Sacramento Eats: Biba


Aron and I wanted to go somewhere special for our date night this past Friday. It was seven years ago Sunday that he opened the door to our Los Angeles apartment to welcome me home: his heartbeat visible through a dusty pink shirt, his face warm from having just lit hundreds of candles. We have celebrated our engagement every year since.

Biba is a classic, grand-dame-of-Sacramento, Italian restaurant (only it’s also sort of a homey, nonna’s-in-the-kitchen sort of Italian restaurant). Around the time we moved here, Sactown Magazine published an article on the restranteur Biba (who greeted us at the bar), lauding her for serving “the city’s most authentic Italian food for 25 years.” We decided it was time to try it.

Prosciutto di Parma con Pera–served with soft, sweet, roasted pear drizzled wtih orange honey

Lasagne Verdi alla Bolognese–10 or more layers of spinach pasta with a meat sauce that’s at once rich, creamy, and light.

Spaghetti alla Carbonara–something I don’t usually order for fear that it will be simply Alfredo sauce with Pancetta added, this was was clean and well-balanced with salt, pepper, egg yolk, browned butter, Pancetta, and Parmigiano-Reggiano; no puddle of Alfredo to speak of, thank goodness.

California Sea Bass (the fish of the day) with Celery Root Puree

And a celebratory Tiramisu and espresso to finish.

Despite a recently revamped dining room, I still wouldn’t go as far as to call this spot hip: the clientele seemed squarely in the 50+ category and a couple next to us actually came over before they left to tell us how “cute” we were and used the phrase “we remember when.”

But if you can make a lasagna like mille-feuille, being trendy need not be your concern.

Enjoy the Weekend!
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Let’s Discuss

  1. Hi there! I live in Sacramento for about 7 years and on once of my recent visits discovered Magpie Incredibly delicious! I believe they try to source their foods locally as much as possible and therefore change their menus seasonally. I live in Brooklyn now and love it immensely but every now and then I think of Sac and Davis and miss the proximity to the mountains and the ease of California living. Enjoy!

    • Ashley

      Yes! We actually went there on our first date night and I’m so looking forward to going back. It reminded me a little of Back Forty–have you been there? A favorite spot of ours on Avenue B. Did you have any other favorite spots when you were living here? Thanks!

  2. I’m new to your blog and didn’t realize you lived in Davis! I’m a long time downtown Sacramento resident. Next time you want something special, I’d recommend Mulvaney’s Building and Loan, Tuli Bistro or if you’re wanting to have an AMAZING (read: pricey!) experience, go to The Kitchen. Chez Daniel in Folsom is great, too!

  3. Jules

    Hi, Long time lurker from Australia. First time commentator.

    Just wondering if you could give me some info about the beautiful top you are wearing in this post?

    By the way, I love your blog. I have picked up some amazing tips from you.

    We are off to Bali (for the 3rd time) over Christmas and have got a list of new things to do and see thanks to your Bali holiday. Lucky it is only a 6 hour flight for us!!!

    Thanks for your blog and for sharing so much of yourself and your families journey.

    Merry Christmas to you all

    • Ashley

      Thank you so much! That’s wonderful to hear–I’m flattered and really appreciate it. (And I’m jealous–I’d love to go back to Bali, especially on a six hour flight.) You may have luck with the top: it’s from H&M. Do you have one nearby? It was on sale last time I was in the store.

  4. Happy engagement anniversary! Your blog is my absolute favorite and I’m sorry I don’t comment more — your little family is so adorable, and I love reading about your adventures! I just wanted to make a point to say how gorgeous your outfit is in those photos! Your husband is a lucky man :)

  5. Biba’s! Despite living in Sacramento for my first 18 years of my life and visiting frequently, I’ve never been. An old ex-boyfriend of mine used to live down the street from her and growing up would go to her kitchen for samples. Lucky boy. I have loved following all of your new adventure in Davis and the surrounding area – I’m taking note of them all so we have new things to do when we come visit my parents with our kiddo.

    Happy engagement anniversary! We got engaged six years ago last week.