I had a great Sacramento Vegan Chef Challenge experience a couple of days ago when I stopped in for dinner at Hot Italian. Unlike some of the other participating restaurants, Hot Italian's vegan menu offerings will continue even after the challenge ends on Monday.
The vegan entree at Hot Italian is the Muti, which includes grilled seasonal vegetables, tomato sauce, and arugula. Icons printed next to the menu items indicate the form in which the ingredients can be prepared, and the available preparations for the Muti were either a pizza or a panini. I decided to order the Muti panini, and it was terrific! The bread for the sandwich was like a flatbread made of pizza dough, and the grilled seasonal vegetables were cherry tomatoes, zucchini, mushrooms, and kalamata olives. I also ordered my panini with Daiya vegan cheese for an extra cost. Normally, I don't care much for vegan cheese, but the panini had just enough cheese to add flavor. Paired with a refreshing glass of Prosecco, it was an excellent meal.
I really didn't need dessert after that, but thought I'd better check it out anyhow so I could report about it on this blog. The vegan dessert selection at Hot Italian is Sorbetto in seasonal flavors. My choices were mango or pineapple, and I opted for the pineapple. It was tasty and had a nice creamy texture.
The other two vegan items on the Hot Italian menu are an appetizer -- a selection of California and Italian olives -- and the Marcuzzi salad, which consists of mixed greens, shaved fennel, carrots, radish, red onion, and castelvetrano olives.
Hot Italian is located at 1627 16th Street (corner of 16th and Q). Their phone number is 916-444-3000, and their website address is http://www.hotitalian.net/. The restaurant is open daily from 11:30 a.m. until late night.