It was one of the first evenings of the season when warm walking weather met the night time skies of Quincy. We walked a block from our downtown hotel to (once again) experience the town’s local cuisine. This time, after many recommendations, we were off to meet Gary at the quaint sidewalk cafe, Sweet Lorraine’s. The sun began to disappear slowly on our short walk as patrons began to gather on the sidewalks, heading to Pangaea, for what appeared to be a ‘jam night’. The evening would draw many to the downtown scene we noticed later, walking back, as several musicians had joined in concert, now visible through the sidewalk window. Tables were full as musicians had formed a circle with a variety of instruments, including the accordion and banjo. This local juice bar serves a healthy fare for lunch and dinner and many musical venues such as this add to the downtown Quincy experience. Sweet Lorraine’s two story cafe’ stood at the end of the block, nestled among the shade trees which hover over their quaint garden patio.
There are times when you cannot get a seat at this popular cafe, but that is not the case most of the time. Reservations are accepted and are a good idea. We were seated by Bea at a table near the window, a feature of most tables at Sweet Lorraine’s. A rustic wooden wine bar divides the kitchen from the dining room, beyond the fire crackling in the potbelly stove. Wide windows offer full views of the Downtown Quincy’s friendly backdrop and of their patio where a fire pit also crackles to warm guests.
Bea soon came along to describe the flavorful specials of the evening which included pork chops in a Bordelaise mushroom sauce with garlic mashed potatoes and fresh asparagus. She went on to describe a Scampi with salmon, shrimp and Mahi Mahi served over rice or fettuccine, with a light white wine sauce. We received recommendations from other patrons including Bill and Lisa Hopman of Quincy and their son Robert who said, “if you have a good appetite, the ribs are great.” It seemed most of the guests were regulars on this quiet Quincy Monday evening.
The soup, a chicken corn chowder, and the tastefully decorated salad were both delicious. I chose the bleu cheese dressing, one of many freshly made dressings.
On the wall, hung an intensely detailed pastel drawing of Sadie, the owners dog. Painted by his brother Michael A. Cerpovicz, this award winning photo speaks life into the room. It seems both brothers are very skilled artists. Gary Cerpovicz’ culinary art encompasses bringing the delightful flavors of fresh ingredients together for some really tasty dishes, each carefully presented with a bit of artistic flair for a fabulous end-result. It’s no wonder so many locals and visitors to the area flock to this place on a regular basis. Gary was chef at several fine restaurants including Gordon Biersch Brewery and House of Blues in Las Vegas where he also owned Sadie’s Cafe.
There were so many great choices on the dinner menu, it was hard to decide. From Chicken Parmesan and Tender Beef Stroganoff to Blackened Shrimp Alfredo, the ‘Pasta & More’ menu offered several tempting choices. ‘Off the Grill’ choices included Gary’s Blackened Center Cut Pork Chops, Sweet Lorraine’s Shish Kabob and several others including Fresh Catch of the Day offered Thursday through Saturday. My appetite and I could not resist the recommended pork spare ribs and a big, tasty baked potato. My guest enjoyed the mouthwatering Bourbon Soy Ribeye steak. It was very tender, mighty tasty and perfectly prepared to order.
Lunch is also very popular at Sweet Lorraine’s and Friday lunch is a good time to have a reservation. This may have something to do with those fish tacos they serve on Fridays only. The lunch menu features incredible salads, pastas, burgers and more. Sandwich choices include chile crusted pork loin, a basil pesto chicken sandwich and their Panko Parmesan salmon sandwich among others. Their herb crusted tri tip hoagie is char grilled, topped with sauteed mushrooms, caramelized onions and melted swiss cheese, served on a toasted hoagie roll. Each menu item is created with a delightful bouquet of flavor and portions are plenty hearty too at Sweet Lorraine’s.
With eight differently delicious salads on the menu, you can pack in those healthy veggies with fabulous flavor! The menu allows for adding salmon, chicken, beef or shrimp (grilled or blackened) to any salad. The Hoi Sin Chicken Salad is a popular choice. This scrumptiously marinated chicken breast is grilled, sliced and tossed with bok choy, romaine, fried won tons, almonds, julienne pepper and sweet carrot for an amazing blend of flavors.
Saturdays from 10:30 am until 2:30 pm, Sweet Lorraine’s serves brunch. Bea told us how Gary had wowed everybody the prior Saturday with his amazing buffet of entrees. She said you can expect two to three breakfast specials, like his recent smash hit, a fresh spinach mushrooms, shrimp and Swiss cheese omelet. You will find a full array of buffet items including french toast, steak and eggs and Gary’s delicious biscuits and gravy on Saturdays.
Sweet Lorraine’s offers a quaint dining area inside, both upstairs and downstairs. Their garden patio offers plenty of shade too. Centered in the quaint walking district of Quincy’s downtown, the location is charming. The food was not only delicious; it was presented with fabulous flair, each plate sent out of the kitchen, a work of art. The art of blending unique flavors of fresh ingredients for fabulous flavor and delivering them with flair. The service was perfect. Sweet Lorraine’s is located at 384 Main Street and you can make reservations by calling (530) 283-5300. You may just wish to stay over in downtown Quincy to experience the shops and entertainment. The Feather Bed is a lovely B&B also located in downtown Quincy and one we hope to take a closer look at. Maybe we’ll see you there.