What: El Dorado Epicurean
Who: El Dorado County Visitor’s Authority
Where: Restaurants in El Dorado County
When: Sunday, Jan. 27, 4 to 8:30 p.m.
Cost: $55 per person
El Dorado County’s premier chefs are cooking up sumptuous culinary experiences for diners partaking in El Dorado Epicurean to enjoy.
The annual event, organized by the El Dorado County Visitor’s Authority, coincides with California Restaurant Month and showcases some of the finest cuisine in the Golden State.
The one-night dining extravaganza on Sunday, Jan. 27 features 15 different itineraries that include a delicious four-course dinner, each course served at a different restaurant.
Tickets are $55 per person or $90 per couple.
Reservations are required for the progressive dinner and can be made by calling 800-457-6279 or stopping by the El Dorado County Chamber of Commerce Visitors Center, 542 Main St. in Placerville.
Each El Dorado Epicurean experience is unique and gives diners a chance to taste the culinary creations from all over the Western Slope of the county.
The dining travel schedule starts with the appetizer being served from 4 to 5;30 p.m. The second course of a soup or salad is from 5 to 6:30 p.m. The entrée is served from 6 to 7:30 p.m. and the dessert course is from 7 to 8:30 p.m.
Placerville Cozy Culinary Adventure — This is a walkable adventure focusing on some intimate and possibly undiscovered culinary stops. Park at the garage off of Main Street in Placerville and walk across the bridge to the Albert Shafsky House Bed and Breakfast Inn to enjoy four delicious appetizers — Parmesan-encrusted spinach and cheese ravioli, grape and goat cheese crostini, guacamole deviled eggs and fruit skewers with cinnamon cream. For the second course walk back across the bridge to Z-Pies by the parking garage. Diners can choose between tomato fennel bisque soup topped with gorgonzola cheese or an organic gorgonzola salad with apples, walnuts and gorgonzola cheese and served with balsamic vinaigrette dressing. Travel up Main Street to The Independent Restaurant for the delicious buttermilk fried chicken with cheddar grits. A decadent dessert of a chocolate tapas sampler of spiced chocolate budding, truffle tarts, Florentines, ginger aphrodisiac, white chocolate fondue and fresh fruit, fresh raspberry shooter, chic chocolate sipping chocolate and spice bar will finish the meal at Claudia Marie.
Main Street Culinary Adventure – This is another walkable culinary adventure beginning at Cascada Restaurant. Choose between Cascada quesadilla, made with chicken, bacon, spinach, artichoke hearts, avocado, onions and tomatoes, topped with cheese and served with pico de gallo and sour cream, or camarones Don Felipe made with jumbo shrimp wrapped in bacon, tossed in hot sauce and served on a bed of sautéed onions and peppers and a spicy picante sauce. Next Heyday Café offers a choice between roasted red pepper bisque soup or the Heyday made with mixed greens topped with artisanal bleu cheese, candied pecans and apples dressed with apple cider vinaigrette. Travel a short stroll down Main Street to Bricks Restaurant where food adventurers will choose between chicken cavatappi made with grilled chicken, bacon, artichoke hearts, tomato, basil and smoked gouda sauce cavatappi pasta or rosemary parmesan shrimp sautéed with rosemary and garlic in parmesan cream sauce with brown basmati rice or apple chops made with center cut loin chops with shallots, Granny Smith apples, cinnamon and nutmeg port wine sauce with brown basmati rice. For dessert the evening ends at It’s Personal custom wine labels and wine bar with rich chocolate cheesecake.
Placerville Vegetarian Venture – This walkable adventure was not only designed for vegetarians but those traveling with vegetarians. The evening begins at Claudia Marie on Main Street for appetizers. Palette pleasers include Asian tasting spoons of spicy roasted red pepper pesto, walnut bleu cheese parmesan pesto, balsamic onions, crostini, with ricotta mousse and chevre mousse garnished with chopped herbal mixed greens and roasted tomato marmalade. The Independent Restaurant is waiting to serve the second course of a roasted beet salad made with heirloom beets, mixed greens, toasted almonds, goat cheese and red wine vinaigrette. The main course insures no one is left out with several choices at Bricks Restaurant. Choose between a vegetarian stir fry made with fresh vegetables over brown basmati rice; portabella mushroom burger; rosemary Parmesan shrimp sautéed with rosemary and garlic in parmesan cream sauce with brown basmati rice; or a dinner-sized portion of any of the scrumptious vegetarian salads, soups or sandwiches; or alter one of the entrées to go meatless. If meat is a treat choose from chicken cavatappi made with grilled chicken, bacon, artichoke hearts, tomato, basil and smoked gouda sauce cavatappi pasta or rosemary Parmesan shrimp sautéed with rosemary and garlic in Parmesan cream sauce with brown basmati rice or apple chops made with center cut loin chops with shallots, Granny Smith apples, cinnamon and nutmeg port wine sauce with brown basmati rice. Zia’s Italian Café invites diners to finish the evening with a rich gelato coppetta.
