November 01, 2011

Cafe Americain

Sacramento, California is experiencing renaissance in vegan culture. An ever-growing number of eateries are recognizing the demand for vegan cuisine from a dedicated vegan community and an increasing conscientiousness among the dining public. Successful recent events like the Sacramento VegFest and programs like the Sacramento Vegan Chef Challenge are showcasing vegan food as fine cuisine and not just an alternative to pacify picky eaters. As a result the Capitol City is positioning itself  as a cultural nucleus and respected destination for vegan and vegetarian travel. Vegan dining patrons can choose from respected fully vegan eateries or vegan options from mainstream eateries ranging from bar food to the finest cuisine where  quality ingredients and artful presentation are elevated to the highest level.

Opened December 12, 2009, Cafe Americain in Old Town Sacramento is an establishment that takes the art of food very seriously.

For Owner/Chef Natalya Wahba growing up in a small village in Ukraine, all the meals were literally “Farm to Table”!

Cafe Americain

Raw vegan at its finest

“I feel so lucky to have this amazing variety of fresh, local, organic produce here in California. When I first met my husband Mike, he introduced me to the world of Vegan Raw Foods. As both an artist, and a chef, I was deeply inspired by the incredible beauty and versatility of Raw Foods, and immediately embraced it as the ideal culinary medium for my artistic expression. Working with Vegan Raw Foods at Cafe Americain is always fun and rewarding. There is no limit to what can be created. We love working with fresh seasonal ingredients, transforming them into exquisite artwork, as well delicious cuisine. It is gratifying to see the little miracles that are created every day; and knowing that this is the healthiest way to eat makes it that much more meaningful for all of us.”

Cafe Americain offers Vegan Raw Foods, and Gluten Free Specialties as part of an elegant fine dining experience. One of the things that is done differently from traditional Vegan restaurants is the fact that this exquisite cuisine is served in a classy setting, as part of a truly fine dining experience. The other non-traditional aspect is that the food is not limited to just Vegan. Café Americain also serves caviar, seafood, and even a natural Filet Mignon. “We believe that the healthiest way to eat is a vegan diet, particularly Raw Foods. But we also recognize that different people are at different stages in their development towards a healthy lifestyle.” One thing we are most particular about is ensuring that our Vegan dishes are prepared with their own proprietary set of cooking ware and utensils. That principal is strictly adhered to in the kitchen, and our strict Vegan clients can feel secure that their cuisine is never “contaminated” with animal products.

Veggie Tort

Veggie Tort

My party of three vegan foodies were seated in the courtyard in a rustic yet classy setting that was comfortable in the evening hours of late October. Ordering was easy as the vegan and gluten-free options are grouped together and clearly identified on the menu. On learning that our party was vegan our waiter brought a plate of two types of raw vegan crackers rather than bread (containing egg) to the table. We ordered the  Raw Foods Beet Ravioli and Raw Foods Lasagna as appetizers. The appetizers were breathtaking in their presentation delicately flavored. For our entrees we chose the Veggie Tort and Linguine Al Tempeh Bolognese. The linguine consisted of quinoa pasta and a tepeh made from flax seeds making it protein rich and highly nutritious as well as as delicious. The lasagne was nutty in flavor but retained the distinctive lasagne character, using thinly sliced zucchini in place of the traditional pasta. Both dishes were impressive in presentation and delicious. We finished our meal with three raw vegan cheesecakes from the dessert menu: Raw Food Organic Mixed Berry Cheesecake, Raw Foods Chocolate Cheesecake, Raw Key Lime Cheesecake (new). Again we were not disappointed. All three were perfectly portioned and beautifully presented.

At the time of our visit Cafe Americain was preparing to launch a new revised menu with some additional raw vegan offerings. We cannot wait to see what they have in store.

Cafe Americain desserts

Desserts clockwise from top: Raw Food Organic Mixed Berry Cheesecake, Raw Foods Chocolate Cheesecake, Raw Key Lime Cheesecake

Cafe Americain is located in Governor Newton Booth’s Historic building at 1023 Front Street, between J and K. The elegant dining room features Old World Classic Architecture, with high ceilings, Renaissance artwork, European and Asian antiques. Café Americain also features a beautiful brick courtyard, and an underground “Speakeasy” with live Jazz on the weekends. The entrance to the courtyard and the Speakeasy is in the back, off Firehouse Alley.