The only Sacramento chef to ever land on the Saveur 100 unveils his first restaurant tomorrow. With its bold design, British inspiration, and chef’s pedigree, Oliver Ridgeway’s Camden Spit & Larder is easily one of the most highly anticipated Sacramento restaurant openings in quite some time.
Located just around the block from downtown Sacramento’s new, giant food hall The Bank, Camden Spit & Larder (555 Capitol Mall, Suite 100) promises to channel the farm-focused cuisine the city does best as well as Ridgeway’s British roots. At the heart of the menu are spit-roasted meats — as referenced in the restaurant’s name — such as roast beef rib with fermented horseradish and Yorkshire pudding. More English-influenced dishes include pork sausage rolls with hot English mustard, while the Sacramento flair reveals itself in vegetable-centric offerings like charred broccoli with black garlic soubis, confit carrots, olives, and chermoula. Caviar from nearby Passmore Ranch is always on offer. (See the full menu below.)
Ridgeway most recently spent seven years as the executive chef of Sacramento’s critically-acclaimed Grange Restaurant & Bar. He’s a regular at the annual Pebble Beach Food + Wine Festival and twice led Sacramento’s hottest ticket, the annual Tower Bridge Dinner. (This year, the legendary Jeremiah Tower took the reigns.) He’s also worked at the Carlyle Hotel in New York City, K-Paul’s Louisiana Kitchen in New Orleans, and Anasazi Restaurant in Santa Fe.
For the 4,000-square-foot restaurant’s design, Brendan Koon of VITAE Architecture Planning Interiors was inspired by high-fashion London haberdasheries. That translates to custom chandeliers, patterned taupe-and-black wood floors, pressed-tin ceilings, Windsor chairs, and splashes of deep blue and red. There’s a mishmash of patterns and fabrics — plaids, pinstripes, patent leather, houndstooth, wingtip — as well as 9,214 buttons lining the wood bar. In addition to the 115-seat dining room, there’s a spacious 70-seat patio prime for those warm Sacramento summer nights.
Bar manager Brett Heyer, who worked with Ridgeway at Grange, will focus on small-batch spirits and cocktails highlighting seasonal produce. The Rose & Pea infuses gin with rose petals, English peas, lemon, and Dolin Blanc, while the Smoking Jacket is sure to be a spectacle with apricot-infused rye, brandy, Benedictine, and bitters served in a smoke-filled bottle.
Camden Spit & Larder opens December 1. Its hours will be Monday through Thursday 11:30 a.m. to 9 p.m., Friday 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. and Saturday 5 to 10 p.m.