It's not often that a new restaurant pops up in the heart of downtown, especially in the midst of another surge of 'you-know-what' greek letter. Having opened just around four weeks ago (according to waitstaff), and being a stone's throw from the Capitol itself, it is in a place where it must exceed expectations for food and dining experience, with classics down the street such as Ella, Dawson's, and Cafeteria 15L (all great restaurants), and so many others I don't have space to name. I believe that "Prelude Kitchen & Bar" will live up to the restaurant hype. Newly remodeled and outfitted with contemporary-designed bright interior, and with availability for outdoor seating that includes a view of the Capitol building itself, it is sure to become a tourist favorite. The debut menu features something for everyone, with healthy/vegetarian options such as the Pickled Chioggia Beets, Roasted Nantes Carrots (roasted baby carrots), soups and salads, and hearty entrees. Drawing inspirations from French, Italian, and American cuisine, it is one that serves dishes similar to the other fine restaurant owned by the same owner, Allen Kou, the iconic "Zinfandel Grille." (Citation: Sacramento Business Journal)
Although not equipped with as sizable as a selection as Zinfandel Grille, it features a characteristic selection of fine American cuisine nonetheless. Befitting its previous tenant, the Diplomat Steakhouse, which closed down sometime during the pandemic, the menu includes a robust grilled angus New York steak (formerly the "hangar steak"), topped with crispy onion, peppercorn and spicy salsa. Some of its other carnivorous dishes include the delicious Chicken Al Mattone, lamb shank, pork chop, and sea bass. It is almost like they were trying to cover all of the different types of meat. Each of these dishes features a fair amount of accoutrements, however, which takes away a little bit from the meat being the center of the dish.
Their drink menu showcases aficionado favorites like Macallan 15 year scotch, Dewars (my personal top choice) and a variety of medium to top shelf whiskey and bourbon bottles. They even have a couple flights available for more adventurous whiskey drinkers. Their wine selection covers nearly all the popular wine types, which makes it possible to pair with each of the dishes, although it might take some finagling with the waiter to help make that choice for you. And of course cocktails—where else can a local restauranteur show their flair than by coming up with a punny drink name like "Lap of Luxury" or "Capital Idea"? I tend to stick to the classics to be safe, with their bar showing more strongly making the "Piggy Back Old Fashion", listed in their Classic Cocktails selection.
While this restaurant is not currently available on DoorDash or Grubhub as of the date of this writing, I would not recommend spoiling the eating experience with ordering pickup or delivery from this restaurant. Instead, I recommend coming down and checking out the latest addition to the downtown Sacramento restaurant scene: Prelude Kitchen & Bar.
You can place a reservation and view their menu here: https://preluderestaurant.com/. Currently open 4-9pm.