Hi. I’m Walking Bob, and I had just walked out of the Co-Op in early September when I saw that something new was finally going into the building that previously housed Osaka Sushi. When I peeked it, the place was a disaster as they were working to take out the old sushi bar and other equipment, but the good news was that my friends, Tony and Rhonda Gruska were the ones who were moving in.
Tony and Rhonda are well-known to Farmer’s Market visitors who have enjoyed their waffles and amazing salads as well as their chutney, pickles and seasonal soups at what they’ve been calling Monticello Bistro. They have also run a catering business for several years and for a period of time they had a restaurant site, also known as Monticello Bistro, in Winters.
Tony and Rhonda have teamed with Jim Eldon for their new venture, known as Monticello Seasonal Cuisine. Although the sign still says, “Coming Soon”, they quietly opened their doors on January 11, so Davis Life Magazine readers have a chance to beat the crowds and to enjoy the new menu before the world discovers the place.
The transformation of the inside of the restaurant has been amazing to watch. A blank wall at the back of the building started out as a black and white sketch and grew into Lee Klemens’ beautiful mural shown at the top of this entry. The new interior has an open and very fresh feel that matches the fresh seasonal food that has always been a Monticello hallmark.
The sushi bar is long gone and stacks of bricks and wood that I saw when I stopped by in November grew into the beautiful bar shown at the end of this blog entry. Tony, Rhonda and Jim have been involved every step of the way in overseeing, and pitching in to work on, all the details of the transformation.
They’re opening with a wide-ranging menu that varies by meal and will change with the seasons, probably on a monthly basis. There were so many options that it’s hard to only highlight a few, but imagine yourself dining on Rigatoni with Arugula Pesto, Toasted Walnuts, Broccoli, Niman Ranch Apple Wood Smoked Bacon & Parmesan with Village Bakery Bread, or maybe a Carolina-style Pulled Bledsoe Pork Sandwich with Horseradish Slaw followed by some Chocolate Mousse with Rum? Hungry yet?
The restaurant will be open for brunch on Saturday and Sunday from 8:00 to 2:00, for lunch on Tuesday through Friday from 11:00 to 2:00, and for dinner on Tuesday through Saturday from 5:30 to 10:00. Be some of the first people in town to join your hosts for some amazing food. Check out their website for updates and tell them Walking Bob sent you.
By the way, does anyone out there remember what restaurant preceded Osaka Sushi, and Monticello Seasonal Cuisine, at 630 G Street?