One of the Best Restaurants in Sacramento Suggests Something New: A Dinner Party

Dinner parties are a great alternative to dining out. To begin with, the atmosphere is not only more relaxed (the venue is your home, after all); it’s also more intimate, since all the diners are your friends. But what’s a host to do if he or she has no idea where to begin planning a dinner party?

Luckily, there are some resources out there for you. Mikuni Japanese Restaurant & Sushi Bar, one of the best restaurants in the Sacramento area, offers the following life-hacks that will help you throw a smashing dinner party, even if you’re not exactly Martha Stewart.

Hire a Chef for the Night

If you’re not too handy in the kitchen, you don’t have to settle with serving cheese and crackers for dinner. These days, some renowned Midtown Sacramento restaurants, like Mikuni Sushi, have “rent-a-chef” programs, in which a personal chef will actually go to your home and take over the cooking for you. With this method, you can wow your friends by serving restaurant-quality dishes without breaking a sweat.

Make it a BYOB Affair

Don’t know what drinks to serve? Here’s a simple solution: Let your guests bring their own alcohol! This article from Food52.com even offers a nifty trick for quickly chilling their wine bottles:

First, toss your ice with a handful or two of salt, and distribute it evenly. Place your bottle in whatever vessel you’re using, then dump the ice over it…

Then fill your bucket with cold water, as high as the neck of the bottle, so that it is surrounded by a mixture of salty, ice-filled water.

Why does this work? In order for your wine to cool, heat (energy) needs to move out of the bottle and into its surroundings… Liquid transfers heat more quickly than the pockets of air that sit between ice cubes, which is why water is key here. The salt helps to lower the freezing point of your ice-water mixture… This way, there’s more ice melting in the mixture; melting requires energy, and the closest place to find that energy is your bottle.

Minimize Cleanup

Once your dinner party has – hopefully – gone off without a hitch, you now find yourself confronted with a mountain of dishes that need washing. Fortunately, there are things you can do to minimize cleanup. If you’re intent on serving appetizers, go for food that can be eaten using napkins and toothpicks. No plates and utensils necessary means no dishwashing for you! Also, label your guests’ straws or glasses so they don’t end up using three or four different glasses over the course of the dinner – this tip also works for backyard BBQs featuring plastic utensils and cups, to avoid unnecessary waste.

(Source: How to Chill a Bottle of Wine Faster, Food52.com, June 4, 2014)

Japanese Restaurants in Sacramento, CA Embrace Tradition and Invention

The 68th Japanese Food & Culture Bazaar is exactly as it sounds: a celebration of culinary excellence and love for tradition that makes all things Japanese stand out in cosmopolitan California. A Sacramento Bee feature details preparations that transpired at the event, particularly the significant contributions made by the Sacramento Buddhist Church. In the spirit of the Bazaar, it’s not just the young ones who shouldered most of the work:

Tradition has driven the bazaar since its inception, of course. The dishes are prepared from family recipes handed down through generations, and the arts reflect a millennia-old culture. Many of the church member volunteers have been its lifeblood for decades, including some who were there at the start, such as Mitzie Muramoto, 89, and Molly Kimura, 90.

The experience can be roughly summed up as a mix of old and new, which is another thing that has allowed Japanese cuisine to remain fresh and contemporary while retaining its original identity. While ordinary people can create their own sushi and teriyaki recipes, these pale in comparison to the originals made with the knowledge passed down from multiple generations.

For instance, Mikuni Japanese Restaurant & Sushi Bar, one of the best restaurants in Sacramento, CA, follows suit by providing both traditional and modern incarnations of renowned Japanese dishes (like hamishi and gluten-free teriyaki). The chefs behind such creations know that Japanese cuisine is more intertwined with the culture that created it than most people think.

Traditionally, the Japanese prepared food according to the season. In spring, for example, most of dishes would incorporate bamboo shoots rather than chestnuts, which are abundant during fall. Fish and soy sauce are staples throughout the seasons, though, since the Japanese typically lack meat and dairy in their diet. As demonstrated in the Japanese Food & Culture Bazaar, recipes typically differ from one family to another.

Teriyaki is perhaps the best example because its taste largely hinges on the ingredients that go into the making of the sauce. Teriyaki sauce is typically made from soy sauce, sake, ginger, and sugar. Other variants make use of garlic, honey, and sesame oil. As such, teriyaki dishes served in the best Japanese midtown Sacramento restaurants are bound to have rather unique and tangy flavors. This only goes to show just how Japanese cuisine changes constantly while keeping certain things the same.

 

(Source: Japanese Bazaar is much more than food and arts, The Sacramento Bee, August 3, 2014)

Tips for Business Dinners in One of the Best Restaurants in Sacramento

Whether you are celebrating a company milestone, trying to close a business deal, or just want to cozy up to the executives, a business dinner in one of the many fantastic Midtown Sacramento restaurants like Mikuni Sushi will be a wise decision.

Hosting a business dinner is no easy feat, however. It requires careful planning to make sure preparations go smoothly. When planning a business dinner, consider the following things:

Restaurant or Elsewhere

First of all, you should decide which of the best restaurants in Sacramento would be the most suitable dinner venue for your group. Ideally, the dinner should be held in a restaurant to avoid having to spend time setting up and cleaning up.

