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hen the calendar turns to February, one can’t help thinking of Valentine’s Day. It’s a spot of warmth in an otherwise short and often dreary month. It’s an especially bright spot for those in the restaurant trade. Valentine’s Day is one of the busiest dining-out nights in the country. For some, it’s a highpressure date night; for others, it’s a cozy renewal of years of partnership. Wherever couples are in their romantic arc, Valentine’s is a night when many go out on the town and toast to their love. We offer a few ideas for romantic dining. Whether on V-Day itself or any old weekday night, these spots should help kindle the flame. Ella Dining Room and Bar Maybe it’s the profusion of gauzy curtains, the soft lights swinging from the wood-paneled ceiling, or the gorgeous dishes coming from the kitchen, but Ella has a bit of a transportive quality to it. A night spent surrounded by the indulgent luxury and leisurely service at Ella can move a diner away from the everyday and into a dreamy, languid space. It’s hard to imagine that Ella, a jewel in the Selland restaurant group, has been open nearly a decade. It was one of the first businesses to take a

GS By Greg Sabin Restaurant Insider


POC FEB n 17

Take your valentine to Ella Dining Room and Bar for a romantic dinner. chance on a revitalized K Street and, despite nearby openings of eminently romantic restaurants like Mayahuel and Brasserie Capitale, it still ranks as the street’s premier dining destination. The elegant duck, a simple but gorgeous plate, is a feast for the senses. The old-fashioned seafood tower is a charming way for a party of two to get their hands dirty cracking crab and slurping oysters. The cocktails are expertly crafted, and the happy hour is still one of the best in town.

Ella is at 1131 K St.; 443-3772; The Firehouse Restaurant For half a century, The Firehouse Restaurant has put out exquisite food while surrounding diners with Victorian luxury. Still the grand poobah of Old Sacramento dining, The Firehouse has hosted every California governor since its opening in 1960. During the spring and summer, the ridiculously charming courtyard is a place to dine among twinkle

lights under a canopy of lazy shade trees. But in the cold month of February, the velvety dining room, with its heavy lacquered woods and sumptuous colors, is a space whose warmth doesn’t come from the boiler in the cellar. Every plate that comes from the award-winning kitchen is a piece of art. It’s hard not to be romantic during an evening at The Firehouse. The Firehouse Restaurant is at 1112 2nd St.; 442-4772;

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Inside pocket feb 2017  

Inside pocket feb 2017