Dining Downtown Culinary Adventure — This adventure is full of surprises starting at It’s Personal custom wine labels and wine bar on Main Street. The first course includes ahi tuna steak with sesame soy ginger sauce, anti pasta meats and cheeses with roasted vegetables. Old Town Grill has agreed to stay open late for this event and wow culinary adventures with baby field greens with wild caught salmon stuffed with braised baby spinach and gorgonzola garnished with candied bacon and gorgonzola crumbles paired with a sweet and sour vinaigrette. A short stroll up Main Street to Bricks Restaurant where culture and culinary meet. The walls are filled with the unique artistic work of Scot Benton Photography. Choose chicken cavatappi made with grilled chicken, bacon, artichoke hearts, tomato, basil and smoked gouda sauce cavatappi pasta or rosemary Parmesan shrimp sautéed with rosemary and garlic in Parmesan cream sauce with brown basmati rice or apple chops made with center cut loin chops with shallots, Granny Smith apples, cinnamon and nutmeg port wine sauce with brown basmati rice. Heyday, a popular spot for locals, finishes off this adventure with gingerbread cake with Meyer lemon sauce and sweet cream cheese.
Taste Another Place Culinary Adventure — This adventure puts a southern twist on the Dining Downtown Adventure. The first course gives a nod to Asian culinary influences at It’s Personal offering seared ahi tuna steak with sesame soy ginger sauce, anti pasta meats and cheeses with roasted vegetables. Old Town Grill has agreed to stay open late for this event and wow culinary adventures with baby field greens with wild caught salmon stuffed with braised baby spinach and gorgonzola garnished with candied bacon and gorgonzola crumbles paired with a sweet and sour vinaigrette. The southern twist comes in the entrée at The Independent Restaurant for buttermilk fried chicken with cheddar grits. Finally enjoy a taste of Italy at Zia’s Italian Café with the decadent gelato coppetta,
Around the World Culinary Adventure — This exclusive adventure is designed for just 10 epicureans to explore culinary delights from around the world without leaving the area. The evening opens at Sienna Restaurant in El Dorado Hills with coconut crunchy shrimp in a pineapple black pepper reduction. A taste of Mexico will be reflected in the next course at the newly opened Los Pinos Restaurant in Cameron Park. Choose between steaming hot tortilla soup with chicken and vegetables in a flavorful broth, served with crispy tortilla strips, avocado and sour cream or pollo Cozumel salad made with charbroiled chicken breast served on mixed greens with red peppers, black beans, corn, red onions, red cabbage, tortilla strips and mango pico de gallo. It is tossed in a mango vinaigrette and served with a side of chipotle cream sauce. The main course is a surf and turf combination at Zac Jack Bistro in Cameron Park made with all natural coulotte steak and button poached wild white shrimp, potato au gratin and bacon braised Brussels sprouts. The last stop for these worldly travelers is Crepe Town European Café and Grill in Cameron Park. Choose from a nutella banana crepe, granny apple crepe, lemon delight crepe or stuffed apple crepe all topped with Gunthers ice cream.
Crepe Culinary Adventure — This culinary journey is designed for those who call themselves foodies. The evening opens at Sienna Restaurant in El Dorado Hills with coconut crunchy shrimp in a pineapple black pepper reduction. For the second course travel east to Burke Junction, a western themed town center in the heart of Cameron Park. Que Viva will make puzzle soup, one of the best known dishes of Jalisco, Mexico. It is made with pork and cooked with hominy and slices of lime, cilantro, sliced radish, chopped onion and shredded cabbage. For the entrée travel to a European café just a few steps away. Crepe Town Café and Grill is offering a choice of a beef and Burgundy crepe, a chicken rosemary crepe, a grilled veggie crepe, an European sausage with cream, a roasted beef panini or a chicken pesto panini. The evening finishes at Zac Jack Bistro with six layers of moist Belgium chocolate cake with layers of rich chocolate mousse and frosted with a bittersweet Belgian callebot chocolate ganache.
