Menu choices

The Sacramento area has a reputation for being cautious in its food choices. Curious about how this affects chefs, I asked Wendi Mentink of Bidwell Street Bistro in Folsom what she’d like to have on her menu but doesn’t:

“The thing that comes to mind most is risotto. I have always wanted to put risotto on the menu, but I just don’t have a big enough staff. We only have two cooks, three on the weekends, and only two stations on the hot line. It’s really hard to multitask when you have a risotto on order.

“We did put veal cheeks on. They were fantastic, and people really liked them, but they were intensely laborious because you have to clean them and take the silver skin off of each of those little buggers. I thought, “They’re going to sell well and I’m going to spend half the day cleaning veal cheeks.”

“Things like kidney and heart. I have sweetbreads, but I’ve stayed away from other offal because very few people would appreciate it, and to have them take up a space on a small menu would be tough.”