Eight American Bistro
● By Style
Photos by Dante Fontana, © Style Media Group.
Number eight in Eight American Bistro’s moniker may be the lucky digit of owners N’Jina and Ian Kavookjian and signify how many years they’ve wanted to open a restaurant, but when it comes to the food, ambience and service, this eatery is undoubtedly a 10.
Located off winding Auburn Folsom Road, the house-turned-restaurant is easy to miss. Unlike so many other restaurants, Eight American stands solo, away from strip mall madness. Upon entering, crisply dressed wait staff warmly welcome you into their home sweet home.
Twinkling white lights tempted me to the patio on a recent winter’s eve, but I chose to cozy up inside. Minimal seating (props for the plush sofa booths) and an open kitchen add to the homey vibe. Chalkboards in lieu of traditional art, shabby chic furniture and spherical lanterns define the dining room’s décor. The straightforward, seasonal menu – best described as modern-meets-rustic – incorporates locally grown produce and most ingredients are house-made (gnocchi, sausage and even ketchup). It’s a foodie’s fantasy come true.
To appease my appetite, I sampled the Marinated Beet Carpaccio. A drizzle of thyme honey atop golden and ruby red beets was a sweet and successful twist to an otherwise cliché dish, while goat cheese, arugula and almonds added necessary crunch and creaminess. I also warmed up my taste buds with a bowl of Winter Squash Soup. For being vegan, it was surprisingly rich and complex.
The entrées all sounded scrumptious, namely the Braised Berkshire Osso Bucco, but the Loch Duart Salmon was calling my name. Presented on a bed of ratatouille (butternut squash, Apple Hill apples, celery root and parsnips) with a pomegranate ginger glaze, the fish was seared and seasoned to perfection. My eyes and taste buds equally approved; looks aren’t deceiving on this dish.
For the feast’s finale, I devoured Vanilla Bean Crème Brûlée with Lemon Lavender Shortbread. The velvety buttercup-yellow custard and sweet, crumbly cookie was a match made in dessert heaven.
Though it’s a new bistro on the block, Eight American is bound to become a neighborhood favorite in no time.
Eight American Bistro, 8230 Auburn Folsom Road, Granite Bay, 916-784-1010, eightgranitebay.com.
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