Getting garlic breath just got a whole lot easier in Roseville

Food Network celebrity brings franchise to town
By: Susan Belknap Press-Tribune Editor
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Foodies of America rejoice! Guy Fieri of the Food Network has come to Roseville. Fieri is the owner of the recently opened Roseville restaurant, Johnny Garlic’s California Grill. “I went to school at American River College in the 1980s and I just always loved the area,” Fieri said in a phone interview from his home in Santa Rosa. “I think a lot of people don’t appreciate what a great area this is with all the great restaurants, entertainment and river nearby. I’ve always wanted to come back.” Fieri said he regularly visits the Roseville location, which is the third Johnny Garlic restaurant to come along after the first two in Windsor and Santa Rosa were opened. Fieri also is a co-owner, along with Steve Gruber of Santa Rosa, of two Tex Wasabi restaurants located in Sacrarmento and Santa Rosa. Fieri said he is especially proud of the Roseville location because of the friendliness and professionalism of the restaurant staff. While Fieri isn’t able to spend all his time at the Roseville location between hosting four Food Network shows and appearing on talk shows like David Letterman, he said the Roseville staff is “one of the greatest restaurant teams I’ve ever seen.” Joe Perez has been one of the restaurant’s servers since the opening in October. “This is a great place to be with fun people to work with and wonderful customers too,” Perez said. “It was good to have Guy train all of us. I especially like being able to offer surprises to our guests.” “It’s (the Roseville restaurant) is one of those places that has set the bar high for the restaurant industry,” Fieri said. “We believe that we’re here to make our guests happy. You should be able to get your meal the way you want it.” That’s exactly the philosophy of general manager Robert Redmond who also was personally trained by Fieri. “We do whatever it takes to make our guests happy,” Redmond said. “We have lots of repeat customers and when they come in, we know them by name. We empower our team to satisfy our guests. It’s a different mentality here. We are really reaching out to the community. We want to be the ‘local’ restaurant for everyone.” But the atmosphere isn’t stuff or pretentious. “People can expect an environment that is kid friendly,” Fieri said. “There’s an open kitchen and bar area. It’s a casual, fun place.” “One of the comments we constantly get is how our team members are always smiling,” Redmond added. Indeed. Johnny Garlic’s has a high-energy component that is obvious upon entering the restaurant. Portions of the walls on several sides of the restaurant are painted in a red, fiery type of design. Patrons have a choice of being seated close to the bar and brick pizza oven where they can observe all the cooking action, or in one of the several comfortable booths that offer views of the entire restaurant with a bit more privacy. Fieri said his philosophy about food is that “bland is boring.” He said he believes in full flavor food, spices in moderation and food that “energizes your palette.” The menu at Johnny Garlic’s is anything but bland. Signature dishes include Cajun Chicken Fettuccine Alfredo, which features blackened chicken breast in a creamy garlic Parmesan sauce with sun-dried tomatoes and scallions tossed with fettuccine for $14.50. Cedar plank roasted salmon marinated in an apricot chili glaze topped with rosemary and oven roasted on a plank of cedar for $16.95 is also popular with many guests according to Redmond. Not to be missed in the appetizer department is the “Brick in the Wall” bird, which features 10 large chicken wings tossed with Fieri’s signature seven spice rub with cilantro pesto sauce for $9.95. “Cooking has many components,” Fieri said. “It’s art, science and math. To be a good cook it’s critical to learn about food through cooking classes, watching cooking shows on TV and trying lots of new varieties all the time. Food is a celebration. It’s an experience. We are thrilled to be in Roseville and I thank everyone who’s come in for their support.” What: Johnny Garlic’s California Pasta Grill Where: 10505 Fairway Drive, Roseville Hours: 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday-Thursday 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday Info: 789-2000