The Firehouse--going back downhill.
I have eaten at the Firehouse twice in the past year, and enjoyed the food, service and ambiance. So I thought it was a safe bet for a pre-Valentine's outing in one of the few places in Sacramento where it is really worth dressing up and having high expectations fulfilled. Wrong!
First thing was walking up the narrow stairway from the alley below with waiters emptying dirty dishes from tables pushing by us with absolutely no courtesy. Yes, it was busy, but they weren't delivering full plates just clearing dirty dishes. Okay, not that big a deal. Next was being seated directly under a vent blowing cold air which kept blowing out the oil lamp on the table. The repeated line about the fireman ghost quickly got lame as we shivered. It would have been a nice gesture to be offered a chance to move as the dining room started clearing well before we were served our first course.
But, again, not a deal breaker. It was the combination of service and food that left me literally with a bad taste in my mouth. My companion first ordered the carpaccio which was good, and I ordered the salad, also good, and so was the palatte-cleansing sorbet served between courses--hence two stars instead of one. So far so good. She also ordered the fillet mignon, but our waiter didn't bother asking how she wanted it prepared. Come onj!! Even Sizzler asks how you want your steak prepared. When it was delivered, it was exceedingly bland and rare to the point of bloody (she asked for medium rrare--no thanks to the waiter. Who knows how it would have been prepared otherwise. She left half of it. I ordered the duck breast with huckleberry sauce. I love duck and I have had some wonderful examples prepared different ways from the south of France to NYC and San Francisco. Yes, duck is fatty, but this was exceedingly so to the point of that I ended up with most of it in my napkin. One of the grossest eating experiences I've had in a long time. Never once were we asked--while we were eating--how we liked our meal. Only at the end did I bring it up. Our waiter just shrugged.
Interestingly, the night before we ate out at PF Chang's which I do not consider fine dining. We didn't have high expectations. We were just hungry after hours of shopping and it was convenient. The food was great, the service was greater. The Firehouse could take some pointers
I've been around Sacramento a long time, and I knew that the Firelhouse had once gone into a big slump but had recovered and was now on solid footing. It's current popularity has apparently led to a slip back into sloppiness. And, what is it with so many diners in Sacramento--male usually--dressed in tee shirts and baseball caps as if they were visiting Hooters. I know it's more of a reflection of the lack of class of some Sacramentans, but come on Firelhouse don't you have any respect for your customers who do show a little pride in their appearance or yourselves? Are you that desperate for customers that you are afraid to have at least a basic dress code requiring something other than tee shirts and no baseball caps?
5 Star / Except for One Thing !!!. What a wonderful experience. We had the Chef's Tasting Menu with Paired Wines for $98. per person. Amazing and Delicious. Now, for the disturbing part: Apparently there is no need to dress for fine dining. We saw many parties dressed in White T-shirts, Cut-off Shorts and Fip-flops at many tables. When we jokingly asked the Hostess where they drew the line, she responded: No Swimsuits and No Tanktops. Amazing!! We lowered our 5 star rating to 3 star on ambience. At lease they were not serving "Happy Meals" .... yet.
My boyfriend and I were on the hunt for a chocolate martini, hey a girl needs her fix sometimes! We finally stopped by the Firehouse Bar as a last resort. It was about 1 hour before closing. They have this martini menu that is utterly amazing! I had 3: A chocolate martini, espresso martini, and a black forest martini. Now, I'm not usually into sweet drinks, the chocolate martini was a must, the espresso; well I wanted espresso, and the black forest: because I am a chambord lover, I probably wouldn't have the black forest martini again because it is dessert in a glass and while delicious, a bit too much for my tastes.
The ambiance of this place is so far the absolute best in Old Town. It's beautiful, people are nice, dressed nice, etc.
The bartenders were wonderful! I love chatty and nice bartenders and I had 2 of them. They were both sophisticated and (might I add), handsome. Very fitting for the beautiful bar.
