Sarah Cornett | Capital Public Radio
That may change this weekend. The monikker is the namesake of the annual Sacratomato Festival, organized by the Sutter District with support from the Midtown Business Association. The festival culminates with tastings, live music, salsa-making, and kid-friendly games at Sutter’s Fort Saturday, July 23. Many of the city’s popular restaurants and bars joined the celebration of the tomato with specialty menu items this week.
Dishes are both familiar and imaginative. At Cafe Bernardo, tomato enthusiasts can enjoy a Panzanella Salad alongside a Raspberry-Chile Ancho Bloody Mary. Biba is offering Cespelle D’Agnello e Ricotta, Dixon lamb alongside ricotta-filled crepes with tomato sauces. Other participating restaurants include Midtown local favorites: Harlow’s, Barwest, Paragary’s, Centro Cocina Mexicana, INK, and Red Rabbit.
For restaurants committed to offering local produce in the farm to fork capital, focusing on tomatoes is a natural fit.
“We try to feature a lot of fresh items,” said Scott Smith, a manager at Biba, the upscale Italian restaurant in midtown that is offering special festival menu items. “Most of the restaurants in town take advantage of the great produce right now. We’re known for tomatoes in this community, and consumers can tell the difference.”
Smith says dishes utilizes the versatility and variety of seasonal tomatoes.
“There’s a lot of vibrancy of colors on the plate. People like the idea of knowing they’re eating something healthy that looks good, it’s local. It makes it exciting.”