For good poutine, Formoli’s

illustration by MARK STIVERS

Formoli’s Bistro

3839 J St.
Sacramento, CA 95816

(916) 448-5699

When I walked into Formoli’s Bistro’s new venue (3839 J Street), once Gönül’s location, I was blown away when co-owner Suzanne Ricci walked up and said hello. She remembered my name, my order and my table—from four years ago. Needless to say, I felt welcome. As I sat down—wondering why she wasn’t using that memory of hers to fight crime for the good of the city—I mulled over the décor. Jaunty lighting reminiscent of the ’20s hung from the ceiling, acid-tripped art pieces lined the wall, and excellent choices in paint and color made the place dark and jazzy.

Co-owner and chef, Aimal Formoli, does amazing work. The poutine (fries slathered in a brie cheese sauce and lounging in a pool of some gravy so good I wanted shooters of it) is awesome. I suggest you order the whiskey burger: pepper-crusted burger with greens and a whiskey demi-glace, all sitting on a toasted ciabatta bun. It. Is. Epic. The habanero aioli needs more heat; still, the flavor is excellent. It’s also big enough to kill a man with, which in the case of really good burgers is just dandy.