Mike Berman’s Washington Watch

July 30, 2010 11:54 PM

Restaurant: Sego Restaurant and Bar

Sego Restaurant and Bar

131 Washington Street
Ketchum, Idaho
There are a variety of seating areas for dinner. As you enter the restaurant, to the left is a lounge/bar area where dinner is also served. It is separated from the main dining area by a floor to ceiling wall that is open at both ends.

There are 2 four-person booths and 6 deuces in a row that can be made into any combination. The bar is at the back of the lounge area with 8 high chairs.

The main dining room seats 66 in various configurations. There are 5 four person booths. The evening I was there the room was dominated by 4 tables of 12, 8, 10, and 8 respectively, all of which are composed of booths.

At the very front of the restaurant there is a so-called"private dining area," which really isn't private. It will hold up to 16 people. The night I was there it was being used for the band, which started playing at 8:30 p.m....I was gone by then.

There is also an outdoor main floor seating area with 3 four-top tables.

The rooftop, which I did not see, seats 50 people, but is totally dependent on the weather. Apparently, a few people ate up there the night I was there, but a number of folks went up to the roof to check it out and then came down and took tables on the main floor.

I sat at the front end of the lounge area.

The floor is made of dark wood, and the tables and chairs are also dark wood. The building exterior and interior have a modern look.

The art that adorns the restaurant, ranging from photography to mixed media, was provided by the Gail Severn Gallery and it is all for sale.

The silverware comes wrapped in a cloth napkin tied with a rawhide strip.

A long twisted bread roll is served on a small wooden block with a round butter pat on the block as well. It is quite good.

I selected four courses, although my guess is that most folks do with three.

The first course was smoked Sturgeon sorrel, with Idaho caviar, and tiny potato blocks.

For a second course I chose one of the two flat breads that are offered. The flatbread is served on a larger wood plank. I chose an offering topped with asparagus, Pasteurized egg, fromage blanc, and mushrooms. Each flatbread would easily serve 3 people if ordered as a second appetizer. 2 people would be satisfied if it was the only appetizer. I took half of it back to the hotel for a later snack.

My third course was wood oven roasted game hen with summer squashes and roast garlic. The game hen had a particularly tantalizing crispy skin.

I sampled two of the 6 desserts that were described as favorites by my server. The first was Prosecco Sabeyon with black mission figs and Amaretti cookie crumbs. The second was Tart of the Moment, seasonal fruit and a lemon butter crust.

The Tastes of each of the dishes are unique and interesting. I am not sure how it would be as a place where one went for dinner every night. However, Virginia, who put me on to the restaurant, says she could easily go there every night.

The portions are not too large, but more than adequate.

Only beer and wine are served. The wine is served in "bowls" that are shaped like regular wine glasses without stems. It reminds me of the view by the grandfather of the Mondavi family who believed that wine should be served in tumblers.

The service was excellent. My server was Sheridan, a 2009 graduate of Brown University. As her classmates headed for New York and Washington D.C., Sheriden decided to come out West for a few years until she takes on grad school. She is a skier and has now become an avid mountain biker. She was totally friendly and helpful.

One of the complaints of others who have eaten at Sego is that their meals took a long time in coming once they ordered. This suggests that the kitchen is not yet up to the task. This could become problematic as the summer season allows full use of the rooftop dining area.

My dinner was nicely paced; not rushed, but moving along.

I called for a 7 p.m. reservation, which was accepted. However, the host suggested that, if I could arrive a little earlier, it would be a little less congested because there were a number of large groups coming at 7 p.m. I entered the restaurant about 6:40 p.m. and was quickly seated.

The restroom is first class. As you walk in, dead ahead there is a stainless steel commode area open at top and bottom, and to the right is a wall hanging urinal. The wash basin, which is next to the door as you come in, to the right, has a black top with a white ceramic wash basin embedded. There is a large mirror above the wash basin. There are large brown tiles on the floor and up the walls to about 3 feet, with a layer of smaller tiles at the 3 foot levels. The walls are a mild green. Having been open such a short time, the restroom is still impeccably clean.

Note to Bob: You will not like this restaurant. It has a line at the bottom of the menu that says "substitutions politely declined."

The restaurant opened in December 2009.

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