You must go for a Martini!
OH, I guess I should say, you get what you pay for here, so be prepared, but it is worth it!!!! I think it may have been $12/martini, which for a good one, that's not bad AT ALL!
Also, something at the top of the page talks about parking, if you park in a lot, most stores validate, just ask, and yes you have to buy something for validation! AND meters in old town run to 8PM not 6PM!
Great Ambiance Good Food. If your familear with old sacramento then you know to go there for the relaxing ambiance as well as the food .The firehouse has both and if you have never been there then you don't know what your missing .
Spend your money somewhere else!.
I took my wife to this restaurant on Mother's Day. What a "let down". Horrible food, horrible service and the management doesn't care. I love to fine dine and see my wife loving where I take her. The Firehouse let me down. Spend your money somewhere else. There is allot of great restaurants in Sacramento. The Firehouse is NOT one of them.
Old Sacramento is awesome though. Great location...just horrible food, prices and service.
Locals flock to The Firehouse restaurant featuring new American cuisine, extensive wine lists and elegant atmosphere..
Upon entering the main dining room of the small bar and restaurant, guests are transported to the Gold Rush Era as oil paintings, elevated ceilings and a fireplace create a fine dining atmosphere. For dinner, a five course Chef's Tasting Menu presented by Executive Chef Deneb Williams changes monthly and includes wine pairings. Outside, a courtyard with ivy-laced walls and canopys can be reserved for special occasions providing a romantic dining experience while the courtyard grill features a fireplace, dark wood, mirrors and is ideal for business lunches. The eatery also offers a wine cellar room and golden eagle room and salon featuring photos of celebrities who have dined at the restaurant.
inconsistent with their food and service!.
This used to be one of my favorite restaurants where I would rave about it to my friends. Until last year October when my boyfriend took me out to dinner. We waited a while to order. The foie gras was about 1/2 of the size as last time and surely tasted mediocre. Salad never came. My entree I believe was the king salmon. (I have tried to block it out of my memory because it was so horrible.) It was completely raw in the middle, and toward one side. Trying to stay calm and mentioning it to the waitor in the nicest way, I asked the waitor if that was the intention. He shrugged it off, and did not do anything about it. This is something you do not do at such a heavily recommended place!! He said 'he didn't know'. My boyfriend got the lamb and said it was okay. Bad, coming from a guy who is easy to please.
By the end of my meal which i had been looking forward to, I was so devastated with how it had turned out- I didn't even bother getting the chocolate cake i love there. Had it not been for me not wanting to upset my boyfriend then, I would have asked for the manager or made a bigger deal out of it. I just walked out biting my tongue.
I chose to give them 3 stars based on performances the other times I have dined here.
Also, to give them the benefit of doubt, I will give them another try sometime soon.
An experience for the eyes and the palate.
Every room has a different look and feel, all the way down to the wine cellar (which has one of the most extensive selections of excellent vintages in CA). Very thorough knowledge among the wait staff of the wines and food pairings. Excellent cuisine, and a good selection. Don't wait too long (like I did), or you'll miss out on the patio dining which, for ambiance, is among the best.
And... They have valet!
Inconsistent. Very good food unless doing a group function. Then the food quality suffers due to mass production. Generous bartenders. High quality atmosphere. Very disappointing in terms of outside eating schedules. I have only been able to eat outside for dinner once - one of the main draws of this restaurant (see how they advertise the courtyard on their website?). Every other time I have requested outdoor eating, I have been turned down due to some pre-scheduled party that has booked the outdoor area. The outside area should always be available to its regular dinner guests!
Our waiter had a fake french accent that kept coming and going. The place is badly light, the food is substandard for the obscene prices they charge, and the dessert? Eee gad. Strawberries were unhulled, cakes were frozen. DIRT on the lettuce!
The patio however is lovely if you want a quick glass of wine and a simple appetizer. Somehow I mind averge food less when the bill is only$20 - even if that $20 is only a nibble.
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