I had heard good things about Hawks, a fine-dining establishment in Granite Bay owned by Michael Fagnoni and Molly Hawks, but I have never had the pleasure of dining there. So I was excited to have Hawks Public House, a more casual dining establishment, move into the neighborhood.
Hawks is the first tenant of the Mediterranean-style building at the corner of Alhambra and Stockton Boulevards. The building had sat empty (surrounded by chain link fencing) for a long-long-long time. The Hawks Public House building is long and narrow so it can get a bit loud and cramped when it is packed – which it often is. However, the ample parking is a big plus (complimentary parking in the Sutter Medical Plaza lot – enter on Stockton Blvd.).
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Hawks has a full bar that includes local craft beer and craft cocktails. I recently met two friends and former colleagues there for Happy Hour (M-F, 2:30 pm-6:00 pm). I opted for a glass of Rosenblum Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon ($7) while my friends ordered the Public House Martini (Platinum Vodka, Shaft’s Blue Cheese Olives) ($7) and the Johnny Good Feather (house-made limoncello, lemon juice, ice tea) ($7).
I have made limoncello before (it is a lot of work) so I was very interested in the Johnny Good Feather. My friend offered me a sip but the drink seemed a bit strong to me. Next time my neighbor offers me lemons from his backyard trees I plan to make limoncello and then experiment – making my own version of the Johnny Good Feather to offer friends at summer BBQ’s.
While we chatted and caught up on things we decided to order the House Made Potato Chips (with caramelized onion dip) ($4) and the Fried Asparagus (with lemon aioli) ($8).
As we talked one friend confided in me that she was laughing out loud while sitting at her desk as she read Curious About Floatation Therapy? my post detailing my experience at Capitol Floats. It was pretty funny – in hindsight.
After sampling the chips and dip we all agreed that the onion dip tasted like it was made with sour cream and (dry) Lipton Onion Soup mix. As to the asparagus – the batter on the asparagus was light and it was done just right – but the lemon aioli was nothing special. The portions of both dishes disappointed.
Hawk’s, it appears, relies on its cocktails – not its Happy Hour food offerings – to attract the Happy Hour crowd.
The first time I dined at Hawks the place was hopping – and a large party had reservations which limited the availability of tables. Luckily we were a party of two and we were seated shortly after entering – much to our delight given the crowd. Throughout the meal the service was first class.
Offered for dinner are both entrees and small plates which change frequently. We opted to share four small plates. The food presentation marched the service, and we enjoyed each dish we ordered. Sharing small plates for dinner worked well for my dining companion and me as it provided the opportunity to try a variety of dishes.
Hawks is a bit pricey – but it certainly will remain on my list of restaurants to consider next time I am celebrating a special occasion.
(UPDATED 10/20/17) Hawks was voted #1 in Sacramento Magazines 2017 Best of Sacramento survey for: New Restaurant; Restaurant to Take Out-of-Towners; New American; Charcuterie Plate; Chef, Up and Coming (Dane Blom); and Restaurant in East Sacramento.
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