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Beast + Bounty Invites All to its Open Hearth

Sacramento’s newest food venture, Beast + Bounty, is blazing a new trail for culinary adventurers. The goal, according to owners Michael Hargis and Brock Macdonald, is to reinvent Sacramento dining in a uniquely delicious way.

Beast + Bounty will be the first restaurant in Sacramento to feature a wood fire hearth in an exhibition kitchen. Set to open at the Ice Blocks next month, the restaurant will give guests the treat of watching as their meat (beast) and vegetarian (bounty) dishes are grilled and smoked in the restaurant’s open kitchen.

Every aspect of the restaurant will centralize around the hearth–appetizers, main courses, desserts and even the hand-crafted drink menu will focus on the fire.

“Wood fire is the heart of what we’re doing,” said Executive Chef Brock Macdonald, noting that the use of white oak wood will bring out the flavors in his food as they were intended to be eaten. The char and smoke from the open fire cooking process in the hearth will maximize the natural flavors of his ingredients.

Hargis stresses the value of what he calls “bringing the meat eater and the vegetarian together.” Not only will Beast + Bounty’s menu feature bold clean flavors, but it will also boast equal parts vegetarian and meat-based dishes. Each vegetarian dish will additionally allow vegan modifiers for those following a stricter diet.

Yet another unique aspect of Beast + Bounty is that it will offer breakfast, lunch, and dinner every day of the week (don’t worry brunch fans, you’ll have a special menu on the weekends also).

“What’s fun about this concept is that it’s a casual environment with a very high-quality menu at a moderate price point,” Hargis explains. “You can have a casual breakfast or lunch but also bring a date at night.”

Macdonald will be drawing on his experience as executive chef at LowBrau. He has implemented a dry-aging process for meats, ranging what he calls “a funky 65-day aging to a more innocent 20-day age.”

On the herbivorous side, he will be applying his knowledge of curing, fermenting, and smoking ingredients to produce a unique style of eating vegetarian.

Those with a particularly sweet tooth will have much to appreciate as well. Long time friend and associate of Macdonald’s, Michelin-Star chef Edward Martinez, has joined the culinary team, manning the helm of the pastry program at Beast + Bounty. He describes the program as simple but with awesome technique.

“Imagine a dessert dish with a maximum of four ingredients done so well that there’s no need to be busy or add a ridiculous amount of garnish,” Martinez said.

His goal is to make one central ingredient the star while utilizing the signature wood fire hearth. He mentions fruit ash, smoked sugars and char as flavor accomplices.

In preparation for opening, Macdonald and Hargis have put on a few pop-up events for friends and family to experience their new dishes. A sneak peak of one of their favorites reveals house-cured potatoes paired with a cardamom-coriander spiced, house-cultured yogurt sauce.

In addition to hearth-centered cocktails, Beast + Bounty’s beverage program will feature a highly exclusive collaborative sour saison with Ballast Point Brewing.

Chef Martinez will additionally be heading the kitchen next door at Milk Money, a specialty donut and homemade ice cream bar. Get a taste of what’s to come at Milk Money’s donut pop-up at Bike Dog Brewing’s Broadway location (915 Broadway, Suite 200) this Saturday, January 20, at 10 AM.

Beast + Bounty has plans to open in February with Milk Money expected to open a few weeks later. Both businesses will be located in the new Ice Blocks neighborhood on R and 17th. Learn more and keep an eye out for their first reservation openings at eatbeastandbounty.com.

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About the author

Vail Krygsman

Vail Krygsman

Vail is a student of English and Communications at Cal State University Sacramento. She dreams of a life of eating, drinking, traveling and sharing her way through the transcription of a good story or two. Writing is her way of capturing what fascinates her about the local community; its ability contribute and transform its gifts through the creation of food, drink, arts and most of all living as a collective experience. Because a good time is best when shared.

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