While Sacramento may not be on the map for famous fashion weeks and celebrity homes, it is home to some of the best restaurants in all of the country. Being natives, we say with great delight that we’ve tried– and enjoyed– nearly all of them and their local offerings. So when a new gastropub popped up on our block, you know we made a reservation as soon as we could.
Hawk’s was first hatched as a posh, upscale dining room in Granite Bay, CA. Manufactured and manned by a husband + wife team, Hawk’s quickly became the go-to restaurant for Sacramento-famous farm-to-fork dining. With its success and constant influx of new clientele, owner and chef team, Molly Hawks and Michael Fagnoni, decided to expand. And so Hawk’s Provisions + Public House came to be. Perched on a bustling corner in East Sacramento, the gastropub features urban design, fresh and local food offerings, and a beer and wine list that would make even the most knowledgeable libations expert blush. With its cozy and casual atmosphere and artisan eats, Hawk’s Provisions + Public House is sure to become a staple eatery in East Sacramento.
When dining there ourselves, we had the chance to steal away the general manager of the esteemed new dining experience, Esra Oktar, to answer some of our burning questions about interior design, the farm-to-fork style menu, and the conception of Hawk’s Provisions + Public House.
How does the East Sac Hawk’s differ from its “older sister” in Granite Bay?
Hawks Public House has a very causal yet urban and rustic atmosphere. The food is a little more eclectic as well, although we too have house made pastas and house cured meats, the preparation varies more so at the public house.
What is your favorite item on the menu? Why?
Only because I am cornered to answer this, I’d have to say two things. I think Chef Justin and Chef Mike would laugh at me for saying this but my most favorite for lunch is the wood grilled Wagyu beef Burger, house made brioche bun and caramelized onions with horseradish-Dijon aioli with our house made pickles and hand cut fries. Delicious! Now if you asked me other than that, house made spaghetti, grilled broccoli, manila clams and lemon gremolata.
How was your opening week? Any big surprises or obstacles you didn’t foresee?
Our opening week was outstanding! East Sacramento welcomed us immediately. I am very grateful for the reputation Chef Mike and Molly uphold, the truly have a great word out there. The one obstacle I can think of was that our restaurant wasn’t complete to its full functionality just yet, i.e.…banquettes were going to take two more weeks from opening day, which forced us to get creative so we can accommodate everyone by using our patio chairs along with our dining room chairs to complete a table. This didn’t seem to matter to guests though thank god! Everyone welcomed us and it honestly only got busier by each day forward.
What inspired the menu for the new location?
The word Gastropub was thrown around a lot, which is known as urban and industrial by style as a drinking establishment and less emphasis placed on the serving of food, however I am certain it is equally both. We have unique craft cocktails, local beers, worldly wines and an Italian/American cuisine. I am not sure I can even really define us otherwise, with our head Chef Justin Green, he loves to change up the menu and create something magnificent and not be set in any specific genre or style of food sourcing from local farms and seasonal produce.
What inspired the décor at the new location?
In Molly’s words: “We very much liked the idea of a having a neighborhood meeting spot, thus the Public House concept. Likewise, we knew we wanted to differentiate this from Hawks in Granite Bay. The decor in Hawks is a bit more buttoned up, prim and proper, which I love, but I wanted something different for the new location. We had the idea of creating something stripped down, with eclectic woods and metals. I’ve definitely been influenced by the vintage industrial design trends, but we worked with our designers to add in elements that would help render the design timeless. We still want the design to remain relevant 10/15 years down the road. That’s where the zinc bar top and the art work came in – just a few elements to step it up. Likewise, I wanted to pull in a few of the design elements from Hawks; that’s where the idea for the upholstered banquettes came from. We continue to receive compliments on the cushy mohair upholstery at Hawks, so I thought it would be fun to pull this in at Provisions & Public House. As for the mauve color, I have saved a collection of photos and articles on spaces that have caught my attention over the years. I had saved an article on the Grammercy Park Hotel in NY and liked their use of vintage rose colored upholstery fabrics. I showed the article to Aimee Griffin, one of our designers, and she answered with the mauve mohair.
We have been very fortunate to work with 2 great designers. Shawn E. Hall, located in Santa Rosa, is amazing when it comes to defining restaurant spaces, especially small spaces like ours. Likewise, Shawn came up with many clever ideas, such as the tile mural, meant to look like a NY subway sign…a nod to Michael’s NY heritage. Aimee Griffin, of Livwel, is a residential interior designer and she really helped to complete the space and warm it up. Aimee is responsible for the Art, the paint colors, the upholstery, and all the little details that make the space feel lived in. “
What seem to be the most well-liked attributes of Hawks’ new location?
While our guests are enjoying the dressed down look and feel of the space, they’re delightfully surprised by the attention given to the food and cocktails. Though the food is not overwrought, the dishes are artfully presented and well-conceived.
All images courtesy Hawk’s Provisions + Public House.