If you decide to hold the party in a colleague’s home or at a conference venue, choose a restaurant that offers catering services. In many cases, restaurants that provide catering will supply you with everything your dinner needs: servers, chefs, tables, dinnerware, etc. The service also includes set-up and cleanup, so you don’t have to worry about either as well.

Guests and Invitations

Once you’ve locked down a venue and a date, invite your guests. However, don’t resort to a simple invite over Facebook. The Houston Chronicle suggests that your invitation should match the vibe of the event:

Create a simple, formal invitation to invite guests to your business dinner party, which includes the date, time, directions to the venue and a way to RSVP for the event. Ask guests to provide you with special diet information, such as whether they’re vegetarian or have allergies to specific foods. Send invitations 1-2 weeks before the dinner party.

Service Options and the Menu

After you receive the RSVPs of your guests, carefully plan a menu based on the food restrictions your guests have listed down. In terms of the overall amount of food, it’s better to round up your estimate. The last thing you want to happen is to run out of food before the event is over.

If there are too many overlapping restrictions, you may benefit from having a buffet style dinner instead of the traditional multi-course meal. This way, you can offer a variety of dishes, and people could simply avoid food they cannot consume. Buffets are also ideal because they encourage mingling among your guests.

 

(Source: How to Plan a Business Dinner Party; The Houston Chronicle)

Want to Live Long? Eat Sushi at the Best Restaurants in Sacramento!

The Japanese may consider sushi as a dietary staple, but many Americans see it as a crave-worthy delicacy or a treat for a special occasion. Sushi making is an art form in itself,as the presentation is just as important as the flavor components. However, there’s more to sushi than good looks and flavor. According to a Daily Mail article, researchers at the University of Pittsburgh have found that sushi can actually reduce one’s risks of contracting heart disease:

‘Multiple studies have looked at the effect of fish oil on cardiovascular health, with mixed results,’ said lead author Akira Sekikawa, an associate professor of epidemiology.

‘Previous studies investigated substantially lower intake of omega-3 fatty acids than what people in Japan actually get through their diet.

‘Our study seems to indicate that the level of marine-derived omega-3 fatty acids consumed must be higher than previously thought to impart substantial protection.’

Marine-derived omega-3 fatty acids, which are found in fish, especially oily fish and in squid and krill, may help to reduce inflammation and slow the formation of fatty plaques in arteries, he added.

This makes sushi one of the healthiest dishes you can order when dining at the best restaurants in Sacramento, especially at an elite sushi restaurant like Mikuni Sushi. Sushi rolls typically consist of raw fish, vinegared rice, and other ingredients wrapped in dried seaweed sheets. Individually, the ingredients in every sushi roll play a role in promoting good health and preventing heart problems.

For example, rice vinegar is known to boost metabolism, similar to the way apple cider vinegar does. Some types of sushi have small amounts of ginger, which is rich in antioxidants that help detoxify the body. Finally, when eaten without soy sauce, sushi is considered a low-sodium food, which makes it suitable for those with high blood pressure. Therefore, it’s not a mystery why sushi is such a popular party dish.

Despite the short list of ingredients, sushi is hardly an everyday meal in this part of the world. Among other precise qualities, this dish requires plenty of careful cuts and proportioning to make the sushi roll pleasing to the eye as well as the palate. Those who lack the food presentation and serving skills should avoid making their own sushi rolls, and are better off dining at sushi bars and reputable Midtown Sacramento restaurants like Mikuni Sushi that offer fresh, sumptuous, and healthy dishes.

 

(Source: Fancy sushi for lunch? Here’s another good excuse – it’ll help you live longer, The Daily Mail, March 5, 2014)

Foodie Finds: Sampling the Absolute Best Restaurants in Sacramento

Last January 8, 2014, the Sacramento Bee published an article that details the up and coming food trends local restaurateurs and gourmets believe will grow big in the months to come. Fine cuisine, like fashion, evolves to match the ever-changing palates of consumers everywhere, so it’s only natural that food adopts the latest trends. Notably, the article mentions a very interesting trend unique to the Sacramento region:

Farm-fresh eggs also can be locally sourced — which fits into Restaurant.com’s No. 2 trend, farm-to-fork dining. In its survey of member restaurants, 62 percent reported that they featured locally sourced produce in 2013.

“Sacramento is at the center of farm-to-fork (trends),” Krohn said. “But we’ll see that trend evolve in 2014 beyond local produce or locally sourced meat and dairy products to a farm fresh approach to preparing foods. It’s about minimal processing. We’ll see more food on restaurant tables that look like they could have been served on your grandmother’s table.”

Lately, there has been a lot of buzz regarding organic food, and it’s easy to see why. More and more people are becoming conscious of their diets and want to eat healthier food, and the city of Sacramento is leading in this trend. Unsurprisingly, some of the definitive best restaurants in Sacramento are those that place a high value on natural and fresh ingredients.

Perhaps one of the freshest and healthiest cuisines in the world is Japanese, with its strict standard for quality, presentation, and flavor, this shouldn’t come as a surprise. Raw seafood (in the form of sashimi or sushi) is central to Japanese cuisine and it needs to be as fresh as possible, so restaurants often source their catch from local fishermen. Popular Midtown Sacramento restaurants such as Mikuni serve only the finest seafood to their patrons, and it’s a treat that’s not to be missed.

 

(Source: No. 1 food trend for restaurants in 2014: Eggs, Sacramento Bee, January 8, 2014)