Fab 50 Culinary Adventure – Start off this culinary adventure at Zac Jack’s Bistro, specializing in everyday gourmet cuisine, with baked mushroom — oyster button cumi mushroom ragout and spinach garlic shallot wrapped in puff pastry. For the second course Que Viva in Burke Junction in Cameron Park will make puzzle soup, one of the best known dishes of Jalisco, Mexico. It is made with pork and cooked with hominy and slices of lime, cilantro, sliced radish, chopped onion and shredded cabbage. Travel west on the Fabulous Highway 50 corridor to the vibrant upscale community of El Dorado Hills. Enjoy fine dining and house favorites at Sienna Restaurant, a choice of braised short rib with Parmesan mashed potatoes and gingered baby carrots or the Thai chili magi magi. The last stop on this adventure brings travelers to the Hub in El Dorado Hills Town Center, an emerging downtown district of El Dorado Hills. Here diners will enjoy an array of miniature desserts such as flowerless chocolate ganache tortes, white chocolate cups with white chocolate mousse and raspberries, salted caramel bites, bittersweet chocolate espresso brownies, meringues, plus additional desserts and each guest will also leave with a little sampler box of goodies.
El Dorado Hills Sea Lovers Adventure — This is an exclusive culinary journey designed for just 10 epicureans. The evening opens at the upscale-casual eatery, Sienna Restaurant located in the La Borgata Center. Prepared from scratch, the coconut crunchy shrimp in a pineapple black pepper reduction is a great way to get the adventure started. The second course will take diners to the energetic environment of Relish Burger Bar for mesclun green salad topped with blue cheese, apples, bacon, candied pecans and balsamic vinaigrette. The recently opened and already popular 36 Handles Pub and Grill offers one of their most popular entrées, traditional fish and chips with a choice of cod, haddock or salmon. The fish is tempura deep fried to a golden brown, served with pub fries tossed in malt vinegar powder, fresh parsley and herb lemon aioli. The last stop on this adventure brings travelers to the Hub in El Dorado Hills Town Center. Here diners will enjoy an array of miniature desserts such as flowerless chocolate ganache tortes, white chocolate cups with white chocolate mousse and raspberries, salted caramel bites, bittersweet chocolate espresso brownies, meringues, plus additional desserts and each guest will also leave with a little sampler box of goodies.
Wining and Dining Coloma Culinary Adventure – This is the very first time a culinary adventure has been offered in the beautiful and scenic Coloma Valley. Epicureans will be treated to the finest the area has to offer. Beginning at the galleria event center at David Girard Vineyards, travelers will enjoy freeform shrimp cocktail on a water crisp cracker, sundried tomato and artichoke tapanade on a toasted baguette and spinach and garlic stuffed mushroom cap. Many of David Girard Vineyards fine wines will be available for purchase. The next stop is Sierra Rizing, nestled beside the South Fork of the American River. Here diners will have a choice of curried pumpkin with chickpea soup or baby greens dressed with a citrus vinaigrette topped with orange segments and candied pecans. The entrée will be served at Café Mahjaic known for its new American cuisine. Choose one of at least three choices that include fish, red meat and pasta made from scratch using naturally raised organic meats and grains. The evening ends at one of El Dorado County’s most luxurious lodging, the Eden Vale Inn. Relax next to the fireplace and spend a chilly January evening with caramel apple cheesecake, Annabelle’s Chocolates, Busby Cellars of Fair Play’s dessert wine, Temple coffee and tea.
Camino Culinary Adventure – This adventure starts in the former logging town of Camino at the Camino Hotel Bed and Breakfast Inn. Assorted appetizers including marinated cheese, barbecue shrimp, bruschetta and BLT bites and more will be served in the beautifully restored rustic country parlor. The recently opened Crystal Basin Bistro is next offering unforgettable Italian sausage pasta e fagioli soup for the second course. The main course for this adventure will be served in the rustic yet elegant handcrafted Log Cabin Café. Dine in country elegance surrounded by two huge granite fireplaces. Choose between beef Bourguignon, garlic mashed potatoes and sautéed vegetables or baked stuffed chicken breast filled with spinach, onion, mushrooms and feta cheese served with a viognier sauce, rice pilaf and sautéed vegetables served with artisan bread and butter. Chef Jason at the Cellar at the Smith Flat House has taken the best ingredients from the Apple Hill Growers and prepared a delicious finish to this evening’s adventure — a choice of almond caramel tartlet or pear and cranberry cobbler.
