(Last UPDATED 2/12/2022) Description and review of Canon East Sacramento, a popular restaurant located on 34th Street. See UPDATES and “Canon Revisited” below!
A friend had made a reservation at Canon East Sacramento for eight of us at 6:00 p.m. on a Saturday. As a result, we had plenty of time to enjoy dinner before our show started at the nearby B Street Theatre at the Sophia. This was the first time for all but one of us to dine at Canon, and we were all looking forward to the experience.
A Bit About Canon
Canon East Sacramento, co-owned by restaurateur Clay Nutting and executive chef Brad Cecchi, opened in October 2017. The upscale restaurant has a small parking lot, but valet parking is also available. As it was early evening I easily found a nearby parking spot on the street. The restaurant is surrounded by industrial businesses and in a neighborhood that I had not visited previously.
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I was the first to arrive, so I seated myself at the bar and ordered a glass of Chenin Blanc (St. Rey, Sutter Ranch Vineyard) ($10). I took the opportunity to look around as I waited for everyone else to arrive. The interior of Canon East Sacramento was smaller than I thought it would be, but it is very attractive. It features a high pine-paneled ceiling and clean lines. The covered outdoor patio, on the other hand, is quite large. The patio is equipped with misters to keep patrons comfortable during hot Sacramento days.
It was not long before the majority of our party had arrived and we were seated, as requested, on the patio.
Canon is known for its imaginative cocktails. As a result, members of our group ordered and enjoyed a variety of drinks ordered from the Summer Cocktail list including the Pistachio/Peach (Pistachio-Infused Rye, Peach, Celery Bitters) ($13) and the Strawberry (Tequila, Strawberry/Black Pepper Shrub, Lime, Balsamic) ($11).
First of all, the Canon East Sacramento menu is designed to be shared and for a party our size the waiter suggested that we order a “double” order of each dish. Therefore, after looking over the menu and keeping in mind that two in our party are vegan, we decided on seven dishes:
- Bread Plate (served with cultured butter and whipped lardo) ($8)
- Louis Ribs (espresso-tamarind sauce, corn nuts, scallions, pickled chilies) ($11)
- Yellowtail Crudo (Calabrian chile and walnut pesto, lemon puree, parsley, radish, olive) ($14)
- Roasted Carrots (west African peanut stew, crispy kale, burnt onion, cilantro, sour peanuts) ($14)
- Succotash (grilled squash, blistered peppers, corn, cranberry beans, huitlacoche) ($15)
- Confit Juliet Tomatoes (smoked provolone, bread crumbs, basil, whole roasted shallot) ($15)
- Charred Broccoli Di Ciccio (with kimchi vinaigrette) ($15)
The Bread Plate had a variety of different breads and rolls – and included corn muffins. The roll I had was excellent. I hesitated at first to try the whipped lardo (pork lard) but when I did I liked it – it was very rich. Let’s just say it tastes a lot better than it sounds.
At the suggestion of our waiter, the Bread Plate was served with the Confit Juliet Tomatoes. I really enjoyed the Confit Juliet Tomatoes – it was perhaps my favorite dish after the Roasted Carrots.
We had ordered a double order of everything with the exception of the St. Louis Ribs. I had a small bite of the ribs and they were very tasty. The yellowtail crudo dish was arranged very attractively and it was visually appealing, but I did not find the dish particularly flavorful.
We had ordered three vegetable dishes, and I think that everyone in our party enjoyed them all – but the Roasted Carrots in particular was a big hit. One of the ingredients in the Succotash was huitlacoche. I vaguely remembered that huitlacoche had something to do with corn- but I was unsure as to what exactly it was. Thanks to Google I now know that huitlacoche (pronounced weet-la-COH-cheh) is a fungus also known as “corn smut”. Another good example of something tasting better than it sounds.
To Sum Up
To sum up, the staff at Canon East Sacramento were very pleasant and efficient. I was cheerfully greeted when I first entered, and our waiter was knowledgeable about the menu and both answered questions and made helpful suggestions. I also really appreciated that halfway through our meal we were offered (and gratefully accepted) fresh plates.
At some point in the future I plan to return to check out both brunch and Happy Hour at Canon East Sacramento.
See related blog post: Annual Sacramento Restaurant Review Recap (2018)
(2/12/2022) It is always great to “catch up” with former co-workers, and a recent midweek “reunion” of five of us (all former employees) was enjoyed by all. I had suggested we meet at Canon and made reservations for a table on the patio. Canon did not disappoint.
After ordering the beverages of our choice, three of us chatted while we awaited the arrival of the rest of our party.
Once we were all there we turned to the menu and chose a variety of “Quick Bites” and “Small Plates” to share while we caught up.
Quick Bites ordered were:
- Olive & Rosemary Focaccia (with arrabbiata dipping oil) ($8)
- Tots (mole, pepitas, cotija, pickled onions) ($7)
The Olive & Rosemary Focaccia was a big hit, and another plate was ordered. The Tots were found to be both crisp and tasty, and the presentation was exceptional. The mole sauce, however, did not impress.
Small Plates ordered were:
- Chicken Drumsticks (urfa chile sauce, orange, garlic, yogurt) ($12)
- Sweet Potatoes Bravas (lemon aioli, paprika, garlic, fried egg) ($16)
- Barbequed Cauliflower (sugarplum BBQ sauce, candied pecans, pickle powder, onion soubise) ($18)
All three Plates were found to be tasty and the presentation of the Chicken Drumsticks was, like the Tots, exceptional. I would order any of the five dishes sampled that evening again without hesitation.
The service at Canon was excellent, with one misstep. Our server had neglected to bring the second Focaccia plate, but did so when reminded. He also shared that there would be no charge for the dish, a very nice gesture.
To Sum Up
Our time together was over too soon, and we decided to get together again in the coming months. I was the only “retired” member of our group of former employees, and was glad to learn that all four were happily employed and thriving.
(9/29/2021) Canon retained its Bib Gourmand designation in the 2021 Michelin Guide California. Michelin Guide California skipped 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
(6/8/19) Cannon was recently awarded with the designation of Bib Gourmand in the 2019 Michelin Guide California. Restaurants in this category are recognized for both quality and value as customers can order two dishes and a glass of wine or dessert for $40 or less.
See related blog post: 2019 Michelin Bib Gourmand List
Comments on Canon East Sacramento?
In short, what has been your experience at Canon East Sacramento? Do you have a favorite cocktail? A favorite dish?
Canon East Sacramento Snapshot (as of 2/12/22):
- 1719 34th Street, Sacramento, CA 95816
- (916) 469-2433
- Closed Monday & Tuesday
- Open for Curbside Pickup: Wednesday – Sunday (4:00 p.m. to 7:45 p.m.)
- Open for Dining: Wednesday – Friday & Sunday (5:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.) and Saturday (4:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.)
- Reservations Recommended
- Large Patio
- Street Parking
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