari, and bread, followed by the most delicious salad. My mom and I both got the ratatouille — and yes, I did request a cute little rat in the chef’s hat to accompany the dish.
But let’s talk about the dessert. I’ve got a family of sweet tooths (teeth?) — my stepdad and my grandfather in particular, and my aunt is always down for a good chocolate cake. We couldn’t decide, so plates of tiramisu and chocolate cake and creme brûlée made their way around the table.
I went here with my dad’s side for Father’s Day brunch and I’ll use my dad’s words here: this was one of the best meals I’ve had since Italy (and I eat a lot of good food). Localis is, as the name might imply, a locally-sourced restaurant with an everchanging menu based on what’s seasonal and fresh. There’s a set menu for things like Father’s Day.
That set menu included a stone fruit salad, which just might have turned me into a fruit-in-salad convert.
Then came the vegetable hash, which was served with a side of roasted potatoes and the best green beans I may have ever eaten.
And let’s talk for a second about that dessert (there’s a theme here, if you couldn’t tell… I like dessert). The beauty of a restaurant that knows exactly how the play up flavors is that dishes don’t need a lot of show or spices or sugar. It’s simple. And simple food, if you ask me, is most often the best.
Localis had a sign in front when we were there:
Good vibes. Good food. Good Service. That describes Localis, and it describes the weekend. And, just maybe, it might describe the secret to my grandparents’ 60 years.
Good vibes… what will be, will be.
Good food… well, that one’s self explanatory.
Good service… to one another, to family, and to love.
60 years is a heck of an accomplishment, and I wouldn’t have wanted to be there to celebrate any other way.