Formoli Bistro is a hidden treasure in the heart of East Sacramento. Tucked away in a small enclave of one story, neighborhood retail businesses, it would be easy to drive right by and never see it. What it lacks in street presence, however, it more than makes up for in delicious food. The premise is quite simple: serve good food using quality ingredients and make the customers feel welcome. Formoli Bistro serves mostly Mediterranean food with an American bent.
It’s hard to recommend specific dishes at Formoli because they do such a good job keeping the menu current with the season. The menu always has a selection of three or four salads, five or six appetizer type dishes (perfect for sharing), and a few larger dishes, including an ever-changing pasta dish that I frequently order. Unlike some of my other recommendations on atLarry’s.com, where I clearly have a favorite dish, at Formoli Bistro I seldom order the same thing twice. Everything on the menu is good and what I order depends entirely on my mood.
One of the few constant items on the menu is the Whiskey Burger. It’s the only burger they serve and it is incredible. First of all it’s a huge patty sautéed in whiskey, but it doesn’t taste like whiskey. It just tastes like a mouthful of sweet juicy goodness. The bun is a very light, flavorful focaccia and the burger just drips with gooey, yummy cheese. The Whiskey Burger is clearly a decadent, gourmet treat that makes you want to savor every bite.
Formoli Bistro is owned by a charming young couple – Aimel Formoli and his wife Suzanne. Both serve multiple roles for the restaurant, with Aimel doing the cooking and menu design and Suzanne doing just about everything and anything else necessary. This restaurant has only been opened a short time (mid 2008) but if they keep producing high quality food at a reasonable price and maintain the friendly atmosphere they should become an East Sacramento fixture.