Tuesday, July 9, 2019

Welcome to Beast & Bounty (Sacramento, CA)

Beast & Bounty is one of the most preferred dining restaurants in Sacramento. It's owned by restaurateur Michael Hargis and chef Brock Macdonald. With swanky, cool-toned décor and an industrial edge, the restaurant celebrates the best of both meat (beast) and vegetables (bounty). The pair have already proved their mettle with LowBrau and Block Butcher Bar, so the opening of this new venture was greatly anticipated.

The food can be quite good at Beast & Bounty and the plates are beautifully orchestrated from an aesthetic standpoint. That said, it’s hard to not wince when you receive the check, even if you went in with celebratory expectations and a budget to match. High-ticket dining means raised stakes for the staff, who need to deliver on commensurate expectations. A big spend on an epic meal is tolerable if the customer experience is there to back it up. That’s usually the case at Beast & Bounty.

During my first few visits, the Oven Roasted Bone Marrow appetizer ($15), served with fried garlic, fennel chutney and crispy toasts was a perennial table favorite with its unctuous savory quality and high-art design. The Mixed Grill ($65), an impressive meat mélange with various “fixins,” sparked an argument over who got to keep the platter closest to their place at the table. The Watermelon Salad ($11) packed vibrant flavor with lime, peanuts, pickled radishes and baby eggplant.

In regards of the cuisine, I had many personal favorites; the Brussels Sprouts ($12) were sublime, the Margherita Pizza ($15) showcased flavorful crust and tomato sauce, and the Crispy Pork Belly ($15) was a delight, though slightly overcomplicated.

Macdonald clearly cares about what he’s producing—he hovers constantly near the kitchen, eyeballing the plates that come off the line—but even the best laid plans can be executed inconsistently due to staff foibles. Beast & Bounty is well worth the visit on an “on” night, but given the ticket price, I’d like to see the food consistently hit the high bar this place is capable of.

Bottom line, if you're looking for a great time with great food, this is the place for you. It won't be cheap but it's worth every cent.