Dining Out–Evan’s Kitchen

Evan's Kitchen

855 57th Street, Suite C, Sacramento

Breakfast Wednesday through Sunday 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Lunch Wednesday through Saturday 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Dinner Wednesday through Saturday 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.

By Liv Moe

Evan's Kitchen is comfy. Tucked back into the same east Sac strip mall which houses my dearly beloved 57th Antique Mall, Evan's feels like a warm little secret. Inside the place is furnished with booths from the now-defunct Andiamo and a peppering of mismatched hardwood dining tables. Coupled with a butter meets jam paint job, and a smattering of cotton curtains you a have atmosphere which speaks more of country cookin' than fine dining.

This dichotomy of homey and sophisticated is the essence of the Evan's repertoire. As we reviewed our menus, the children's play area in the corner was bustling with youngsters from a table nearby. This is very much a family restaurant although as the table tent on our table warned "inside voices are advised."

After a bit of consideration my husband decided on the prosciutto wrapped scallops and I selected the chicken Evelyn special. Though one might think this was already an ample amount of food we opted for the calamari appetizer to start as well. Our eyes were bigger than our stomachs. The calamari was dreamy with a crunchy breading that was satisfying but not so heavy that it distracted from the soft and delicious calamari inside.

The dinner entrees at Evan's come with soup or salad and so following the calamari we each got a salad which, this may sound hard to believe, was the highlight of my meal. Growing up my mom made the most amazing blue cheese dressing and though she still makes it now, her recent conversion to weight watchers makes it an infrequent guest at the family dining table. My Evan's salad topped with kidney beans, cucumber, and thinly sliced red onion was accompanied by a blue cheese dressing that reminded me a whole awful lot of my mom's.

Our two dinner entrees were also quite yummy although I would have to say I preferred my husbands over my own. The chicken Evelyn though tasty was unbelievably rich. A chicken breast stuffed with prawns and topped with a bechamel like sauce was accompanied by a side of mashed potatoes heavy with butter and cream and a pile of sautteed veggies. At the onset I was thrilled that I received a dish that I had seen carried out to several other diners hoping that mine would look the same. After diving in with enthusiasm I lost steam about a quarter of the way through. Though everything tasted fantastic it was just too rich.

The prosciutto wrapped scallops on the other hand packed an equal amount of flavor but were a much less challenging entree to consume. The scallop skewers sat atop a bed of rice pilaf which I am normally not a huge fan of but in this instant the rice was flavorful and made a substantial though mild companion to the spicy salty scallops. Accompanying the scallops was a spicy aioli which complimented the taste of the seafood and the pork nicely. This was a well composed dish.

If I had a real criticism of Evan's it would be the wine list, which was nothing to write home about, a frustration that I have with several local restaurants. With Sacramento's proximity to so many outstanding wine regions you'd think most restaurants in town would have a fairly interesting wine list in a variety of price ranges. Sadly, this is not the case. That said, corkage is usually pretty affordable and Corti's is just a short jaunt from Evan's, which may be my solution next time.

Evan's Kitchen successfully combines family and fineM dining in a cozy atmosphere, a feat rarely if ever accomplished that I've seen. Next time you're in the need for a satisfying meal in a welcoming environment look no further.

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