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2010 Best of Sacramento Winner
Spataro Restaurant and Bar
1415 L St.
2010 Best of Sacramento Winner - Best Fish Fry
If you’re searching for a classy, gracious restaurant to bring a first date or (gulp) your new boss, Spataro is a Sure Thing. The ambience is sophisticated, the waitstaff is well-trained and professional, and the restaurant’s regional Italian cuisine is impressive. Beautifully upholstered booths and soft lighting in the main dining room provide a feeling of privacy—conducive to the business environment which predominates during lunch—and the beautiful, busy open kitchen is a stunning focal point to a dining experience at Spataro. If your past experience with Italian food consists mainly of eggplant Parmesan and spaghetti, you’ll marvel at the array of delectable and authentically prepared dishes offered up at this popular restaurant. From the kitchen’s tasty housemade cured meats and sausages to the thin-crust pizzas and handmade pastas and cheeses, this is the real thing, complete with a very interesting wine list (and a charming sommelier to guide you through it) and cushy, just-baked focaccia (with marvelous olive oil in which to dip it). The kitchen has a deft hand with fresh fish—if Petrale sole is on the menu, order it—and we recently had a stunning cioppino, composed of a lovely array of fish and seafood immersed in a spicy tomato broth. Recommended dishes include the eye-rollingly delicious polpettini (miniature meatballs braised in tomato sauce, served with soft polenta); and the sumptuous orecchiette al salsiccia, pasta tossed with housemade fennel sausage, cannellini beans, chunks of butternut squash and breadcrumbs. Spataro has a lively bar scene in the evenings, and offers one of the best Happy Hours in the downtown area. — Kira O'Donnell
Insider tip: When you make reservations, be sure to request the elegant main dining room. Otherwise, you may end up seated in the bar, considered an “overflow” dining area.
Payment methods: AmEx, Discover Card, MasterCard, Visa
Alcohol: Full bar
Corkage fee: $20
Hours: Monday–Thursday: Lunch 11:30 a.m.–4 p.m.; Dinner 5–9 p.m.
Price Range: Moderate
2010 Best of Sacramento Winner: Editors' Pick
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