Blair Anthony Robertson is a freelance writer who previously worked at The Sacramento Bee in multiple roles over 18 years, including feature writer, restaurant critic and craft beer columnist. He also worked at the Detroit Free Press and at the Charlotte Observer. These days, he is a dog lover, fitness enthusiast, avid cook and devoted vegan.
The 65,000-square-foot tasting room formerly owned by Renwood is now operated by Rombauer, the family-owned winery based in Napa County best known for its chardonnay.
She was the owner and host of Biba, the guiding force behind the menu, and, in those roles, she was everybody’s favorite Italian mamma. Free of gimmicks and trends, Biba was not trying to be edgy or innovative. The kitchen did things the right way — use excellent ingredients and classic technique while paying attention to all the little things from start to finish.
New beer releases at top-notch craft breweries usually come with plenty of fanfare, attracting the connoisseurs and the curious. In some cases, lines form hours before the beer goes on sale.
It’s around 1992, and a long-haired dude in his early 20s is sitting with his friend at Taco Loco, a popular Mexican eatery on J Street in Sacramento. They’re eyeballing the customers, waiting to pounce.