How to Celebrate Fall with Lunch at the Firehouse Restaurant Courtyard, Old Sacramento

By
Real Estate Agent with RE/MAX Gold DRE #00697006

firehouse restaurant downtown sacramento

My associate, Rose Mary Swart, invited me to lunch at The Firehouse Restaurant in Old Sacramento. That's Rose Mary, on the left. I don't know who she is sitting next to. OK, it's me. Rose Mary says she loves to celebrate the beginning of fall by doing lunch in the tree-canopied courtyard of the Firehouse Restaurant, and this may very well become a tradition with me, too.

Out of all the dining areas at The Firehouse, the courtyard is my favorite. The biggest problem during autumn is keeping the little tiny seeds that fall from the trees off your table. But the temperature was perfect, in the low 80s, and dining outdoors without having to endure bus fumes and whatnot is delightful.

For those of you who have not experienced The Firehouse, here's a little background. It actually WAS a firehouse in 1853. It has the distinction of being the first historical building to be restored in Old Sacramento, situated on Second Street between K and L and a block from the Sacramento River. It opened in 1960, and retains its original antiques and artwork today. The Firehouse has won a ton of awards for excellence in food and wine, and when Ronald Reagan was governor of California, he held both inaugural dinners at the restaurant.

 

firehouse restaurant downtown sacramento

 

The choice for an appetizer was tough. Should we order the Camembert served with golden brown baguette crostinis or should we try the grilled peach gazpacho? Even though I had my eye on the steak for an entrée, I surrendered to the drunken balsamic steak shown above. It was pan roasted and glazed with a white balsamic-bourbon glaze, served with an onion-thyme marmalade and oven-warmed heirloom tomato confit with crumbled Valbreso feta.

 

firehouse restaurant downtown sacramento

 

The courtyard's center feature is this water fountain, topped with a bowl of fall flowers. The floor and walls are old clay-fired brick. All of Old Sacramento is a good ten feet lower than the rest of Sacramento, so if you feel like the city is above you, it's because it is. Old Sacramento was originally a waterfront commercial area during the Gold Rush days. Many of the original buildings constructed back then remain today and have been restored. It has horse-drawn carriages, wooden sidewalks and a true nostalgic feel. You'll find lots of restaurants, old-fashioned candy and ice cream shops and shopping, alongside historic museums. For a small fee, you can hop the train and ride in an open car along the river.

 

firehouse restaurant downtown sacramento

Rose Mary chose the Scottish King salmon. It was chargrilled with a fresh herb beurre monté, accompanied by sautéed asparagus and pine nut-sun-dried tomato-kalamata olive fregola. I love salmon but have it so often, I decided to pass on a fish selection.

 

firehouse restaurant downtown sacramento

 

My toughest decision was whether to have the blackened ribeye with garlic mashed potatoes and sautéed spinach or go for the sirloin. I love spinach. I think I wanted to be Popeye when I grew up. I'd eat it right out of the can, that's how much I loved spinach. Fresh, frozen, canned, I don't care. I'm a spinach nut. So I really considered it. But as you can see by the photo, I selected the top sirloin.

Another vegetable weakness of mine is mushrooms. It was the wild mushroom chasseur that made me order the top sirloin, which was served with garlic mashed potatoes and sautéed carrots and green beans.

 

firehouse restaurant downtown sacramento

 

As if all that food wasn't enough, we decided to splurge on dessert. Should we share a dessert or be truly decadent and order each our own? Well, by now you probably know the answer to that. We both opted for the Chocolate Decadence, made from a bittersweet chocolate cake with silken ganache raspberry coulis and crème anglaise.

After that lovely two-hour lunch, it was back to work to conduct a final walk-through of a home in Natomas and pick up keys from a listing in College Greens. A nap would have been nice, but work comes first. It's not often that I am able to treat myself to a long lunch of delectables nor enjoy the company of my colleagues in such a relaxed and charming atmosphere. If that opportunity presents itself to you, jump on it!

elizabeth weintraub sacramento real estate agent in land park

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Weintraub and Wallace Realtors

 

 

Elizabeth Weintraub reviews

 

 

 

Elizabeth Weintraub is co-partner of Weintraub & Wallace Team of Top Producing Realtors, an author, home buying expert at The Balance, a Land Park resident, and a veteran real estate agent who specializes in older, classic homes in Land Park, Curtis Park, Midtown, Carmichael and East Sacramento, as well as tract homes in Elk Grove, Natomas, Roseville and Lincoln. Call Elizabeth Weintraub at 916.233.6759. Put our combined 80 years of real estate experience to work for you. Broker-Associate at RE/MAX Gold. DRE License # 00697006.

