When I go to Biba, it’s like going home. Sure, the room is larger and far more elegant than anything we have in our house. But, the décor is warm and welcoming and the staff, from the front door, to the bar to the waiters, is friendly and extremely helpful.
Owner Biba Caggiano is on site most nights to supervise the action and greet diners. She’s the award-winning cookbook author, TV chef and teacher of Italian cooking. There’s nothing pro forma about her table visits; she really wants to know you are enjoying the food and being served with care.
Biba is my favorite restaurant in California for a whole host of reasons. First, of course, is the quality of the food. To start with, this is the only restaurant at which I will order calamari fritti. It comes so lightly battered that you can hardly tell it’s battered at all. The squid is firm but not tough and the flavor outclasses any other calamari fritti I’ve ever eaten. Then there are the can’t-miss pastas. There’s an ever evolving assortment of gnocchi that is not to be missed; same goes for the ravioli. Daughter-in-law Edie introduced us to her favorite – spinach lasagna. Lamb dishes always stand out; the duck breast, when offered as a nightly special, is outstanding. The salads are top quality and the bar is well-stocked and excellently-staffed. And then there are the things that come and go from the menu – sweetbreads, cioppino, stuffed pork chops. From its inception, Biba has defined fine Italian dining and it has never waivered from that standard.
As Sacramento has grown into an outstanding restaurant town, Biba remains one of the mainstays, attracting a loyal local following that includes many of the state’s political and governmental leaders as well as owners and chefs from many of the cities large number of wonderful restaurants.