New steakhouse in town

Hotel Diamond restaurant reinvents itself (again); and two local stores offer a chance to give back

When Johnnie’s closed inside the Hotel Diamond and reopened as Two Twenty Restaurant, it lost something, a little je ne sais quoi. And when its chef, Michael Iles, left Chico for Portland, well, it never quite felt like it had its own identity. Without missing a beat, though, Two Twenty is now Diamond Steakhouse, a name the owners hope will stick.

I got a chance to sample the appetizer menu on Monday (Oct. 1), a day before the restaurant’s official opening, and I must say it blows Two Twenty out of the water. Everything was good, but my favorites had to be the coconut prawns, charred ahi and teriyaki-glazed beef kabobs, which were incredibly tender. The bartenders also were on point—John (a Two Twenty holdover) made me his famous vanilla lemon drop, which was a fun twist on a classic.

The dinner menu offers typical steakhouse fare at prices comparable to Fifth Street’s, with a decent variety of seafood items, which is particularly exciting for me. The restaurant is also open for breakfast, though I did not get a glimpse at that menu. I’m hoping for a killer crab cake Benedict.

For this venture, owner Greg Scott partnered with Greg Martin—president of Ray Morgan Co. and former proprietor of Midway Steakhouse in Durham. They hired chef James Rosenbaum, who greeted the crowd and explained he’d spent the last 16 years at Rolling Hills Casino. At Diamond, he said they’ll use all prime beef and as many local ingredients as possible. The thing that sets this restaurant apart from others, really, is its membership program. There weren’t any prices on the flier they handed out, though I’m guessing it’s out of my range. They also hinted at plans for a rooftop bar—intriguing!

For more info, including the menu and hours, go to

Shop for a cause In honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, throughout October JCPenney will donate $2 from the sale of every City Streets breast cancer awareness T-shirt to the American Cancer Society. For even more bang for your buck, stop in Oct. 20-21, when the store will donate 20 percent of sales (up to $50,000) to the ACS.

More giving Over at Tractor Supply (both Chico and Oroville stores), shoppers can purchase a paper clover from now through Oct. 14 in support of 4-H clubs around California. Specifically, money raised through the Paper Clover drive goes to scholarships for camps and other programs.

Same game, new name For those familiar with the BloodSource brand, do not fear if you don’t see those banners around town at blood drives anymore. The company is owned by Blood Systems, which is merging all its subsidiaries—together making up the second-largest community blood service provider—under the name Vitilant (pronounced vye-TAL-ent).