Photo: Unless otherwise noted in this blog, the photo is copyrighted by Big Stock Photo and used with permission.The views expressed herein are Weintraub's personal views and do not reflect the views of RE/MAX Gold. Disclaimer: If this post contains a listing, information is deemed reliable as of the date it was written. After that date, the listing may be sold, listed by another brokerage, canceled, pending or taken temporarily off the market, and the price could change without notice; it could blow up, explode or vanish. To find out the present status of any listing, please go to elizabethweintraub.com.

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Rainer
256,688
Debi Ernst
St. Charles County, Missouri - Prudential Alliance Realtors - O'Fallon, MO
GRI, e-PRO, Broker/Sales Associate

Elizabeth - That looks like a lovely restaurant!  The food looks (and sounds) delicious...  You're making me hungry!  :)

Sep 26, 2008 03:50 AM #3
Rainmaker
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Elizabeth Weintraub Sacramento Realtor Top 1%
RE/MAX Gold - Sacramento, CA
Put 40 years of experience to work for you

Hi Chris Ann: I think the photos turned out rather well. I'm really liking my new Nikon.

Hi Colleen: Rose Mary said the waiter probably thought we were food critics. LOL. But i did notice that she kept stepping out of the way as I shot photos of the restaurant. I suspect she didn't want to be in the pictures.

Hi Debi: By the time I finished dessert, I wanted to pick up my plate and lick it.

elizabeth weintraub sacramento real estate agent in land park

Sep 26, 2008 04:01 AM #4
Rainer
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Fred Chamberlin
Guild Mortgage Co - Oak Harbor WA - Oak Harbor, WA
Oak Harbor/Whidbeynulls, #1 Experienced FHA Mortgage Consultant

Elizabeth, everything looks sooooo good. I love your descriptions, I can almost taste it.

Sep 26, 2008 05:35 AM #5
Rainmaker
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Elizabeth Weintraub Sacramento Realtor Top 1%
RE/MAX Gold - Sacramento, CA
Put 40 years of experience to work for you

Thanks, Fred. I could devour that dessert again myself.

elizabeth weintraub sacramento real estate agent in land park

Sep 26, 2008 06:17 AM #6
Anonymous
JG

Great restuarant and bar also.  Dropped by on my 21st a few decades ago!  Then to the Back Door to party with newscasters between shows.  Thats why the 11pm news is more fun.

Sep 26, 2008 06:43 AM #7
Ambassador
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Gary Woltal
Keller Williams Realty - Flower Mound, TX
Assoc. Broker Realtor SFR Dallas Ft. Worth

Oh Elizabeth, you do the best restaurant reviews here with the Firehouse restaurant. Your text is superb with you "surrendering" to the steak and your photos jump off the screen as mouth watering. I have to buy lunch anywhere you want to go if I ever am in Sacramento. You know ALL the best places. Yes, that lady next to Rose Mary is a sharp looker. And a darn fine Broker if I say so too : )

Sep 26, 2008 06:53 AM #8
Rainmaker
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Elizabeth Weintraub Sacramento Realtor Top 1%
RE/MAX Gold - Sacramento, CA
Put 40 years of experience to work for you

Hi JG: Well, shoot, the 11 PM news is past my bed time.

Hi Gary: What am I going to do with you -- you are killing me with compliments, you sweet-talker, you. Now I guess I have to go find somebody to be nice to today. Rats.

elizabeth weintraub sacramento real estate agent in land park

Sep 26, 2008 07:13 AM #9
Rainmaker
1,903,573
Tom Braatz Waukesha County Real Estate 262-377-1459
Coldwell Banker - Oconomowoc, WI
Waukesha County Realtor Real Estate agent. SOLD!

Elizabeth

If that food does not look inviting; any where Ronald Reagan ate is par for me.

I sure miss that guy. You are like the camera aficionado in Sacramento.

I think you should let the restaurant put those pictures on their menu.

Regards

Tom Braatz

Sep 26, 2008 09:09 AM #10
Rainmaker
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Gary White~Grand Rapids Home Selling Pro Call: 616-821-9375
Flexit Realty "Flexible Home Selling Solutions" - Grand Rapids, MI
Real Estate Services You can Trust!

Elizabeth, sounds like a great place.  Food looks so good it's making me hungry!  Great job on the photos.

Sep 26, 2008 10:22 AM #11
Rainmaker
2,479,485
Myrl Jeffcoat
GreatWest Realty - Sacramento, CA
Greater Sacramento Real Estate Agent

Elizabeth - Those are incredible pictures, which finely detail and capture the spirit of The Firehouse.  I've spent more than my share of delightful lunch times there as well!

