Sutter Street Steakhouse a Folsom stapleBy: Rachel Zirin, Senior Reporter
604 Sutter Street
The Sutter Street Steakhouse has been a staple in the Folsom community since 2010, and all these years later, it’s still bringing fresh ideas and offerings to the table.
Partner and Executive Chef Rich Veale has been in the kitchen cooking ever since he can remember. Coming from a large Italian family, it was either cook or clean, Veale said.
“Food is always the center of your world in an Italian family. You either cook or do dishes, and I hated doing dishes, so learned to cook,” he said. “I started professionally cooking when I was 12 years old. It kind of has always come easy to me.”
General Manager Jason Brown has been with the privately-owned restaurant since day one, and prior he spent his time in various restaurants.
Like Brown and Veale, much of the staff is also from the original crew, which is something they said they are very proud of.
“A lot of the guests seem to really enjoy seeing faces they see consistently in the restaurant,” Brown said. “We are a fine-dining fun steakhouse. We want our guests to come in and enjoy themselves and have the experience we try to offer – fine-dining, but not over the top.”
The local business is steak-centric, but there are options for everyone no matter what your taste buds are craving.
“Rich does an amazing job with our menu and specials,” Brown said.
Veale said at the steakhouse, their mantra is to get the best possible ingredients they can and treat them simply.
“We don’t want to over complicate things and church them up,” Veale said. “We let the quality of the product speak for itself. While what we do here are 80 percent steaks, we also take great pride in our fish specials, locally sourced and organic chickens, as well as our vegetables.”
Veale said they differ from any other steakhouse in the region as they are completely autonomous.
“We have complete control over what we offer. Other steakhouses in this region are controlled by corporate offices in the Midwest, but we’re controlled by people here,” Veale said. “We don’t have anyone to answer to, and we can change the menu on the fly based on seasonality. In the Sacramento region, that’s paramount and our customers deserve that.”
Brown said in a year, they change the menu up to six times based on seasonal availability and freshness.
For the fall season, guests at the Sutter Street Steakhouse will see more tomatoes, squashes, peppers and corn on the menu.
“Tomato season is always the driving force in this area. The region loves their tomatoes, so we let that drive the season,” Veale said. “Our tomato bruschetta and tomato salad are both really popular as well as anything with corn, squash and peppers.”
The Sutter Street Steakhouse has an extensive wine list to impress and all the wines are beautifully featured in the center of the restaurant with a wine tower in a temperature controlled wine cellar.
In addition, the cocktails don’t disappoint either. As the menu changes with the season, so do the cocktail offerings. In the bar area, guests can find a blackboard with all the steakhouse’s specialty drinks. For this fall season, guests will see less fruit and flowers, and more rich and structured drinks.
One aspect that sets the local steakhouse apart from other restaurants is their happy hour.
“Our happy hour is a monster in itself,” Brown said. “We started happy hour about two years after we opened. On a Friday, we can have anywhere from 20 to 45 people waiting out front for us to open at 4:30 p.m. By 4:31 p.m., the bar, patio and front foyer are full.”
One of the most popular items on the happy hour menu is the prime beef sliders, which are made from the trimmings of their steaks. Other items include the calamari and prawns, as well as cocktail and wine specials.
Brown said a highlight throughout the years of being in business has been how well the community has accepted them. Veale said a highlight has been the relationships he has formed with customers, not just in his restaurant, but outside the four walls.
“It’s the same job every day, but a different experience every day,” Brown said. “The guests you see one day are not the same guests you see the next day. Every interaction brings a new thing to the table and that’s the fun of the job.”
Veale explained why he continues to love what he does for a living.
“My friends always ask me why I do the crazy hours, and I tell them I’ve been doing this about 20 years and I have never had the same day twice,” Veale said. “Not all industries can say that.”