Thursday, August 6, 2009

A Very Much Planned - Plan B

Most of us have a Plan B when it comes to decisions. Lucky for those in the Arden-Arcade area, their “Plan B” is a restaurant featuring European culinary experience and New York business savvy.

Lionel Lucas, Plan B’s co-owner, greeted my friend and me with a smile as we entered and admired the restaurant’s contemporary atmosphere, clean lines and open space. Even though it was a lazy weekday evening, my gut (and not just its growling) and nose led me to believe this would be an enjoyable dining experience.

I am a big believer that every great dining adventure begins with a cocktail. The toughest part is deciding which one! Admiring a beautiful bar manned by a skilled mixologist is like shoe shopping at Nordstroms. So many pretty bottles, textures and colors to choose from that you want to try each one. Our bartender Matt, like any good cocktail consultant, created the “Perfect” Perfect Manhattan; with just the right amount of vermouth and that hint of bourbon. For my companions drink, he chose Patron’s favorite companion, the Margarita. Although Matt created one that most bartenders would be proud to shake, my friend’s discerning taste and more importantly his sampling of my own ‘rita concoction, has spoiled his taste buds. My Jimmy Buffet loving uncle taught me that all girls should know two things in life; how to change a tire and make a Margarita. Thank goodness I have AAA!

We were one of the first diners to arrive and I was utterly impressed to see that Lionel, who prefers to be called Lucas, was taking orders and juggling roles and plates in his own place. I’ve learned through my own hospitality industry experience, it should be admired when an owner roles up his sleeves to know first hand what the troops face on the battlefield.

A butter lettuce salad with blue cheese, dried cherries, walnuts and a dijon vinaigrette caught my eye and taste buds. I have been obsessed with butter lettuce lately and by far this salad continued that obsession. For our wining and dining pleasures, I complimented my salad with a bottle of Arrogant Frog Rose. This French wine and its rosewater essence brought me to les domaines de Provence and complimented the blue cheese and cherries perfectly.

My cohort had the half chicken breast with ratatouille. We learned that in addition to his charm, smile and Perfect Manhattan, Matt could also recommend the perfect wine. In this case the Deloach Pinot Noir. The succulent chicken fell off the bone allowing one to try and capture the juices between the tasty pieces of skin and white meat. The flavorful broth was unable to be soaked up any more because the chicken was already so juicy. The ratatouille with all its rustic Italian flavors made each bite one to savor . Even the side of “skinny” fries were rave-able!

We retired to the patio to finish our wine and enjoy the last hints of flavor that it brought out from our meal. To my surprise, my friend ordered cheesecake as the final note. I was too engulfed in the last bits of strawberry, rosemary and floral tastes of my Arrogant Frog to desire something sweet and creamy. However, the presentation enticed me towards a bite and I can’t say I regretted it. Plan B is a Luxx recommendation for those wanting to experience a great meal with an equally great setting. Don’t forget to tell Matt we said hello!

Plan B Restaurant – 555 La Sierra Dr, Sacramento

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