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Comfort food with a side of Gold Rush
Hotel Sutter

Whether you are a weary traveler looking for a place to rest, or a local that is parched and hungry, Hotel Sutter – located in the heart of Gold Country – has some treasures to share. There is some rich gold mining history in California and people can get a taste of it right in our own backyard in the 209. A touch of the California Gold Rush can be found in Sutter Creek with their charming Main Street filled with shops, wineries, historic sites and restaurants including the Hotel Sutter Restaurant.

The Sutter restaurant, Main Street Balcony, the Lobby Bar, and the lavish Copper Room offer guests in the 209 and beyond a little something special. General Manager Ruthella Turner and Bar Manager Pedro Plasencia are ready to greet you and make your stay memorable. They have 21 hotel rooms for guests to stay in with a variety of shops and wineries within easy walking distance along historic Main Street.

“The current owners Chuck and Karen purchased it in 2013 and brought a lot of modern conveniences to the hotel rooms,” added Turner. “There were four bathrooms, two on each floor and now each hotel room has their own bathroom. People will come in and say ‘I haven’t been here since we had to share bathrooms.’ When they fully opened the hotel and restaurant it has been Hotel Sutter ever since.”

The restaurant is open for lunch and dinner from Thursday through Monday and closed on Tuesday and Wednesday. The weekends are busy with locals and tourists alike so they recommend making reservations, otherwise there could be a long wait. They offer gluten free and vegetarian options as part of the menu.

“It is a family friendly restaurant,” said Plasencia. “People love our smoked meats. That is what we are known for. We have a great selection of cocktails. People come out and have a great time.”

The restaurant has a variety of offerings for guests looking for a tasty lunch or dinner. For starters, some guest favorites are the Sutter Brussels, Pig Fig n’ Goat, and Coconut Prawns. The shareable and tasty Sutter Brussels are Brussels sprouts, bacon, parmesan cheese and garlic aioli. The Pig Fig n’ Goat is a warm buttered giant Bavarian pretzel, prosciutto, fig jam, goat cheese, smoky beer cheese and candied pecans. The just right crunch of the Coconut Prawns and the yummy jumbo prawns that are made in a coconut almond batter served with a sweet chili sauce are a mouth delight.

For lunch, some crowd pleasers are the Whiskey Burger, Pork Bahn Mi, and the Portobello Mushroom, which is a vegetarian option. The Bahn Mi is slow smoked pork, cucumber, carrot, daikon radish, cilantro, jalapeno, sesame aioli, and Korean BBQ sauce on a bolillo roll.

Some guest favorites for dinner are the St. Louis Ribs, Tri-Tip, Pulled Pork and the 1858 Sampler, which is a tasty sample of their smoked meats for those with a big appetite or those willing to share. It comes with slow smoked brisket, half rack of ribs, pulled pork, house made sauces, smoky pit beans, bacon mac n’ cheese and Sutter slaw.

“People really come here for just comfort food,” remarked Turner. “They want the delicious sandwiches and nice chicken and steak. We are really more for families going out to dinner often than fine dining.”

The newly renovated Copper Room has a classy, speakeasy vibe that transports you to a different time. The room is open on Fridays and Saturdays and features higher end spirits. They have a large selection of bourbons, whiskeys, scotches and tequila, as well as an extensive selection of wines.

“The Copper Room is a little treasure,” stated Turner. “It is just a fun historical building. When you are down in the Copper Room you are looking at the stones that came out of the ground here that you know the gold miners put in place; they have been here since the 1850s. It is nice and cool and people can experience amazing drinks. It takes you back to simpler times.”

They have specialty dinners pairing wines and spirits with certain foods like the Scott Harvey Valentine’s dinner, Makers 46 paired with ribs and the Bowmore 12-year paired with brisket. They hope to host a specialty dinner each month.

They also put on several events in their banquet room including a trivia night the first Monday of the month. They host a local’s party on Thursdays called Townie Night with live music and tasty tacos that is open to everyone. 

The hotel was one of the first buildings in the town on Main Street in 1853 that was more of a tent city. Made out of wood the building did not survive a fire that swept through the town but it was rebuilt with brick in 1858. In 1865 another fire occurred and portions of the building were damaged once again. The building was eventually rebuilt as the American Exchange Hotel.

Throughout the decades the hotel has been expanded and has changed owners as well as names several times and with a different focus but has mostly remained a hotel and restaurant. 

Turner said, “Underneath the stairs going up to the second floor there are marks from the horseshoes because the miners used to bring their horses up to their rooms to avoid horse theft.”

It all adds to the unique ambience.

“People love it,” expressed Turner about Hotel Sutter. “It is a great place to come. It is a short drive to get away from the hustle and bustle. You can come up here for dinner or get a hotel room and park your car all weekend and never have to drive. People can take a day trip and come here and enjoy all the history and get away from everything and can really disconnect from things.”