Nothing Snooty About Snooty Frog in Cameron Park
01/27/2016 10:18AM ● Published by David Norby
There’s nothing snooty about Snooty Frog in Cameron Park. It’s cozy but romantic, the food is straightforward and good, they have a full bar, and they treat you like a friend. The dining room is dimly lit; string lights twinkle like stars above. Quirky paintings and sculptures abound: beach scenes, mountains and—of course—frogs. The restaurant first opened in 1983 in the same Burke Junction space it currently occupies, and had a successful stint in El Dorado Hills in the ’90s before returning to Cameron Park in 2008.
Like I said, their offerings are uncomplicated and pleasant. At the bar, they shake and stir a number of “Absolutely Snooty” martinis, along with pouring wine by the glass and having beer on tap. On the menu, Chef Michelle Schanel focuses on steak and seafood, her “sizzling filet” being one of the restaurant’s signature dishes.
Appetizers include a chicken platter that comes out sizzling on a cast iron skillet, alongside fresh and crisp vegetables. The chicken breast was juicy, salty and delicious, with hints of teriyaki. Don’t forget to sop up a bit of the sauce with your bread.
Chef Schanel’s simple and classic filet mignon came seared with precision and was paired with red potatoes and al dente steamed vegetables. Unpretentious, luscious and earthy, it was a carnivore’s luxury. The accompanying creamy béarnaise—a French creation involving butter, egg yolks, white wine vinegar and various herbs—upped the dish’s “wow” factor a few more notches.
One of their occasional specials—and lucky for me, on the night of my visit—was a platter of gnocchi Alfredo with smoked salmon and sautéed mushrooms. The salmon was obviously prepared with care, while the gnocchi had an excellent light, fluffy texture. The Alfredo was unique and delivered a creamy, zesty tang that provided balance to the savory richness of the fish and meaty mushrooms.
If you have room (I miraculously made some), it never hurts to cap off a fine meal with a little flourless chocolate cake. Dense and decadent (and perfectly paired alongside a glass of red wine), it provided just one more reason to hop on over to Snooty Frog again soon for good eats, good drinks and a good time.
by Jeremy B. Neely // photos by Dante Fontana
Snooty Frog, 3300 Coach Lane, Suite E3, Cameron Park, 530-677-9025.