Here's what to expect from Saddle Rock

After more than a year of anticipation, Saddle Rock opened today.

The project comes from Chris Jarosz (Broderick Roadhouse, Localis), with chef Matt Masera (previously of Mother, Empress Tavern) at the helm. Named after one of Sacramento’s first known restaurants, Saddle Rock aims to celebrate local history.

The space didn’t dramatically change from its Capital Dime days, but there’s warmer, brighter lighting and a much hipper vibe. The bar is completely new, with rustic wood paneling that is matched by other new wooden accents throughout the restaurant. There’s also a new, plush lounge area, expanding the amount of space dedicated to bar patrons. Saddle Rock is also utilizing the expansive back patio.

Now, what about food?

There are oysters; a daily selection of hot cakes ($9); a section for snacks, salads and “hardtack;” main dishes; and desserts. It’s easy to see the historic influence in dishes such as pickled eggs with smashed peas and rye ($6); beef wellington with a poached egg and pickled onion ($26); and a hangtown fry ($18). But there are some more eclectic surprises, too, like a wild rice cake with chicken salad, sorrel and celery ($9), or chop suey made with soba noodles ($16). Small plate prices range $6-$14, entrees $16-$27.

Masera’s pastry background should make everyone very excited for the desserts. They sound very old-school—think peach duff ($9) and devil’s food cake ($9)—but knowing Masera, they’ll probably be playful and unexpected in some way.

Cocktails seem particularly inventive, with many incorporating Asian ingredients. The Cabrillo ($9) mixes rum, fig, Sichuan peppercorn, orgeat and absinthe, while the Dirty Means ($9) uses bourbon, leather, chocolate, Thai chili and peanut oil, for example. There are also mocktails and a small section devoted to the Ramos Gin Fizz.

For now, Saddle Rock is only open for dinner, but look for lunch and brunch in the future.

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