After a soft opening of more than a month, Bridges is "celebrating" its Grand Opening on Oct 6,7, and 8 with a complimentary glass of sparking wine (somewhat sweet, as in the st michelle style)and a lagniappe fritter appetizer, as well as 15% off their lunch or dinners. Well, what chowhound can resist that?
we went for lunch and were treated to well prepared foods and friendly service. I opted for the spicy catfish sandwich on french bread with remoulade dressing and a side red potato salad ($12). Thick slice of catfish nicely spiced and fried. Friends had the breast of chicken on spanich risotto and the salmon entrees ($16 each), both also well made. for starters, we shared a fig salad topped with an encrusted fried slice of camebert cheese. very delectable. We were too stuffed for dessert, which generally ran around $7 and offered, among other choices, a banana cream pie. Given Mitch's stated desire to offer more of a southern menu, i would think a bananas fosters would be more in keeping with the theme.
Anyway, the place is not necessarily convenient, about three or four miles or so off Interstate 5 on the Garden Highway. Once you get there, however, both indoor and outdoor seating arrangements were obviously well thought out, as well as the grounds. Unfortunately, the Sacramento River is not the Danube or the Seine, and the Interstate 5 overcrossing (never thought of them as bridges before) does not inspire. Nonetheless, the location offers views of a sort, and even a murky river is better to look at than parking lots, streets, etc. One caveat, if you dine outdoors, wear clothes that cover you -- there are a lot of flies.
The wine list is about 200% retail. One fault, however, is that the list does not list the vintages for the offerings, except for a very few like the 1993 or 1996 Dom Perignon.
Overall recommendation: Good choice for a change of pace; foods are well prepared and the menu offers interesting choices (like the painted hills groud chuck hamburger sandwich for $12). Not four star quality, but it deserves a place on the Sacremento dining scene. The big question is whether folks will think Bridges is too far, or worth the extra drive.