(Updated 7/19/2023) Description and review of Localis, a Michelin-starred fine dining establishment located in Midtown Sacramento. NEW: See “Updates” below.
2022 was a very good year for Localis Chef/Owner and Sommelier Chris Barnum-Dann. In addition to receiving a Michelin star in 2022, Localis also was awarded a Wine Spectator Best of Award of Excellence and listed on the Wine Enthusiast Forward 50 Restaurants. I am sure additional awards will be forthcoming.
SacramentoRevealed.com – All Things Sacramento (from a personal perspective)
In mid-January I celebrated a landmark birthday, and my daughter and three friends joined me in celebrating the occasion at Localis.
I had made the reservations for “The Chef’s Counter 12 Course Tasting Menu Experience”. Little did I know at the time that the following week Localis would be awarded a Michelin star!
See related blog post: California Michelin Ranked Restaurants
Localis – The Restaurant
Reservations open for the following month on the first day of the prior month. They can only be made on-line.
I had to join “Tock” in order to make my reservations. Seating is limited. There is one seating Wednesday and Thursday, and two seatings on Friday and Saturday. There is also an option to waitlist.
When making the reservation one is asked to answer a few questions to help Localis plan for your visit. These include questions relating to the occasion, food allergies, food preferences, etc. You are also invited to make Localis aware of any special arrangements you would like to make.
A few days before my birthday I received a phone call from one of the chefs to confirm details. I was also asked, as we were celebrating a birthday, whether I would prefer a complementary glass of champagne or a non-alcoholic beverage to be served to our party. I chose the champagne.
Payment is due when the reservations are made. A service charge of 20% is added, as well as a charge for taxes and fees. All sales are final and non-refundable. One can, however, transfer the reservation to another person.
Localis is situated on S Street in Midtown Sacramento in what is largely a residential neighborhood. Much of the parking in the immediate vicinity of the restaurant is restricted to two hours. Something to keep in mind if making reservations for the 12-course tasting menu as the tasting is estimated to take 3 hours +/- .
The menu offers patrons a choice between a seven-course tasting menu ($155) and the 12-course tasting menu ($197). The seven-course tasting menu is served in the dining room. The courses on the menu change with the seasons.
Localis offers both an optional Chef’s Beverage Pairing and an optional Chef’s Non-Alcoholic Beverage Pairing as follows:
- Seven Course: $95.00 or $65.00 (non-alcoholic)
- Twelve Course: $137.00 or $95 (non-alcoholic)
On that particular evening the Chef’s Beverage Pairing (Alcoholic) included: French Champagne, French Chenin Blanc, a French Burgundy, a Japanese sake, a French Beaujolais, a sparkling cider, a German pinot noir, a Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon, a Stout, and mixed drinks utilizing vermouth, gin, rum, etc.
One person in my party opted for the $137.00 Chef’s Beverage Pairing, and was very glad she did. The rest of us enjoyed the two bottles of wine we brought with us – a Rombauer Chardonnay and a Silt Chardonnay ($50 per bottle corkage).
See related blog post: Silt Wine Company – Clarksburg
The Non-Alcoholic Pairings offered were unique and included: Citrus Tea, Green Curry Tonic, Celery Seed Soda, Creole Shrub, Broccoli Black Garlic Cream Soup, Cider, Beef Consommé, and Salted Caramel Hot Chocolate.
As you enter Localis, the front of the restaurant is dominated by the long Chef’s Counter. To its left is a wood-fired stove, the glow of which adds to the ambiance of the room. The dining room is to the left when you enter the restaurant, behind the Chef’s Counter.
The small restaurant was remodeled by Barnum-Dann, and the end result can best be described as a combination of classy and cozy.
A Winter Storm to Remember
Starting on New Year’s Eve, Sacramento was pounded by a series of atmospheric rivers (nine total in the end) along with strong winds of up to 60 mph – a deadly combination in this City of Trees.
Many Sacramento area residents had to deal with the loss of power. Others also suffered damage to property due to uprooted trees. I was much luckier than many as I was only without power and heat (burr) for three days.
Needless to say, I was immensely relieved when power was restored prior to my daughter’s arrival to spend a few days with me in celebration of my birthday.
The weather cooperated as well on that early Saturday evening, as there was a break in the bad weather as we both arrived and left Localis.
Chef’s 12 Course Dining Experience – Winter 2022/2023
The five of us in our party were greeted upon entering, and were ushered to the far end of the Chef’s Counter. We were all looking forward to our culinary experience, but I have to admit it exceeded my expectations.
