SANGER, Calif. (KFSN) -- At the base of the foothills, you can find a Valley favorite for a nice evening out.
Locals know all about School House Restaurant near Highway 180 and Frankwood in Sanger.
Even tourists coming from the national parks know it offers a wonderful way to end the day.
At School House Restaurant, diners learn very tasty lessons.
"It's quite different than most. It's a contemporary twist on classics," said Ryan Jackson, executive chef, and partner.
The building was once home to Frankwood Elementary.
"They're surprised it actually a school."
"They're surprised it's not that far to get here because there is that common misconception," said Michelle Jackson, a partner at the restaurant.
Chef Matt Celaya prepared one of the newest favorites.
"Pan seared salmon with house-made mustard and rosemary gnocchi and parmesan fennel broth. It's a fantastic dish."
"We ultimately cook to put smiles on people's faces. Have them remember us," said Ryan.
Ryan worked at several Napa restaurants before returning home to open his own place 11 years ago.
At the School House Restaurant, you can dine in the train car booths.
"It looks like you're in a train and you're looking out at the whole agriculture mecca that we are."
The food is locally sourced as much as possible.
"Fruits of course, vegetables of course. Mushrooms down the street. Our local Olive oil from Bari olive oil," Ryan explained.
Ryan creates dishes some people might not think they'll like as the crispy brussel sprouts.
"We like apples so you have apple cider vinegar aioli. Some medjool dates and toasted almonds. That's what makes it kind of sweet. It's kind of a sweet taste," Ryan said.
The signature meatloaf keeps folks coming back.
"On top there is a braised Swiss chard. It's red wine braised Swiss chard," said Ryan.
The dishes may sound familiar but they hit you with different notes, like the duck bruschetta.
"We do something a little bit different. basil goat cheese on the bottom of it and then braised duck leg," Ryan explained. "It's like a taste of Thanksgiving that's approachable year round."
School House gets all A's in my book.
I even tried chocolate hummus for dessert and that was incredible.
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