- May 23, 2017
I have been wanting to go to The Kitchen for years. My husband Kenny called in January hoping to get a reservation for my February birthday but got the first available date of May 20, 2017! I’m going to start by saying I see why The Kitchen is so popular and it was TOTALLY WORTH THE WAIT!!
We went to The Kitchen with our close friends Daisy and Simon to celebrate their 10th wedding anniversary. We were seated right away. They only have one sitting a night at 7pm each night. So every single person is placed in a certain location on their seating chart. After being given drinks, we were invited to walk around the actual kitchen and sample foods. I should mention that The Kitchen isn’t just a restaurant. It’s an experience. You can have as much food as you want after they serve that course. In the beginning and at Intermission and at the end, you are invited to walk around the kitchen. You can watch food being prepared, and sample to your hearts delight. During Act I as it was called, I had a raw Hog’s Island oyster, a homemade potato chip, cookie dough, and a madeleine while walking around.
I had 4 glasses of a rose wine. My hubby had a Manhattan with a round ice ball. The rose was excellent. My husband had few Manhattans and a beer. (We weren’t driving.=)
We were invited to sit down. The Executive Chef Kelly McCown is hilarious. He’s loud, loquacious, funny, and very entertaining to watch. I was also delighted to see Allyson Harvie, as The Kitchen’s Chef De Cuisine. This woman is a rock star in the Sacramento culinary world.
Act II Pina Colada consisted of Glazed White Ecuadorian Prawns with pique de pena, crisp plantain, coconut mousse, cilantro, and grilled pineapple. This dish was awesome. It was so pretty to look at. I would never think to put coconut mousse with prawns but somehow it worked. The crispy plantain and grilled pineapple both provided fruity flavor and a bit of a different texture to the dish. I liked this dish so much I ate 2 of them during the night. I would say this was my 2nd favorite dish.
Act III Blue Lagoon involved a Roasted Alaskan Halibut, with lemon grass beurre blanc, oyster mushrooms, sea beans, and preserved lemons. The halibut was tender and so delicate that when I put my fork in it, it just melted through like butter. At first was intrigued by the blue color but the sauce was so delicious I used a spoon to scrape every last bit and put it into my mouth. This Blue Lagoon halibut dish was my favorite dish of the night. I’m not even always a fish person. There are plenty of fish that I don’t like. But I could have several of this dish every single day. No joke, I ordered 2 more of these during the night.
At Intermission we were invited to walk around again and sample foods they were preparing. I ate my little heart out because everything was so good. I grabbed steak tartar tacos, spam fried with rice and furikake, tuna sea steak, spicy tuna roll, a homemade cracker with white chedder and bleu cheese, a homemade potato chip, and an avocado cucumber cooler. Everything was delicious and just whet my appetite more.
Part of the genius of The Kitchen is that you don’t just fill up on one thing. You fill up on a lot of little carefully prepared, delicious dishes. I don’t usually go for raw steak but the steak tartar tacos had an incredible flavor. The homemade pototo chip was sooo good! I had a handful. They were the best potato chips I’ve ever had. I also really liked the avocado cucumber cooler. It was given in a shot glass. You could tell they put mint it in. The cucumber which accompanied it also totally made it refreshing. I seriously had 3 of these avocado cucumber coolers.
Act IV Negroni consisted of Roasted California Squab and Confit with rhubard, juniper berry, campari, and endive a l’etuvee. I love squab. It’s a very, very tiny, gamey little bird. The meat was so tender, I just used my work to knock it off the bones. . The rhubarb and juniper berry really enhanced the berry like flavor of the sauce. I polished every bite of this dish. I just kept on eating even though I felt so full I could barely move.
Act V Manhattan had Butter Poached Beef Tenderloin with smoked purple asparagus, creamed bloomsdale spinach, tobacco, and Manhattan jus. Chef Kelly informed us that that beef had been poached in butter and promised it would be very tender. I’ve never had a more tender beef tenderloin. I was amused to find out that the tobacco was actually tobacco that they put in a glass jar and set on the table. LOL! The beef tenderloin was meaty and flavorful. I had a bit of trouble finishing it because I was so full. But my husband was happy to polish it off for me.
