Lefty’s Grill in Nevada City reopens to well wishers after flood

Lefty’s Grill in Nevada City has reopened after being closed since January 8, when torrential rains repeatedly flooded Little Deer Creek and water engulfed the lower level of the popular eatery.

We visited Lefty’s when it reopened on Wednesday night, visited with the affable owners and noticed some new menu items, including an imaginative fruit-and-cheese appetizer; salads; a flat-bread pizza with oven-roasted tomatoes, green olives and Pecorino cheese; and a burger topped with pork belly, sautéed onions, thousand island dressing and pickles.

It “took a village” to reopen Lefty’s. The effort is a credit to owners Chris Duncan and John Cammack; the restaurant’s staff; the building’s owner Richard and Carol Buckley; and the community at large. Last night, the dining room was filled with well wishers. Chris and John stopped at every table to thank their guests for returning.

The cleanup was a community-wide effort. Neighboring restaurants such as Ike’s Quarter Cafe and Sopa Thai donated food to the clean-up crews; and locals helped organize a spaghetti feed fundraiser at Miner’s Foundry. They also launched crowd-funding campaign that raised $29,225. “Let’s all help out a business we all love,” said the crowd-funding organizer.

We have been longtime fans of Lefty’s since Chris and John — two left-handed chefs — opened their restaurant in 2008. With a motto “casual, white tablecloth dining”, Lefty’s dishes are made from scratch, with daily specials, award-winning pizzas and unique sandwiches.

In 2013, Lefty’s expanded from 221 Broad Street to 101 Broad Street, across Highway 49, with dining on two levels, a patio, a banquet room and a bar. The dining area overlooks Deer Creek. Last year, Lefty’s began serving craft cocktails.

Last night we enjoyed a “Double Barrel Old Fashioned” (Bulleit Bourbon and rye, sugar, orange and spiced cherry bitters, orange and lemon twist, and a Luxardo cherry) and “The Hippie Horse” (Tito’s vodka, muddled cucumber, elderflower, fresh lime juice and ginger beer).

New menu items

With our cocktails, we had the new appetizer: the Parmigiano Reggiano Creme Brûlée (a cheese board served with roasted grapes, sliced pears, and crackers). For dinner we had “Porchetta” (pork tenderloin with garlic, herbs and citrus zest wrapped in house-cured pork belly, slow roasted and pan seared to order, and finished with a blackberry gastrique); Beef Short Ribs (slow braised with garlic and red wine, dusted with gremolata); and our son had the burger topped with pork belly. The meals were delicious, and we’re glad to welcome Lefty’s back to the Sierra Foothills dining scene.

Pictured below are the “Double Barrel Old Fashioned” and “Hippie Horse,” the Parmigiano Reggiano Creme Brûlée appetizer, and “Porchetta”:

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