You just gave me an idea where to take out of town guests that will be arriving in a couple weeks.

Sep 26, 2008 12:38 PM #12
Rainmaker
130,480
Kevin O'Shea
Coldwell Banker - White Plains, NY
White Plains, NY Real Estate

Sounds wonderful, hope you had a nice glass of wine (or 2) with that.

All the best!

Sep 26, 2008 01:44 PM #13
Rainmaker
2,189,295
Elizabeth Weintraub Sacramento Realtor Top 1%
RE/MAX Gold - Sacramento, CA
Put 40 years of experience to work for you

When you come back to Sacramento, Tom, we'll do lunch there. You'll like it.

Hi Gary: Thanks for thumbs up. I probably should have shot more photos to truly show you the ambiance.

Hi Myrl: Good idea!  You just know we'll have another month of spectacular weather!

Hi Kevin: Sorry, no wine. Not during working hours. :(

elizabeth weintraub sacramento real estate agent in land park

Sep 26, 2008 01:57 PM #14
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Jesse & Kathy Clifton
Jesse Clifton & Associates, REALTORS® - Fairbanks, AK
Retired

Alright, here's the deal.  You're gonna have to stop posting these reviews or I'm going to have to stop reading because you make me hungry every time I read one. :) Excellent post, Elizabeth.  I've flagged this for a localism feature!

Sep 26, 2008 05:16 PM #15
Rainmaker
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Elizabeth Weintraub Sacramento Realtor Top 1%
RE/MAX Gold - Sacramento, CA
Put 40 years of experience to work for you

Hi Jesse: I'm afraid I don't know what it means to flag a post for localism, but knowing you, it must be a positive thing, so thank you. Actually, I have another review coming up (when I get around to it) about a restaurant where you won't find much to stimulate your hunger, unless you really like spam and eggs.

elizabeth weintraub sacramento real estate agent in land park

Sep 27, 2008 02:57 AM #16
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Jeanean Gendron
The Address Realty - Redding, CA
Specializing in Selling Unique Properties

Elizabeth, I think you are head for another career. I wonder if you can keep you day job? WOW....what a lovely day and  you've shared it so well....my taste buds are exploding! Very nice localism post....top notch!

Sep 27, 2008 03:18 AM #17
Rainmaker
2,189,295
Elizabeth Weintraub Sacramento Realtor Top 1%
RE/MAX Gold - Sacramento, CA
Put 40 years of experience to work for you

Hi Jeanean: Thanks for stopping by. I love real estate and have been in it far too long to consider any other career. But photography does help to sell listings, and having a creative flair is great for staging, so, I suppose some of those talents do go hand-in-hand.

elizabeth weintraub sacramento real estate agent in land park

Sep 27, 2008 03:45 AM #18
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Sharon Paxson
Compass - Newport Beach, CA
Newport Beach Real Estate

Elizabeth - happy fall! And what a great way to welcome fall! What a wonderful post about about the Firehouse restaurant. If I am in Sacramento - I definitely want to eat there! Awesome post!

And I don't know what it means to flag a post for localism either - so if you find out, will you let me know? Thanks!

Sep 27, 2008 03:53 AM #19
Ambassador
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Tammy Lankford,
Lane Realty Eatonton, GA Lake Sinclair, Milledgeville, 706-485-9668 - Eatonton, GA
Broker GA Lake Sinclair/Eatonton/Milledgeville

I can't get there from here at the moment, but it sounds like a wonderful tradition to start myself.  So I think I'll just have to pick a place around here where I can eat outside.

Sep 27, 2008 04:26 AM #20
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Jesse & Kathy Clifton
Jesse Clifton & Associates, REALTORS® - Fairbanks, AK
Retired

It looks like my 'featured post' powers aren't quite up to the super-hero level just yet.  Still a fabulous post, Elizabeth.  Not so sure how excited I'll be about the spam and eggs review, but I'll have to come back and read it, just because....

Sep 27, 2008 09:29 PM #21
Rainmaker
2,189,295
Elizabeth Weintraub Sacramento Realtor Top 1%
RE/MAX Gold - Sacramento, CA
Put 40 years of experience to work for you

Hi Sharon: I still don't know what it means to flag a localism post because Jesse didn't say.

Hi Tammy: Fall is a wonderful season -- not too cold, not too hot, and when the winds pick up and start tossing the leaves around, it's actually invigorating -- makes you hungry!

Hi Jesse: Wahhhhh. You didn't tell us what it means to flag a post. :( But the spam and eggs are coming.

elizabeth weintraub sacramento real estate agent in land parkelizabeth weintraub sacramento real estate agent in land park

Sep 28, 2008 02:26 AM #22
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