Kane’s for fine food in Grass Valley

JOHN KANE, A FOURTH GENERATION San Franciscan, grew up eating and working at Original Joe’s, a landmark restaurant famous for its homestyle Italian-American cooking.

John advanced in his culinary career, working as personal chef to celebrities such as Jay Leno, chef of the San Francisco Giants and as a highly accredited corporate chef.

Now, however, he’s realizing a dream: running Kane’s Fine Foods in Grass Valley, a
restaurant patterned after Original Joe’s. “It’s what I grew up with, and it’s been well received up here,” Kane says.

Kane’s—which celebrates its fifth anniversary in November—has grown into a dining institution in the historic downtown, drawing locals and visitors alike.

Kane’s serves everything from pasta to pizza (stone-baked). It offers a variety of favorites including juicy steaks, chops, roasts, fish, chicken and seafood.

As with Original Joe’s, Kane’s food is served in an open kitchen with a friendly atmosphere. John is a hands-on owner, and you often see him working in the kitchen alongside the other chefs. There’s counter seating, providing a front-row seat to watch the action.

Kane’s dining room includes booths and tables and chairs. A fireplace provides space for romantic dining. Kane’s also has a full bar, a lively gathering spot in the corner of the restaurant, and a private dining room.

The menu includes Original Joe’s standbys: a burger on an Italian-American loaf with steak fries or “Joe’s Special,” fresh ground beef sautéed with spinach, eggs and onions.

Folklore has it that a customer ordered a spinach omelette late one night and asked the chef to add some hamburger because he was extra hungry. The dish became so popular that Joe’s eventually put it on the menu.

Breakfast, including a center-cut ham steak and eggs, is served all day. A $10 and under lunch menu has proven popular in the economic downturn.

Kane’s serves some upscale dishes, reflecting John’s experience as chef of the University Club, an elegant clubhouse on Nob Hill.

Favorites include the cedar-plank cooked salmon, butternut squash ravioli or a salad of prawns and hearts of palm, topped with mango vinaigrette.

The restaurant also offers live music, including a monthly jazz and rhythm and blues dinner show. The singer is Tanya Scarlett, who has recorded with Michael Bolton and opened for Joe Cocker.

Kane came to Grass Valley to be with his partner, Maria Ramos, owner of Maria’s restaurant just down the street. He was only the fifth chef in the University Club’s118 year history, and figured he’d retire there.

But love changes everything, as the song goes. “I fell in love with Maria and Grass Valley,” he says.

120 E. Main St., Grass Valley
530-273-8111 KanesRestaurant.com

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