Schoolhouse Restaurant & Tavern (Sanger, CA) – I was in the Fresno area for my uncle’s birthday, which of course requires going out to dinner. My family is a big fan of going out to eat. They made a reservation at Schoolhouse, a restaurant in Sanger. Schoolhouse focuses on New American cuisine, making sure to source local and fresh ingredients – really easy to do in the Central Valley! – in a really cool venue.
The building was actually a country schoolhouse that was established in 1921. When you walk in, they have desks, chairs, and other memorabilia such as class pictures inside. The main dining room is in the auditorium, and the stage is at the front of the room. I don’t think a lot of the furniture is from the original schoolhouse, but it really adds to the history and charm of the place.
We started out with a few appetizers, such as the Grilled Brie, which came with a fig and olive tapenade on top, local honey and toasted baguettes. This dish, like a lot of the others, came with bacon, but we opted out of it for all of the dishes. Brie that oozes like this as you snag a bite with the baguette is addicting. I loved getting a mouthful of the cheesiness, saltiness, and sweetness from all of the components.
I also ordered a cup of their Clam Chowder, which has red potatoes and parsley oil. The parsley oil was so interesting to me, which is what really sold me. I’m a big fan of clam chowder as it is, but it was cool to see a new take on it. It added a nice, refreshing flavor to the soup.
The last appetizer was the Calamari Fries, which was served with homemade cocktail sauce, tarter sauce, and malt vinegar aioli. This was delicious, because it was fried, breaded food.
Onto the entrees! I ordered the Grilled Chicken Pizza, with red onion, basil pesto, roasted tomatoes, and garlic cream. I LOVE garlic on my pizza, whether it’s garlic powder, a white garlic sauce, or freshly chopped garlic. It adds so much flavor to me and even a kick if it’s a strong piece of garlic. This was a simple yet great pizza since everything tasted so fresh, but I still could only get through half of it before I took it home. I totally ate it when I got home and it held up, so bonus points!
Here are some of the other dishes my family ordered. I bug everyone and take photos of their food before we can eat. They’ve come to expect it after all these years. I do wish the lighting was better, but restaurants love their ambiance and I don’t carry extra light with me (…yet), so these will have to do!
This is the Lobster Carbonara, which is served with a six ounce lobster, linguini clams, roasted tomatoes, and basil pesto.
Braised Duck Stroganoff, served with pappardelle, mushrooms, onion, cabernet sauce, sour cream, and basil.
The Roasted Half Chicken, served with red potatoes, oven roasted tomatoes, olive chicken jus, and preserved lemon. This one was also appealing to me, but there’s no way I could eat half a chicken on my own.
Overall, it was a great dinner and a fun time with my family. I always love spending time with them doing what we do best – eat!