Pleasant Valley Perfect Pairing Culinary Adventure – Designed with just 15 experienced Epicureans in mind, this itinerary travels down the back roads of Pleasant Valley known for its Rhône varietals and unexpected culinary gems. Kick off the evening at Auriga Wine Cellars with warm cheese popovers paired with Sauvignon Blanc and Sparkling Wine; bruschetta topped with prosciutto, apple and brie paired with 2010 Zinfandel; and tri-tip bruschetta paired with 2010 Barbera. The second course is nothing less than wonderful at Wonderful Chinese, a local favorite. Just the thing for a chilly January evening — a steaming cup of hot and sour soup or egg flower soup together with Chinese chicken salad topped off with very popular cream cheese wonton. The main course is will be served in the majestic Mediterranean-inspired tasting room of Mira Flores Winery overlooking 252 acres of estate vineyards. Diners will discover these fine wines pair beautifully with the coq au vin. This French braise of chicken is cooked with wine, mushrooms and garlic and is prepared especially for the El Dorado Epicurean by Chef Christian, the chef de cuisine, a native of Valance in Southern France. The final course of this amazing adventure is served at Annabelles Chocolates in El Dorado. What a lovely way to end this adventure relaxing in the lounge among friends and chocolate.
Fair Play Culinary Adventure — This culinary journey takes diners along the scenic byways of the Fair Play wine growing region, one of El Dorado County’s best kept secrets. Begin the evening’s adventure at the Mediterranean-inspired tasting room of Mira Flores Winery overlooking 252 acres of estate vineyards. Discover these fine wines paired with an assortment of appetizers created by Chef Christian, a native of Valance in Southern France. Nestled among the oaks, Lucinda’s Country Inn, introduces diners to Sean’s Custom Catering with a grilled eggplant-mozzarella salad in front of the large fireplace in the magnificent great room. Fast becoming a favorite spot in Fair Play’s food scene the Pub at Fair Play offers Parmesan and chive encrusted cod over wild mushroom risotto with mixed vegetables sautéed in a balsamic vinegar glaze. The final course brings culinary adventurers to Gold Vine Grill where family and friends come for good times and great food. Enjoy the restaurants most popular dessert croissant bread pudding made with sundried cranberries and served with crème Anglais.
Surf and Turf Adventure — Explore the culinary delights from land and sea without heading to the coast. The ahi tartare with avocado mousse and jalapeño chips will no doubt make you feel the ocean’s breeze at the Independent Restaurant on Main Street in Placerville. Next head upstream to the Cellar at the Smith Flat House for a choice of Apple Hill salad made with mixed greens, celery, local organic apples, gorgonzola cheese, mixed candied nuts topped with a apple cider vinaigrette dressing or a roasted beet salad with arugula and faro, candied nuts, goat cheese, roasted beets dressed with citrus vinaigrette. Once adventurers get their sea legs it is off to 50 Grand Steak House for a 10 ounce New York steak cooked to perfection over mesquite with baked potato or grilled salmon with mango salsa served with a baked potato or rice pilaf. With feet firmly on the ground just travel across the street to the New Haven for Meyer lemon New York cheesecake topped with Meyer lemon sauce and drizzled with raspberry sauce. Coffee and port will be available for additional fee.
Divide Culinary Adventure – This adventure will cover a lot of ground from Georgetown, a 19th century gold camp to the Coloma Valley where the gold rush began. It is filled with wonderful culinary discoveries and worth every mile of the journey. Start this scenic adventure at Loco Barbecue on Main Street with little pig sliders and a baby back rib paired with house blackberry lemonade. Now that you know why the locals call Georgetown “The Pride of the Mountains” it is time to check out the true meaning of Cool. The second course is served right in the middle of Cool at the Cork and Fork with a choice of a cool crunchy Asian salad with water chestnuts and mandarins or a warm spinach salad with applewood bacon both served with a cup of potato bacon soup and a toasted roll. For the main entrée the journey heads to the Hindquarter House in Pilot Hill. Known for its beef specialties epicureans will have a choice of Angus supreme cut ribeye slow roasted into a delightfully thick slice of juicy prime rib served with au jus or tender and tasty rosemary pork loin. The evening ends at Sierra Rizing Bakery in the beautiful and scenic Coloma Valley. No need to choose you may have some of each of the trio dessert sampler with chocolate, fruit and caramel.