Cafe Zorro: A Loomis favorite

CAFE ZORRO IS A LONGTIME FAVORITE with locals. But it also offers a convenient reprieve for ski travelers along I-80 and food lovers from Auburn to Roseville and beyond.

The restaurant’s menu highlights seasonal specials—for fish, chicken, meat, salads and pasta—and it focuses on fresh, local ingredients. Its pizza is legendary, with a thin crust and homemade sauce.

To meet a growing demand, Cafe Zorro now is expanding its catering and banquet business—a milestone for the popular eatery.

Owner Matt Williams, an Italian-trained chef and wine connoisseur, has secured a 2,300-square-foot space in town, adjacent to Loomis Basin Brewing Co. and Casque Wines and near his restaurant.

Matt is calling the venture “Gourmet Garage,” and it will feature a state-of-the-art commercial kitchen for catering, along with banquet seating for up to 30 people. He plans to hold winemaker dinners there as well.

A “low and slow” smoker is planned later, rounding out the culinary options. “Gourmet Garage” will also let him make more homemade ingredients for his restaurant.

The kitchen at 3281 Swetzer Rd. also will be rented out to local chefs. “It’s going to fill a need, all the way from Colfax to Sacramento,” Matt says.

Cafe Zorro is thriving. The ambience is friendly and lively, and prices are reasonable (typically $12 to $20 for entrees). Matt, a fourth-generation Loomis resident and Cal Berkeley graduate, is a gracious, animated host.

The cafe’s menu is seasonal. There are local wines and microbrews, including Loomis Basin Brewing Co. Ale.

Starters include Prosciutto-Wrapped Prawns, Smoked Mac & Cheese or seasonal soup. A Roasted Beet Salad, Belgian Endive Salad or Caesar (with a garlic-parmesan ciabbata) also are on the menu.

Entrées include Paella Linguini, Fresh Pasta Canelloni, Chicken Marsala, Pork Roullade or a Filet Mignon with Wasabi-Blue cheese butter, potato pancake and pepper- creamed spinach. Dessert ranges from Chiffon Pumpkin Cheesecake to seasonal Sorbet and Toffee Bread Pudding.

“We firmly believe in the localized food movement and favor PlacerGrown items, which we use whenever possible,” says Matt. Examples include Pilz Produce and Sinclair Family Farm.

5911 King Rd., Loomis, 916-660-1612

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