For Act VI, they served Temple Coffee, which any Sactown native knows has the best coffee in town, and fresh custom made tea. I’m a tea person and will drink tea any day. So I was delighted to find out that not only could I choose my own tea ingredients but that they would custom blend it for me. I chose the Invigorating blend with mint, ginger, and lemongrass. It was so refreshing that I really didn’t need any honey or sugar. My hubby had the coffee and assured me it was clearly Temple coffee. The man won’t even touch Starbucks.
Act VII Hemingway Daiquiri consisted of Lime Creme Brulee with macerated spring berries, rum, and sweet cream fraiche. I love creme brulee because it’s the perfect balance of sweet, creamy texture, and crispy texture. It’s one of my favorite desserts. This creme brulee was fruity with a crispy yellowish top that I broke through. I love creme fraiche and loved eating the creme brulee and the berries with it. It was the perfect dessert and I would have been perfectly happy if this finished the meal.
By the time Act VII was done, I was so full I could have died happy. But they weren’t done and they weren’t kidding when they told us they were going to stuff us until we couldn’t move. Chef Kelly announced that they were bringing out to us another round of dessert consisting of chocolate covered rice krispy treats, madeleines, petite lemon tarts, and shots of hot chocolate. I somehow made room and managed to consume most of the extra dessert round. I really liked the petite lemon tart and the hot chocolate shots.
You can’t talk about The Kitchen without emphasizing the role that Kelly McCown plays. He was basically most of the show. The Kitchen would not be The Kitchen if not for his enthusiastic delivery. Somewhere during the dinner, I turned to my husband and said, “I want some of whatever he’s got because this guy is awesome!” I almost died when he started ragging on Thomas Keller and The French Laundry (all in good fun).
The customer service was top notch and their attention to detail was impeccable. My water was kept filled. The minute my rose wine was gone, I was immediately asked if I would like another. If I wanted another serving of a particular dish, I needed only to ask for it. My hubby asked for a serving of cherry brandy inspired by the cherry soaked in brandy that accompanied the beef tenderloin. He was immediately given a shot glass of it.
I’m not going to lie because I think people will want to know the truth. The Kitchen is pricey. Our tab for 4 people came to approximately $1000 dollars, including drinks. I found out later that my 4 glasses of rose wine were each $25. If you’re on a budget, this is wrong restaurant for you. If you don’t mind splurging a bunch of money for awesome food, great customer service, and plenty of entertainment, then you should go for it.
It’s rare to find a restaurant where every single item is of such high quality. Because most restaurants don’t pay this much attention to detail and work so hard to produce such unique dishes, The Kitchen puts most restaurants to shame. I wouldn’t recommend bringing someone who couldn’t last a 3.5 hour meal or someone who is on a budget but other than that I think most adults would enjoy this upscale restaurant in Arden area.
I thoroughly enjoyed my first dining experience at The Kitchen and so did my husband and our friends who were celebrating their 10th wedding anniversary. We all agreed that the months long wait to get a reservation and the price were worth the incredible food, customer service, and the whole wildly entertaining experience. Hopefully, I can return soon with my hubby. I guess we should make reservations now if I want to go for my February birthday next year. Tip: Call months in advance if you’re trying to get a reservation for a special occasion. JAX APPROVED!
The Kitchen Restaurant
2225 Hurley Way
Sacramento, CA 95825
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Dr. Jacqueline "Jax" Cheung grew up in Sacramento, California. She is a Christian Wife, Proud Mom, Major Foodie, Sacramento Native, Elk Grove Resident, Feminist, Adoption Advocate, Blogger, Freelance Writer, and Cat Lover. Jax is the owner of the award winning Jax Chronicles Blog & Adoption Ministry. Jax won Sacramento Area A-List Local Best Blogger 2014, 2015, 2017 & 2018 and Best of Elk Grove Best Blogger 2016 & 2017. She is also the Editor-In-Chief of the Elk Grove Tribune, and freelances for Sacramento4Kids, and many other publications. Jax is married to Dr. Kenneth Cheung (Kenny). Jax and Kenny live in Elk Grove, California and have 2 daughters named Roxy and Carissa, and 3 cats named Mochi, Miso, and Mango. To follow her journey please like her Jax Chronicles Facebook page, follow her Instagram @jaxchronicles, follow her Twitter @jaxchronicles, or check out Jax Chronicles Blog & Adoption ministry.