PLACERVILLE, CALIFORNIA
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JOHN SANDERS, owner of the Old Town Grill in Placerville, cooks up a burger for a hungry diner. He and his crew also can catered events. Democrat photo by Krysten Kellum

Prospecting

Time out: The gift of food

By From page B4 | December 21, 2012

Restaurant: The Old Town Grill

Address: 444 Main St. in Placerville

Phone: 530-622-2631.

Hours: Open Mondays and Wednesdays 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.; Thursday through Saturday 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Sunday noon to 3 p.m. They are closed Tuesdays.

I typically review local restaurants, as most of you are aware, so this will be a bit of a departure for me, because this time I won’t be reviewing a restaurant. This time I’m reviewing the catering business of a local restaurant, The Old Town Grill.

The Old Town Grill just catered a Christmas party that I attended.

What a great party. The hosts knew how to throw a party and they did it right, and man oh man do they know how important it was to choose the right caterer.

They knew there was going to be a room full of guests to whom food is of paramount importance and, perhaps most importantly, they wanted this night to not only encapsulate the wonderful year they’ve had but to also make it a night everyone would remember for years to come.

John, the affable and talented owner of Old Town Grill was, as is usual, manning the buffet table.

All right, I thought to myself, we’re off to a good start. John has catered a few events I’ve been lucky enough to attend in the past and I’ve frequented his establishment on Main Street in Placerville more than a couple of times, so I knew we were in for a real treat.

Events catered by the Old Town Grille are special, they always have been. The menus are always exceptional and this night was no different.

John is usually always present, making sure not only that the quality control remains a high priority but to make sure he works a station (usually the meat carving) so he can interact with the guests and make sure they’re enjoying what he’s serving.

He is eternally grateful for the opportunity to serve his fare in this community, evidenced by the many glowing reviews on every Website I frequent.

Locals are loyal to John and those traveling up to Lake Tahoe who happen to stumble on to his place via a happy accident tell everyone they know and make a point to revisit every time they’re in the area.

As we arrived, pleasant servers walked around offering Italian stuffed mushrooms, house cured salmon, pork Al Pastor triangles and brie en croute offered with sourdough rounds. Are you drooling yet?

Then try and imagine a three grain rice pilaf, dry rub garlic studded sirloin (carved tableside by John), a Dijon chicken breast stuffed with fresh pear and candied almond chutney.

But wait, there’s more. Simply delectable butternut squash ravioli with fire roasted red pepper and onion, sautéed mushrooms and braised spinach with basil parmesan sauce; baby fried greens with crisp apple and sun dried cranberries.

But I’m not done yet. Our dessert offerings were as follows: Baklava, chocolate truffles and about three other magnificently sweet creations.

My wife, the long suffering Mrs. Camembert who doesn’t get out nearly as often as she deserves, said without a bit of embellishment that the food this evening was among some of the best she has ever had, as did a number of guests who I spoke to.

For a community that is rich with very fine locally owned restaurants that’s very high praise indeed.

Old Town Grill is located at 444 Main St. in Placerville and is open Mondays and Wednesdays 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.; Thursday through Saturday 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Sunday noon to 3 p.m. They are closed Tuesdays. The phone number is 530-622-2631.

Earle Camembert

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