Chef Barnum-Dann welcomed us, and soon thereafter introduced us to our first course, explaining the inspiration and creative process that went into making it. Additionally, Chef Chris noted the source (many of which were local) of the ingredients.
Each of the patrons sitting at the counter had their personal chef stationed in front of them. The presentation of each course was synchronized, with each chef placing the dish on the counter at the same time.
Each dish was a work of art, and the presentation was memorable – not to mention each bite was a taste treat.
To whet our appetites, we were served an Amuse-bouche (Potato, Miso Butter, Quail Egg, Cured Duck Yolk). Our group of five were also served a complementary glass of a most tasty champagne.
The Amuse Bouche was followed by:
- Fancy French Onion Dip (Potato Chip, Crème Fraiche, Caviar, Pickled Shallot, Chive)
- Are these Scallops Local? (Live Diver Scallops, Leek and Mandarin Vinaigrette, Fried Leeks, Mandarinquat Chip, Xo Aioli, Mandarin with Red Chili, Placer County Kiwi)
- Green Curry Ceviche (Fresh Fish Ceviche, Watermelon Radish, Wakame Seaweed, Fish Sauce Noodles, House Green Curry, Rice Crackers, Green Curry Trout Roe, Fried Cashews)
- A Timeless Classic (Supremes of Twin Peaks Orchards Citrus, Ricotta Mouse, Golden Beet ‘Caviar’, Crunchy Beats, Arugula Romesco, Beet Tuile, Whey and Meyer Lemon)
- The Dish That Made Us, New York Deli (Fire Roasted Octopus, ‘Pastrami’ Powder, Napa Cabbage Sauerkraut, Horseradish-Parsnip Puree, ‘Rye’ Parsnip Tulle)
- A.T.O.M.: Channeling Dorthy Ashby (“Etouffee”, Carnaroli Rice Risotto with Dark Roux, Cod and Crab Roulade, Urfa Spiced Collard Greens, Fish Skin Chicharon, Burnt Orange and Garlic Agrodoux)
- I’ll Just Have the Caesar with Chicken (Fire Roasted Quail Breast and Confit Leg with Crunchy ‘Quinoa Skin’, Black Garlic Broccoli Caesar, Caper Deviled Egg)
- Painter’s Palette (Matzo, Seasonal Paints, Faux Gras Mouse, Herbs, Flowers)
- From Llano Seco, to Germany (Braised Shank Croquette, Holly’s Pretzels, Napa Cabbage Preparations, Bengali Mustard Hollandaise, Pickled Mustard Seed- Pickled Cabbage- Pickled Fennel Relish)
- Steak n’ Taters (Wagyu and Truffle Filet Mignon, Potato Rosti, Matsutake Puree, Confit Hakurei Turnip, Green Peppercorn-Beef Demi)
- Still On That Stroop (Honey-Mandarin-Pink Peppercorn Sorbet, Stroopwafel, Pink Peppercorn Whipped Cream, Mandarin Caramel, Pink Peppercorn Glass)
- Stoners Delight (Macadamia Nut Blondie, White Chocolate and Caramel Dolce Feuilletine, Milk Chocolate Crexeux, Salted Caramel Ice Cream, Chocolate and Coffee Magic Shell, Coconut and Brown Butter Powder)
There was sufficient time between courses to enjoy each bite and chat as each chef prepared the next course. I had made up my mind in advance that I was going to try everything, and I did. My daughter, however, drew the line when it came to the fire-roasted octopus and she deposited her tentacle on my plate while I was otherwise occupied.
Among the favorite bites that evening, my companions mentioned the Amuse-bouche, fire roasted quail breast and confit leg, Steak n’ Taters and the Painter’s Palette.
Chef Barnum-Dann and his staff were personable, friendly and attentive from beginning to end, greatly enhancing a most memorable evening.
To Sum Up
To sum up, would I recommend the tasting menu at Localis to celebrate a special occasion? The answer is a resounding YES.
All five of us were comfortably full after the twelve courses. I suspect that the seven-course tasting menu might have not been quite enough for some of us.
My only (minor) disappointment that evening was that Chef Barnum-Dann did not come by to personally say a few words to members of our party.
(7/19/2023) Localis retained its Michelin One Star ranking in 2023, a well-deserved honor.
Comments on Localis?
If you have dined at Localis, what was your experience?
- 2032 S Street, Sacramento, CA 95811
- (916) 737-7699
- Days/Hours: Wednesday – Thursday (5:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.); Friday – Saturday (5:00 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.)
- Reservations Required
- Street Parking
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