Check Out Sutter Creek’s New “In” Spot
By Antoinette May Herndon
It was a cold and stormy night and we were on our way to see the most famous ghost story in all the world played out before our very eyes. Weren’t Charles and I the lucky ones!
We were fortunate too in finding a choice parking place in down town Sutter Creek, not always so easy even with the new bypass. There we were right in front of the American Exchange Hotel which just happens to be right across the street from the historic Sutter Creek Theater.
Though the storm was unrelenting, puddles deep and icy, it was a different world once we’d stumbled inside the hotel. Our destination, the Twisted Fork Restaurant, is housed with an adjoining bar, Belloti’s in the lower floor of the American Exchange. The foyer is light, bright and inviting. We knew instantly that this was a happening place.
With the weather outside so frightful, the ambience was doubly delightful—like walking into welcoming arms. Very quickly we were seated at a cozy table for two. And almost immediately a Belotti’s rep was there to take our drink orders. (You pay separately for food and drinks at the Twisted Fork.)
I had a perfect martini, so perfect that I was sorely tempted to order another. But we were off to a play next and I’ve been known to nod off in the best of them. For
that reason, I nixed the wine as well. Charles had his usual scotch over and was well pleased.
From Belloti’s Bar, off to the right, we heard Old Blue Eyes belting out “Fly Me to The Moon.” In fact, all through dinner we were treated to a mellow background of Frank Sinatra favorites, subtle, nostalgic, but never intruding into our own conversation.
Our waitress, Margie Saravia served us very well. First off there was minestrone soup, thick and flavorful. There was a crisp green salad too. (Soup and salad are included in the price of the entrée, a very good deal.) Many of you may remember the Twisted Fork from its former incarnation in Ione. The restaurant has been in its new Sutter Creek location just six months but really has its act together.
Charles chose Spinach Rigatoni stuffed with artichoke and feta cheese in a creamy spinach alfredo sauce ($15.25). He loved it. I had a few cherished bites and thought it was fabulous. My own dinner choice was the Flat Iron Whiskey Steak (18.95). The menu said “tender as tenderloin with that great beefy taste.” A true description. The Twisted Fork is also justly proud of the fluffy garlic whipped potatoes. Very tasty!
Our bread was fresh and crusty. Served with it was a very special garlic, wine and olive oil solution for dipping. This is hardly an unusual offering these days. Who serves butter anymore?
But I’d say the Twisted Fork’s is just a bit edgier than most.
We heard the couple at the next table oohing and ahing over the cheesecake and would have loved to indulge as well, but we had a curtain to catch. I couldn’t quite finish my steak but Margie obligingly boxed it for me. It really was for me, too. Chloe, wonder dog that she is, didn’t score this time. I love cold steak and am known to do a midnight refrigerator raid. We tucked our people bag into the car and raced across the rain drenched street.
Maybe you don’t think of Dickens’s haunting tale, “A Christmas Carol” as a ghost story but of course it is. Both spooky and inspiring, it continues to be a perennial favorite. What is Christmas with a new rendition? Suffice it to say Monica MacLean’s adaptation comes up with some endearing innovations and Richard Carter is a stand-out Scrooge. Merry Christmas! Ho! Ho! Ho!
VITALS The Twisted Fork Restaurant is located on the ground floor of the American Exchange Hotel at 53 Main, Sutter Creek. Phone: 267-5211. The restaurant is open for lunch from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. The bar remains open all afternoon. Dinner hours are from 4 p.m. to 8:30—9 on weekends. Closed Monday. Credit cards are accepted and reservations very much recommended.
Karissa Mynderup serves a coffee for the road.
The Twisted Fork is a happening kind of place.