Dear Diary: Tina Reynolds

tinareynoldsThis is the first in a semi-regular series of weekly food diaries of interesting Sacramentans. Tina Reynolds is the founder of Uptown Studios, a firm that has been around since 1992 and which specializes in graphic and website design, video production, social media management and marketing. She is also a philanthropist and a dynamic woman-about -town. This is how she described her “week of eats”:

I am the owner of Uptown Studios and a big part of my work day is engaging with clients, building relationships, advising my clients and acting as a community connector. I meet, I introduce and I have a great time doing that.

My dining out is a bit exaggerated because our home kitchen is in the middle of a full remodel – they tore everything our to the studs and rebuilding it – I miss my kitchen! (8 weeks in now and counting – it was supposed to be 6 weeks)

Saturday Feb 15

I drove to San Francisco with my dear friend Cris Weber, who is also Art Director for Uptown Studios to celebrate her birthday. We started our day in the Public Market at SF Ferry Building. We walked right in and popped three oysters from the open vendor – yum. A great way to start our experience.

I snapped a photo of Boccalone, because I just loved the tag line “Tasty Salted Pig Parts”.

We walked through and shopped our shop and ended up at The Slanted Door started again with some super fresh oysters just the way I like them.

slanted door
From there we walked some more and shopped the Farmers Market – a few pickled products are in my pantry now – Love fermentation!

We had to take a trip to the Japanese Hardware store and in the process I am alway infatuated with the wax food in the windows of the Japanese restaurants – here are a couple of photos:

wax food
All Plastic – how do they do that?
Sunday February 16

A double date night with our friends Brian and Ginny Dowd. We started with a drink at Dive Bar on J Street then over to the Grange on 10th and J Street for a fabulous dinner. We started with some Dry-aged meatballs on polenta with tomato sauce and jack cheese and some grilled yogurt flatbread – the olive tapenade was delicious. Once looking at the menu we decided to eat a shared meal between us all and what a great decision that was: Full Belly Farms spinach salad with candied pecans, Half of a Petaluma Chicken with baby artichokes, potatoes, olives, shallots with a scrumptious lemon salsa verde. Instead of big meals we all decided that the fresh sides sounded best for the night so we all shared heirloom beets with orange gastrique and caraway crumble, Nantes Carrots that were super delicious, French Fingerling Potatoes with kale pesto, Charred broccoli with bleu cheese – but my favorite was the whole roasted cauliflower with bagna cauda butter and fried herbs – super delicious – how come my cauliflower never tastes this good?

Stuffed with goodness!

Monday February 17 was a holiday

We stayed in and ordered some of our favorite Chinese food from Shanghai Garden. They always say it will take an hour and then they arrive in 15 minutes – love that!

We ordered sweet and sour chicken, vegetarian almond chicken, stir fried broccoli and oyster sauce and some white rice – their fortune cookies are always fresh and good fortune!

Tuesday February 18

Early training session from 8-9 so I picked up some fresh croissants from New Roma Bakers, grapes, tangerines and bananas to share with the session

Lunch: Andy Nguyen’s with my client and friend Ellen Hickey from Coalition for Compassionate Care – I had Peaceful Curry, tofu, potatoes, carrots, button mushrooms soy ham and mixed vegetable in yellow curry and brown rice – absolutely delicious and so wonderful – it include a fresh clear and simple soup that was delicious. Ellen had the Awakening of Faith lunch with rice noodles, grilled soy meat, shitake mushrooms, tofu, lotus roll, lettuce and cucumbers.

Late work night so when I got home it was clearly time for something easy – so we ordered pizza in – from our main pizza place Pete’s Original Pizza. I always get the veggie no cheese and extra sauce and a house salad, my wife Kate got the combination with a house salad. Always hits the spot!

Wednesday February 19

No breakfast

Lunch at noon at The Grange again, a favorite spot for me because my son is the Sous Chef on day shift – and he always gives me the best food. I met with Society for the Blind and Bank of America – I had the portabello sandwich and it was so good, the bread on the sandwich is super fresh and perfect, and a small salad. I didn’t get what the others ate that day. They have the best service there.

Dinner – we met with Betty Yee who is running for State Controller at Lucca for dinner. I had the spicy penne pasta and a pear and shallot salad that was so good, fresh and crisp. Kate had the salmon dinner with mashed potatoes, and I don’t remember what the others had. We had the best conversation – a mix of politics, social change and embarrassing moments. A really fun business meeting talking about shooting a video for Betty for her campaign.

Thursday February 20

No breakfast

Lunch at Cafe Bernardo on 28th and Capital (my Bernardo!) with Jeff vonKaenal of Sacramento News and Review, Shari Roeseler and Liz Culp.
I had the salad sampler: mixed greens, chopped mushrooms and toasted farro and winter squash – SO good – you have to try this salad before it leaves.

Dinner:  Shoki Ramen House – I always order the Yasai Ramen – it has the freshest veggies and noodles – just so good – especially if you have a long hard day – such a comfort bowl. We are doing work with Yasushi and Kathy Ueyama, the owners of Shoki Ramen. They are opening a brand new restaurant this summer called Sun Sun in the old Fords Drive In by Land Park – their cooking style is fresh, organic, local and with full intention of the best ramen in our area – and they achieve!

Friday February 21

Breakfast: Cafe Bernardo with Allison Otto – one of my buds from Leadership Sacramento – my standard is oatmeal with bananas, pecans and a bit of brown sugar. Allison had scrambled eggs with a side of fresh sautéed spinach and toast – such a good way to start the day.
sage cookies

Lunch: We had two staff birthdays this past week so we left at 2 pm and all 8 of us from Uptown Studios headed to Mother and there was nothing but praise for the fabulous food they brought out. We all agreed to share all the food brought out: beet salad, kale salad, mushroom poutine, chili verde, chicken fried mushroom sandwich, veggie burger, CA cobb salad, and napa cabbage aalad – they brought us out a treat of brown butter and sea salt cookies, super rich truffles, and carrot cake that was out of this world. Say no more, the birthday folks were ecstatic as were all of us! What a great lunch! Thanks Michael, Matt and Ryan and all the crew at Mother…

sage cookies

Saturday February 22

Lunch was a bike ride to Lowbrau for some fresh vegan brats – with sauerkraut and mustard – such a wonderful addition to the restaurant community in Sacramento

Dinner was so much fun – we were invited to the VIP opening of BlackBird Kitchen.


It was so full of happy people to have our Black Bird back. It was crazy packed and we only had a drink then walked over to the Grange for delightful bites.


I had 6 of their oysters, although they did not have any cocktail sauce, and they added pickled apple – I prefer my oysters simple – oyster, lemon, cocktail sauce and a dab of horseradish. They were fresh. Followed by a spinach salad.

Sunday February 23

Brunch at Cornerstone, sitting in the patio out front because it was just that beautiful this weekend. I have the veggie platter with two poached eggs and toast. The best way to start the Sunday.

Dinner: We were invited to the Family and Friends opening of the Block  Butcher Bar– what a beautiful design inside, even though I don’t eat meat there was plenty for me to pick from. I had a cute jar of pickled veggies, a really tasty farro salad, and a plate of pickled beets – all really tasty and delicious.


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